For the 2019 edition of Frieze New York, Garth Greenan Gallery presents a group exhibition of signature works by gallery artists Rosalyn Drexler, Mark Greenwold, Gladys Nilsson, Alexis Smith, and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith.
Appropriating imagery from popular journals and other printed matter, Rosalyn Drexler transforms otherwise prosaic images by adding bright pigments and creating new contexts. Cutting reproductions from magazines, Drexler fixes her strategically selected images to canvas and overpaints the resulting collage, thereby eliminating the visual trace of the underlying, mechanically reproduced images.
Mark Greenwold's famously laborious process mirrors the psychological intensity of his paintings. The artist works under magnification, like a jeweler, employing the tiniest of brushes. He builds up the surfaces stroke by stroke, all the while flipping between various preparatory photographs and drawings. The result is a kind of delirious realism in which everything portrayed, however realistic, is actually composed of thousands upon thousands of beautiful abstractions.
The works included by Gladys Nilsson—a selection of small paintings created between 1971–1973 and a monumental canvas from 2018—are unique within the larger context of her oeuvre. Like many of her paintings, they are densely layered and meticulously constructed. They all focus on similar aspects of human sexuality and its inherent ridiculousness. Their female subjects are unabashedly themselves and, as usual, appear calmly indifferent to their many male “admirers.” These works show periods of innovation for the artist, whose primary medium of choice has long been watercolor on paper.
Combining images, objects, and texts rescued from the detritus of popular culture—pulp novels of the 1940s and 1950s, postcards, road maps, movie stills, and advertising art—into witty, often sardonic statements, Alexis Smith examines and remakes what can be seen as America's soul. The artist is one of the natural heiresses to the spirit of Dada and Pop and the art of assemblagists such as Joseph Cornell.
Lastly, the presentation will include one of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s monumental Trade Canoe paintings, a series she began in the early-’90s. Smith recalls her father’s stories from childhood of older Native Americans—survivors, scarred from accepting blankets and other provisions from settlers in canoes. It was under the guise of “trade” that colonizers dealt many of their deadliest blows, from smallpox to land theft.
Garth Greenan Gallery will also participate in a tribute to the pioneering non-profit New York arts organization Just Above Midtown (JAM) with a presentation of works by Howardena Pindell. Curated by Franklin Sirmans (Director, Perez Art Museum Miami), this section pays homage to JAM’s founder, Linda Goode Bryant. Formerly the Director of Education at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Bryant founded JAM in 1974. JAM pioneered the early work of now world-renowned African-American contemporary artists, providing a much-needed platform for these artists to show and sell their work in New York during that time.
On display in our booth are a series of works by Howardena Pindell from the mid-1970s. In her Video Drawings, she captures televised sports and news broadcasts beneath transparencies marked with her signature abstract systems of lines, numbers, arrows, and dots. The marks do not signify the measurement of space; however, their placement is enhanced relative to the movement of the image on the television screen. The Video Drawings series represent the artist’s earliest experimentations with photography, as well as her first attempts at combining both figurative and abstract imagery.
Pindell’s work often employs lengthy, metaphorical processes of destruction/reconstruction. Concurrently with her photography practice, she would cut canvases in various shapes and sew them back together, building up surfaces in elaborate stages with the use of hole punches, paint, and other non-traditional materials. Untitled (1976) is a key example of this innovative time in the artist's career.
Pindell's most recent and comprehensive retrospective exhibition, What Remains to be Seen, curated by Naomi Beckwith and Valerie Cassel Oliver, is on view at the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts through May 19, 2019.
Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to represent Rosalyn Drexler, Mark Greenwold, Gladys Nilsson, Howardena Pindell, Alexis Smith, and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith.