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Stretching Painting

June 21 – August 3, 2012

James Hyde, Enfold, 2002-2012

James Hyde

Enfold, 2002-2012

Archival inkjet print on glazed porcelain

12.5 x 9 x 1 inches (31.8 x 22.9 x 2.5 cm)

Hilary Harnischfeger, Alice, 2012

Hilary Harnischfeger

Alice, 2012

Paper, ink, plaster, ceramic, crushed glass, and quartz

10 x 10 x 4.5 inches (25.4 x 25.4 x 11.4 cm)

Alex Kwartler, Artisanal Affinities (green, brown, purple), 2012

Alex Kwartler

Artisanal Affinities (green, brown, purple), 2012

Plaster and acrylic on plywood

96 x 48 inches (243.8 x 121.9 cm)

Sarah Cain

Sarah Cain

Balls to the Wall, 2012

Acrylic, ribbon, and screws on canvas

88 x 100 x 3 inches (223.5 x 254 x 7.6 cm)

Jim Lee

Jim Lee

Fleur du Mal (Scattered Remains), 2011

Oil enamel, paint shavings, and sawdust on wood

28 x 18 x 5 inches (71.1 x 45.7 x 12.7 cm)

Lauren Luloff, Flame Violet and Golden, 2012

Lauren Luloff

Flame Violet and Golden, 2012

Oil, bleached bed sheets, and fabric on muslin

82 x 57 inches (208.3 x 144.8 cm)

Donald Moffett, Lot 051912 (the cobalt quad), 2012

Donald Moffett

Lot 051912 (the cobalt quad), 2012

Oil on linen with wood panel support with cast iron flanges, common black pipe, and hardware

19 x 19 x 21.25 inches (48.3 x 48.3 x 54 cm)

Gabriel Pionkowski, Untitled, 2011

Gabriel Pionkowski

Untitled, 2011

Deconstructed, hand-painted and woven canvas, pine, acrylic, and wood joiners

49 x 39 inches (124.5 x 99.1 cm)

Kate Shepherd

Kate Shepherd

Central Park, 0975, 2012

Cut plywood and acrylic paint

23.5 x 17.25 inches (59.7 x 43.8 cm)

Press Release

Patrick Brennan, Sarah Cain, Hilary Harnischfeger, James Hyde, Alex Kwartler, Jim Lee, Lauren Luloff, Donald Moffett, Gabriel Pionkowski, & Kate Shepherd

Curated by Veronica Roberts

Galerie Lelong is pleased to 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.

For Donald Moffett, Jim Lee, and Alex Kwartler, the wall and surrounding space of the gallery are as much a support for their paintings as the surfaces upon which they paint. Stretching Painting presents two of Moffett’s newest pipe paintings, canvases covered in thickets of brushstrokes and attached to the wall by industrial pipes, prompted by the artist’s self-professed desire “to get painting off the wall.” Many of Lee’s paintings in the exhibition also extend from the wall or are cut in ways that reveal it. In his work, staples, stretcher bars, and other elements typically relegated to the edges or backs of painting become essential compositional devices. Kwartler’s two recent paintings are made on standard plywood panels purchased at New York lumberyards that the artist painted in large swathes of pink, green, and lavender-tinted Venetian plaster in the fleeting moments before the plaster dried. Belying their modest construction-industry origins, the paintings have a sumptuous presence and deftly fuse support, mark, and surface.

Patrick Brennan and Lauren Luloff both use fabric extensively in their large paintings, which they construct piece by piece like collages. In Brennan’s Boomtown (2012), the canvas is a support for eclectic materials including hand-dyed store-bought fabric, but also for three smaller paintings that he affixed to the surface. Luloff’s painting, Flame Violet and Golden (2012) is composed of torn bed sheets and other fabrics that she painted and bleached with patterns inspired by objects in her studio and traditional Indian block print textiles. Although the painting appears loosely rendered, it requires the same meticulous investment of labor as the Indian textiles she invokes.

In treating painting as a hybrid, open practice that combines elements of painting, sculpture, collage, and installation art, the artists in Stretching Painting extend a distinguished historical trajectory associated with minimal and post-minimal art, while expanding our sense of what painting can be.

Stretching Painting is curated by Veronica Roberts, a New York-based curator and Sol LeWitt scholar. Her recent exhibitions include Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt at the Craig F. Starr Gallery, New York (2011) and Lee Bontecou: All Freedom in Every Sense at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010).

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