"The New New" is an exhibition of painting, drawing, mixed-media, and collage by six emerging artists from New York and Los Angeles: Ray Anthony Barrett, Aaron Fowler, Genevieve Gaignard, Tschabalala Self, Michael Shultis, and Jason Stopa. The works in this show are multi-dimensional, with some artists using heavy impasto, collage, or flirting with the intersection of painting and sculpture. Connecting the varied practices in "The New New" is an explicit use of text – song lyrics, art theory, slogans, and commercial branding - in a formally exciting interplay between word, image and painting.
Ray Anthony Barrett’s recent drawings take art historian and curator Darby English’s writing as a starting point. English was concerned with the nature of Black art (and what happens if and when Black artists stop making it). Barrett’s ink on paper drawings, such as "STOP," use repeated text in alternating sequences to create provocative, thought-provoking statements.
Aaron Fowler weaves personal narrative into mythic allegory and often depicts himself as a pilgrim traversing a post-apocalyptic landscape. In "Aaron Fowler Looks For A Way Out of the City of Destruction," the artist incorporates materials as varied as glass doors, oatmeal, mirrors, CDs, clothing, and hair into an epic self-portrait at once imposing and fragile.
Genevieve Gaignard uses alter egos in often humorous self-portraiture to question our relationship to personae, identity, and popular culture. Her collage, "Sister, Sister," pairs a vintage Playboy centerfold of a semi-nude model with a framed self-portrait. Gaignard explores “selfie” culture and its intersection with cultural norms and the fluid notions of femininity. Tschabalala Self is also interested in the depiction of the female body, and her mixed media painting "STAR" uses mannerist gestures to confront issues of black female identity.
Michael Shultis and Jason Stopa incorporate branding and popular culture into their practice. Michael Shultis’ "Ja Ja," presents a pyramid of cheerleaders set against an inverted fast food sign. Shultis’ mixed media includes photo ink, Astrotuf and a discarded art crate that once housed a Frank Stella painting. Jason Stopa makes abstract paintings with representational references. His square paintings -- "Four Straws" and "Tabs (Pepsi)" -- refer also to junk food advertising as source material. Using oil, acrylic and enamel on canvas, he alternates thin, washy areas of paint with thickly painted sections to create illusionistic depth. These works conceptually combine the sensibilities of Pop, Abstract Expressionism and Abstract Illusionism.
"The New New" brings together emerging artists with distinct approaches – but all with a shared engagement with the aggregate of received imagery and personal narrative.
About the artists:
RAY ANTHONY BARRETT (USA, b. 1980) received his BA from the University of Missouri, Columbia (2003) and his MFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, Oregon (2011). Barrett’s poetic drawings acknowledge the complicated relationship between language and image by deconstructing the vernacular used to define hip-hop culture. Barrett’s solo exhibition, "Word is Bond", was at Diane Rosenstein (2014). He has previously shown in the Dakar Biennial, Dakar, Senegal (2010). Mr. Barrett lives and works in Los Angeles.
AARON FOWLER (USA, b. 1988) received his BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA (2011) and his MFA from Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT (2014). Pulling from reality and imagination, Aaron Fowler's work describes certain conditions of the human experience, and memorializes individuals who are important to him. Recent exhibitions include "So Much To She (with Chris Watts)," Flanders Gallery, Raleigh, NC (2015) and "Skowhegan PERFORMS," Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY (2014). Fowler lives and works in Harlem, New York.
GENEVIEVE GAIGNARD (USA, b. 1981) received her BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, Massachusetts (2007) and her MFA in Photography from the Yale University School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut (2014). She is an artist who works in photography, sculpture, and installation. Gaignard recently had a solo exhibition "A Golden State of Mind" (The Cabin LA, Los Angeles, CA) in 2015 and was included in "DEEP END (Curated by Awol Erizku)" at Diane Rosenstein (2014). Genevieve Gaignard lives and works in Los Angeles.
TSCHABALALA SELF (USA, b. 1990) received her BA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (2012) and her MFA from the Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT (2015). Self is a painter and printmaker, born and raised in Harlem, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Tropicana (The Cabin LA, Los Angeles, CA) and Out of Body (Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York, NY), both in 2015. She was also included in the group exhibition "THATS ON ME" (Paris Blues, New York, NY) the same year. Ms. Self lives and works in New York City.
MICHAEL SHULTIS (USA, b. 1987) received his BFA from St. Louis Community College, Florissant Valley, MO and The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA (2012). He is an artist who makes mixed media paintings based upon fictional narratives that are self-referential and explore cultural absurdities. Using humor as a catalyst, his work investigates the dichotomy between social/political agendas and aesthetic formalities. Recent exhibitions include "Bronx Calling: The Third AIM Biennial" (The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, NY) and "35 Years of AIM" (Laurie Tisch Illumination Foundation, New York, NY), both in 2015. Michael Shultis lives and works in New York.
JASON STOPA (USA, b. 1983) received his BFA from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (2007) and his MFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY (2010). Recent solo exhibitions include "Double Trouble" (Hionas Gallery, New York, NY) in 2015 and "The Brooklyn Zoo" (Novella Gallery, New York) in 2014. He was also included in the group exhibition "Surface Matters" (Fouldadi Projects, San Francisco, CA) in 2015. Stopa is also contributing writer to Art in America, Hyperallergic, and The Brooklyn Rail. Stopa lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.