Galerie Richard, New York is pleased to present a solo exhibition of paintings by Shirley Kaneda. This will be Kaneda’s first exhibition with Galerie Richard in New York and her eighth solo show in New York.
Kaneda has continually explored the possibilities of abstract painting in thought provoking ways, juxtaposing a wide variety of painting modes that open possibilities to diverse interpretations. She has persistently attempted to change the terms of abstract painting by questioning and challenging the exclusionary practices that lead to modernism’s entropic collapse.
The title of the show, Space Without Space, refers to spaces that we can imagine but are virtually present. The grey checkerboard in some of Kaneda’s paintings are immediately recognizable as the “background” or the empty space in Photoshop. It is used in Kaneda’s paintings to refer to multiple associations such as the “grid,” the emblem of modernism or to checkerboard itself or to Ben Day dots used by Roy Lichtenstein. Since the checkerboard pattern is the “background” in Photoshop, it also signifies the last plane or the “void” in modernist abstract paintings.
Kaneda deftly uses these checkerboard patterns along with circles, curvilinear patterns and biomorphic forms to confuse and maintain a shifting space where the placements and relationships among these elements appear to be variable and interchangeable that result in an unstable space where the there is no “last” space or background.
In the catalogue essay that Kaneda wrote for After the Fall, Aspects of Abstract Painting since 1970, curated by Lilly Wei, she maintains:
“The painter no longer has to subscribe to imaging the “whole” as a universal truth or law. The “at onceness” that Greenberg coined and defined as a way to experience this phenomenological and philosophical aspect of abstract painting can now be re-interpreted to present a different reality based on our current thoughts regarding the way we view, and think about ourselves. What we can take into account is the way the notion of time and space has altered and abstract painting is not a negation of representation.”
If abstract painting is not a negation of representation, how and what does it represent? These are questions that Kaneda asks the viewer through her paintings that show us a more complex reading of painting’s time and space in the technological age. The playful composition in her work is constructed in a manner that allows the viewer to imagine an indeterminate space that is not fixed which can lead to notions of how our lives and the world are predicated on inconsistencies and paradoxes and that there is no single way to order our understanding. This approach has been at the heart of Kaneda’s work for over two decades. As such, her interest is in revising and regaining abstract painting, not to put it in the forefront, but as a viable and thoughtful practice.
Kaneda has been the recipient of many awards such as the Guggenheim Fellowship for Visual Art, Pollock Krasner Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts. Her work is in the collections of Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Allen Memorial Art Museum, David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, Philip Morris USA, and Sprint International Corporation among others.