frosch&portmann is pleased to present Open Sesame, Charles Ladson’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The artist lives and works in Macon, Georgia.
The paintings in this show result from Ladson’s continuous layering and re-working process of what he calls, “bad ideas consisting of movements, commitments, and random events.” Elements are added and subtracted, initially without apparent direction; the works ramble on in this manner—addition and subtraction, paint and edit—until the artist captures the exact moments that are formally pleasing. These moments accumulate and interact with one another, eventually coming together as a satisfying whole. The development of each painting is directly informed by the accumulation of every idea, whether visible or hidden beneath layers of paint.
The content of Ladson’s paintings intuitively emerges out of this editing process and is “more ambiguous than any deliberate attempt at narrative or commentary.” Cropped compositions and suggestive titles invite the viewer to imagine what is taking place beyond the confines of the stretcher bars.
Ladson’s oeuvre is characterized by gestural brushwork, a subdued color palette, and architectural precision—steeped in a stillness that evokes dream-like environs. While his work often defies categorization, one can find traces of Symbolism, Surrealism and Magic Realism in Ladson’s oeuvre.
Charles Ladson received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and his MFA from the University of Georgia.