KLOWDEN MANN is proud to announce our participation in SPRING/BREAK Art Show from February 28th through March 6th, with a solo presentation by gallery artist Srijon Chowdhury, entitled When our eyes touch. SPRING/BREAK Art Show is an internationally recognized exhibition platform using underused historic New York City spaces to activate and challenge the traditional cultural landscape of the art market, taking place during 2017 Armory Arts Week. In this 6th year of the show, over 100 independent curators and 10 special projects will exhibit work of artists surrounding the theme Black Mirror, with exhibitions spanning the 22nd and 23rd floors of the 4 Times Square building. When our eyes touch will be presented in rooms 2204 and 2205 on the 22nd floor.
In When our eyes touch, Chowdhury expands upon the series of oil paintings exhibited in his 2016 solo show at KLOWDEN MANN—intimate portraits and everyday moments with his friends and family over the past two years. The works are made on linen through the application of thinly-layered oil pigment, often finished with varnish. Figures fade in and out of the background and can be difficult to see until the viewer’s eyes adjust. The people populating Chowdhury’s paintings are solitary even when shown in a public setting, viewed during moments in time that feel (perhaps romantically) contrary to the stimulation to which we are constantly exposed in contemporary life.
The first of two exhibition rooms shows six versions of the painting “Anna drying her hair on towels hanging from our bedroom door", each created in a slightly distinct color tone, with small variations in figuration and composition. Repetition is a strategy Chowdhury uses frequently in his work, often to examine the changes and removal that occur with each re-telling of history. For him, this is a concept rooted in the experience of overlap and disjunction, and one that questions the veracity of both sight and memory. In this instance however, the repetition is a vulnerable one for the artist; Anna is Chowdhury’s partner, and embracing this technique with a representation of her becomes a meditation on intimacy as much as history.
The second room of the exhibition widens the view to include other characters in Chowdhury’s life. We seen Anna again, laying on her back in what could be ecstasy or exhaustion and paired with an image of the artist’s hand drawing a bust, but we also see Katy, Broc, Andreas. The technique alternates between lush—the fabric of a dress, the rise and fall of a ribcage—and rough, as hands become shapes, and faces recede into varnish and gesture. Appearing in the moments before a conscious narrative can be born by the subject, they exist as part of a narrative composed by the artist. As such, they become a fiction of intimacy, and an intimacy of fiction, while remaining an open expression of the artist’s life.
Srijon Chowdhury (b. 1987 Bangladesh) received his MFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2013. Intended to act in the space between knowledge and emotion, his dream-like oil paintings consider the present moment as part of a larger, intuited (perhaps mythic) history. Chowdhury has exhibited in Los Angeles at KLOWDEN MANN, The Torrance Art Museum, Jaus, Launch Gallery and Helen Bolsky Gallery; at Vox Populi in Philadelphia, in Chicago at Sector 2337, in Miami at Fredric Snitzer Gallery, at Roberta Pelan in Toronto, Canada, and at The Gallery in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Chowdhury divides his time between Los Angeles, CA and Portland, OR, and is represented by KLOWDEN MANN and Upfor Gallery.