curated by Paul Brainard
Greenberg Van Doren Gallery is pleased to present Breed, a group exhibition, curated by Paul Brainard, featuring paintings by Duncan Hannah, Erika Keck, Eddie Martinez, and Jansson Stegner. The exhibition will be on view from July 11th to August 24th, 2012.
Breed explores the complimentary relationship between the methodology of music composition and visual art. This exhibition focuses on the rapport between figurative and representational paintings with the musical qualities of pianissimo, softness, and fortissimo, loudness. Breed references a song by Nirvana, a band whose work typifies the contrast and combination of loud and soft tones. The exhibition translates these terms usually found in sound-based applications into a comparable visual vocabulary. Highlighting the inherent dynamism in music where undulating sounds create a stretch between emotions, the juxtaposition of these paintings aims to present a similarly energetic dichotomy.
Duncan Hannah and Jansson Stegner represent the pianissimo sector of this exhibition with their figurative subject matter and classical application of oil paint to linen or canvas. Hannah’s canvases often show women in various states of undress or in wistful landscapes often influenced by cinematic frames or references. Stegner’s elongated bodies, often positioned in dramatic interior environments, create a heightened sensibility of the body and its relationship to space. These figures highlight a form of contemporary portraiture rooted in historical iconography.
Embodying the fortissimo component are Erika Keck and Eddie Martinez. Generating works established in material-based abstraction, with the figure as the point of departure, these works draw attention to themselves through vibrant colors and distinctive surfaces. For Keck the material and surface are one. Using cut and peeled sheets of acrylic paint Keck constructs and assembles layered portraits suggestive of both faces and full corporeal figures. Martinez’s rough and expressive canvases with thick impasto markings and bold colors reference both graffiti and academic still life arrangements. By deconstructing recognizable imagery, these artists challenge the traditional definition of figurative work.
Using different technical approaches, all of these artists play with a certain psychological energy derived from contemporary figurative painting. Various formal relations between the pianissimo and fortissimo works emerge from the visual rhymes present regarding the figure, color and composition. The vivacious harmonies between loud and soft sounds in a musical score create an animated and active listening experience; Breed presents paintings with these tonal qualities that produce an equally engaging viewing experience while showcasing the expansive range of figurative and representational art.