Brian Belott and Torey Thornton
Untitled Ad for Stew Show, 2015
Straw, cotton, acrylic paint, felt, spray paint, foam,
wood, and metal hardware
(approximately 81 x 48.5 in. / 205.8 x 123.2 cm)
Some Stew You Got Inside Your Plastic…
OHWOW Gallery is pleased to announce Some Stew You Got Inside Your Plastic Bag, and You Always Organize The Parts So Close, a group exhibition curated by Torey Thornton, presenting work by Brian Belott, Eric Mack, and Noam Rappaport.
Several things occurred to me, almost subconsciously, when I first approached the idea of pairing Brian, Eric, and Noam together for this exhibition. Slowly, ideas and conversations between the works began to present themselves. They all make fairly unconventional paintings, but I was originally drawn to each artist’s individual use of color and exploration of materials. All of them are colorists in their own right. They experiment and merge various values and hues in ways that may feel alien to viewers, but upon further inspection, there’s a comfort in these risks. Following shortly after my recognition of individualized color palettes, was noticing their shared interest in unorthodox surfaces and irregular shaping, whether inside the picture and playing with the outside edge, or the actual outside edge of the painting being irregular. While these relationships are present, there are clearly various conversations held between the works when together in one space.
I’ve developed a slight fascination with the recent dialogue surrounding painting. A conversation that feels unhealthy to the evolution of the medium. Some very blanket statements, based on complete assumptions, attempt to quickly categorize artists. Separating or organizing “styles” of work into zones, lump works together that don’t necessarily belong together, or alters the artist’s intention. I imagine that this has gone on since the beginning of art history. So, to tightly categorize pieces by Brian, Eric, or Noam feels even more inappropriate now. I will state that I generally consider all the pieces in this show Abstractions. Even Brian’s painting (Brome, Rome, Chrome, 2014) of a bowl of fruit can seem realistic at first, but it actually explores the degradation of image through color, shape, and in this case, text – these visual tools further distort the way in which our brain generally perceives a picture. This is abstraction, by definition.
With all of these things in mind, how separated are these works formally and conceptually, while still communicating? How strange or surprising can relationships be while still having a comfortable dialogue? Although startling relationships will always arise, these works present a revitalizing breath that demands ambiguity in defining one piece to the next. The ingredients, exploration, and knowledge of the past sit somewhere far past the common current.
– Torey Thornton, February, 2015
Brian Belott (b. 1973, East Orange, NJ) has had solo exhibitions at Canada, NY; Zurcher Studio NY/ Paris; and LOYAL, Malmo. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Gavin Brown Enterprises; Zach Feuer; and The Journal. Belott has been mentioned in publications such as The New York Times; Artforum; and the Village Voice. His work is included in MoMA’s permanent collection.
Eric Mack (b. 1987, Columbia, MD) received a BFA from Cooper Union, an MFA from Yale University in 2012. He was a recent resident at the Skowheghan School of Painting and Sculpture, and is a current resident at the The Studio Museum in Harlem. Mack’s work has been included in exhibitions at David Zwirner, NY; Elaine Levy Projects, Brussels; and Mason Gross Galleries at Rutgers University, NJ.
Noam Rappaport (b. 1974, Sweden) received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts, NY, in 1997. He has had solo exhibitions at James Fuentes Gallery, NY; Ratio 3, San Francisco; and White Columns, NY. Rappaport has also been included in group exhibitions at Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles; Brand New Gallery, Milan; and Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles.