Los Angeles Times review by Christopher Knight http://cb1.co/57
CB1 Gallery is pleased to present our third solo exhibition of Denver, CO based artist Chris Oatey, "Snowmelt Paintings and Drawings." In this exhibition Oatey’s paintings made through a process outside of the artists total control contrast with a component drawing using his complex labor-intensive drawing method. Chris Oatey: "Snowmelt Paintings and Drawings" will be on view from January 9 through February 20, 2016. The gallery will host a reception for the artist on Saturday, January 9, 2016, 3 – 6 p.m.
The work in Oatey’s current exhibition is created through a meditative process. A painting develops outdoors over the course of several days. Falling snow covers the surface and subsequently melts to randomly distribute layers of pigment. The paintings serve as vehicle for later drawings. Oatey makes each drawing using a carbon transfer paper that acts as a bridge between the painting and drawing. A shift in his practice reclaims the source material for his drawings as finished art objects themselves, where they had been discarded in earlier work. Together, each pairing combines opposing modes of production–paintings assisted by occurrences in nature and physically laborious drawings.
Oatey’s practice is situated in a space where pre-determined structures invite random processes to assist in their making. Finished works serve as documentation of that process and are in dialogue with the mechanically reproduced image. Repeated use of carbon paper serves a tool to slow down the reception of his works, whether using it to interact with imagery or to create sculptural installations.
Chris Oatey recently moved to Denver CO from Los Angeles, where he received an MFA from Otis College of Art and Design. He has a BS in Cartography from the University of Colorado. In addition to his earlier solo shows at CB1 Gallery, he has had numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout southern California. His work was featured in the Howard Fox curated exhibition Paperworks at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. He has received an artist completion grant from The Durfee Foundation (2008), a residency fellowship (2009) from the Ucross Foundation and was the recipient of the Friends of Contemporary Art + Photography Prize from the New Mexico Museum of Art (2015).