The New Gallery of Modern Art is pleased to present our first solo show with Brian T. Leahy and welcome him back to the Charlotte area. As a Davidson College graduate, his work will be familiar to many. For Easy Colors Brian will create a site-specific, pseudo-domestic, three-dimensional wallpaper installation for one of our 14-foot high walls along with more modestly-scaled works on paper and paintings.
He describes the varied works of art that make up Easy Colors as:
...a continuation of my interest in the relationship between painting and the domestic environment. At the New Gallery of Modern Art, I am specifically focused on wallpaper, and how it might relate to painting in both compositional and conceptual terms. I am also particularly concerned with the life of a painting, its networks and afterlives, something that both the installation and the works on paper reflect. The show is a story, in some sense, about what paintings might observe, what they might uphold, and how they might disappear from view.
His recent body of work engages directly with the relationship between painting and the domestic environment. Experiences as a finish carpenter and a stint working amongst the high-end interior design showrooms of Chicago's Merchandise Mart have fostered a fascination with the materials of domestic environments - wallpaper, molding, drywall - and led to an exploration of the cultural and aspirational resonances these materials evoke. In some works, a repetitive floral motif evokes nostalgic emotions of safety and comfort while also serving as simplified marks through which he explores painterly strategies. In others, the use of wallpaper to make paintings confuses the relationship between the painting and its environment, and disrupts distinctions between high and low.
Opening reception with the artist:
Thursday, July 13, 2017, 6-8pm.
Gallery Conversation with the artist and
Jessica Gaynelle Moss, Creative Director, Gantt Center:
Saturday, July 15, 2017, 11am-12:30pm.
Brian's work has been featured in numerous exhibitions in Chicago and throughout North Carolina, and is found in private collections across the country. In addition, his work is in public collections at Davidson College, the Joan Flasch Artist's Book Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Design Museum.
Brian is an artist and writer in Chicago. After receiving a bachelor's degree in studio art and Buddhist studies from Davidson College and then spending time in Charlotte and Asheville, he relocated to Chicago, where he earned a master's degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently, he is studying for a doctorate in art history at Northwestern University.