Elise Ansel • Dotty Attie • Gabrielle Bakker • Kathleen Gilje • Jeff Grant • Hai-Hsin Huang • Andy Harper • Aaron Krach • Karen Lederer • Chason Matthams • Shelley Reed • Mia Rosenthal • Betty Woodman
January 6 – February 4, 2017
Danese/Corey is pleased to present Referenced, an exhibition consisting of works in a range of mediums by thirteen contemporary artists who, at various times and to differing degrees throughout their careers, have turned to the history of art to reinvigorate and reimagine significant concepts or individual works that have had an impact on their lives and careers.
Elise Ansel transforms the visual languages of neoclassicism and the Renaissance into a fresh iteration of Abstract Expressionist sensibility. Her physically charged paintings recapture the spontaneity of Franz Kline, the vivid palette of de Kooning, and the intense, often disquieting visual poetry of Joan Mitchell.
Dotty Attie uses precise painterly reproductions of Old Master works, in this case George de la Tour, reinterpreting the original by the inclusion of selected details. Attie often rearranges a large canvas, or canvases, into a series of significantly smaller squares and incorporates text panels, spurring an association of her art to comic strip narratives.
In her series “48 Portraits: Sargent’s Women, Restored,” Kathleen Gilje investigates Sargent’s portraits of affluent society women of society, stripping them bare — literally — to reveal the underlying nature of the women depicted. Without the defining accoutrements of wealth and position, they become everywoman, and at the same time more clearly themselves.
The work of Jeff Grant is forthright in its perplexity. Every piece he creates centers on concealment, the ambiguous presence, forcing the viewer to engage in a search. In his Creation series, Grant incorporates reproductions of Hieronymus Bosch’s Creation, the image which appears on the closed panels of Bosch’s renowned The Garden of Earthly Delights, c.1490-1510. …as Grant describes it, his work "deals with ambiguities and over-determinations inherent in or applied to familiar images and forms.” [Dirk Vanduffel, 2016]
Andy Harper’s Water Gate is a reinterpretation of the Japanese master printer Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s Chinese Warrior Zhang Shun Smashes a Water Gate, 1827-30. Harper’s painting retains a sense of the ferocious turmoil in the original, converting it into a painting of sustained beauty and elegance.
Aaron Krach’s installation piece includes woodcuts, wall text and specially printed newspapers which relate to the sale of Paul Gauguin’s Nafea faa ipoipo, 1892 at auction to an unidentified buyer in Qatar. Prior to the sale, the Gauguin had been in the same family for 98 years and on loan to the Kunstmuseum Basel for 68 years. The installation is in part an homage to the original painting, and an exploration of the meanings of loss and possession.
Karen Lederer seeks to create environments that read as constructed and artificial, a formal reflection of what she describes as an “Instagram aesthetic” – images that claim a degree of privacy and intimacy yet are ultimately composed and curated. She became interested in the friendship between Matisse and Picasso, and began incorporating imagery from their work as a way to include herself in that conversation. [Nate Jones, 2016]
Chason Matthams uses contemporary and historical combinations in surprising juxtapositions. Matthams constructs these narratives by appropriating or alluding to various tropes and figures of historical and pop cultural imagery. He finds most of his images online, a relatively open aesthetic space where he encounters his subjects out of context, with no discrimination between time periods, artistic style, or elevated notions of the creator as artist, designer, etc… Playfulness and discontent go hand in hand in Mattham’s works. [E. Hilsenrath, 2015]
Shelley Reed appropriates the work of Jean-Baptiste Oudry, the gifted French Rococo painter and naturalist, whose accurately detailed hunt portraits of animals and birds brought him to the court of Louis XV. Her use of his image of a fallen bird, "restores" its spirit in sumptuous, heroic scale.
Mia Rosenthal's finely limned, intricate drawing juxtaposes Paleolithic art and the cave paintings of Lascaux with Hubble telescope images–an eternity of time and distance merged into a singular demonstration of the human capacity for mystical experience and aesthetic and scientific invention.
Betty Woodman's tableaux, consisting of large scale ceramic vases and two-dimensional painting, are inspired most notably by Matisse. But throughout her brilliant career, the delicate colors of Fra Angelico, the sensuality of Gauguin and Bonnard, have been brought into unexpected, fully transformed works of individual expression.
This exhibition was conceived and curated by gallery colleague Brent Auxier.