Current Exhibition: Overlaid and Underpinned: Essay: Overlaid & Underpinned

(Paolo Arao, Anthony Falcetta, Tim Hallinan, Vanessa Irzyk, Kevin Lucey, Samnang Riebe) 

Being made of physical stuff, and made over time, gives a painting a deep backstory -- a matrix, built of decisions and responses, that first depends on process and eventually comes to direct it. Everything counts and no element is truly lost, because its shape or absence is acknowledged by its replacement. The first thing we see is only the most recent change to the painter's first decision. 

Sometimes the underpinnings are discovered to be the point, and stay in sight from start to end, reinforced and reiterated until they seem to have been inevitable. Other times, the later layers seduce us; the face of the painting becomes a beaded curtain, a wrapper, a peekaboo game, a visible effect that still responds to now-hidden causes. Or, these overlays can be our guides, organizing things, directing us to look deeper, find remnants and rhymes, and make sense for ourselves. 

This show features a group of painters whose work relies on buried information, evolved structures, and superimposed patterns. Their paintings are anchored in the world by their materiality: growing by repeated moves and responses to changes, and depending on the rituals of moving paint around in real space. Yet they offer a painted reality which is augmented, holographic -- a space which painting can claim because of its unique relationships with substance, time, image, and object. These paintings are both/and. 

The pieces included here, while not specifically "about" technology, are aware of its constant presence and its visual vocabularies, and rely on similar tensions between material and symbolic, physical and pictorial, structural and graphical, accumulated and instantaneous. Heads-up displays, videogames, app-based colors and shapes, finger-swipe erasures, glitched GIFs, pixelated images, hovering scaffolds of text and pattern -- these emissaries from dataspace are absorbed into abstract paintspace like chair-caning into a Picasso. The underpinnings and over-layers of these works coexist in a way that preserves and elaborates, and so they achieve a breath and pulse which are elegantly engineered and also beautifully human. 

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I'm so pleased to have made the acquaintance of the other artists in this group during the last year or so, whether "on Insta" or IRL. Thanks to each and all for their enthusiasm and conversation, their gorgeous and complex work, and their willingness to share it in this online project. Cheers! 

Anthony Falcetta (curator) 

Winter, 2017