New York, 12 January – 16 February 2019
Van Hanos | Allison Katz | Jill Mulleady | Jeanette Mundt | Nolan Simon | Issy Wood
Lisson Gallery is pleased to present ‘The Rest’, a group exhibition exploring a generation of artists that employ figurative painting as well as concomitantly capricious and complex approaches to image making, featuring the work of Van Hanos, Allison Katz, Jill Mulleady, Jeanette Mundt, Nolan Simon and Issy Wood. In an era when images are created and exchanged without premeditation or hesitation, and reproductions are ubiquitous, the artists in the show destabilize traditional notions of a singular aesthetic or artistic identity. Their use of imagery wrestles with the history of figuration, whether resuscitating historical trends to then thwart them, or finding altogether new avenues to engage. Their fresh approach to painting pushes our expectations while challenging the staid perceptions about representation and what the medium ‘should be’.
Van Hanos’s approach to painting is varied, united almost entirely by its stylistic unpredictability. Ranging from landscape to portraiture, recent work continues to explore perceptual shifts and thematic rupture. Portrait of our Mother as a Mountain (2018) represents two views of the same mountain range, one at sunrise and one at sunset, painted by Hanos during a camping trip in Big Bend National Park. Hanos recently relocated from New York to Marfa, Texas and here he depicts a section of the nearby Chisos Mountains described as the “The Window” for its views of the lowlands of Mexico. Painted as an homage to his mother, the mountains represent Hanos and his twin brother—united metaphorically despite their real-life physical distance—and its vivid, expressive colors evoke both the natural beauty and the raw emotion experienced in situ. Figure Eight (2018) portrays a similar reverence, however its blurred focus intentionally challenges any straightforward tribute to the nude couple depicted. The image is taken from an in-focus photograph, which Hanos then paints to appear in motion, creating a visual strain on the eye and an intriguing optical illusion. The viewer may attempt to move towards the painting for clarification, only to find it unavailable.
Allison Katz similarly avoids formal or factual coherence, instead using opposing tones and visual non-sequiturs across a single body of work. 21st of January, 2011 (2018) presents the view from the 20th floor of The Century on Central Park West in New York as seen in January 2011. This scene is the apartment owned by a friend of the artist with whom Katz stayed over a period of six months. By revisiting this cinematic outdoor terrace in four paintings over the past five years, the artist expresses a personal history and significance, however the origin or extent is left to the imagination of the viewer. Memory is further complicated by the depiction of dramatic architectural framing, culled from the Museum of Science and Technology in Shanghai.Read more
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