Galerie Lelong will present Stretching Painting, an exhibition featuring the work of ten artists who engage "supporting" elements of painting, such as the frame, the wall, stretchers and hanging devices, as critical components of their work.
Thinking beyond the traditional notion of painting as paint on canvas, many of the artists in this exhibition also expand the possibilities of support. In lieu of using canvas alone, they incorporate and combine hand-woven and hand-dyed textiles, porcelain, and an array of other handmade and found materials in unexpected and exciting ways. While wide-ranging in their interests and methods, the artists of Stretching Painting all demonstrate a deep investment in materiality, labor, and process, part of a stimulating tendency manifest in all aspects of contemporary culture today.
Paintings by Hilary Harnischfeger, James Hyde, and Kate Shepherd featured in the exhibition blur the distinction between surface and support. Both Harnischfeger and Hyde present ceramic-based paintings that also confound categorization. Harnischfeger’s three small wall-mounted reliefs are multi-layered abstractions made of stacked pieces of hand-dyed paper and stones embedded in plaster and ceramic. Similarly, Hyde’s diminutive porcelain paintings combine painting, photography, and ceramic in lively, unorthodox ways. Shepherd presents new work from a series of stained-wood paintings marked by irregular fissures that she refers to as puzzle paintings. In this body of work, surface and support are unified, as the artist extends her investigation of place with line--here cut, rather than painted.
Sarah Cain and Gabriel Pionkowski both deconstruct and reconstruct their canvases. In Cain’s large painting, Balls to the Wall (2012), circles are painted, cut out to reveal the stretcher bar lattice beneath, and suspended from the top of the painting with different colors on their reversible sides. Pionkowski’s process, by contrast, uses a loom. Unraveling canvas into discrete strands by hand, he paints each deconstructed string individually and then weaves the strands back together in a labor-intensive fashion that harnesses the poetic potential of loss and renewal.
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