Installation Views

 42q9030 1400 133x0x2564x1708 q85 42q9013 1400 0x7x2784x1855 q85 42q9014 1400 0x7x2751x1835 q85 42q9035 1400 0x0x2808x1872 q85 42q9039 1400 33x0x2723x1811 q85 42q9020 1400 0x7x2762x1839 q85 42q9040 1400 7x0x2760x1842 q85 42q9026 1400 0x0x2796x1864 q85

Works

Ak7311 cal codexhead crop 1400 74x55x2021x1346 q85Ak7279 cal onaplane crop 1400 0x0x2131x1423 q85Ak7280 cal auroraborealis crop 1400 0x0x2168x1447 q85Ak7278 cal eternalreturn 1400 398x0x2230x1485 q85Ak6930 cal altacalifornia crop 1400 0x225x1918x1281 q85Ak7274 cal sceneiveknown crop 1400 0x0x2132x1422 q85Ak7313 cal headwithstuffcanwithhand crop 1400 0x49x1501x1002 q85

Press Release

HEAD
December 10, 2009 –
January 16, 2010

December 9, New York—A group of paintings by L.A.-based artist Brian Calvin, making a subtle turn from his previous work, will be on view for his third solo show at Anton Kern Gallery through January 16, 2010. After establishing himself as a painter of “pausing-as-an-activity,” Calvin now, in this new body of works entitled “Head,” concentrates on the face as a picture of the mind with the eyes being its interpreter. Noting the singular case of the title, the viewer has been tipped off about entering an exhibition concerned with a state of mind rather than portrait painting.

 

With a minimum of modeling of the facial features and backgrounds – achieving an almost Japanese allegorical flatness – the canvas is divided into clear shapes of sunlight-drenched colors, often exaggerating eyes and lips, revealing brushstrokes mainly for their chromatic values and occasionally for expressive accents. Eyelids are heavy under rainbows of eye-shadow, lips glossy and inviting, and sometimes, as if longing for that cooling drink, slightly split open revealing an orange, oblong-shaped tongue. Itʼs the eyes though, that are the most arresting in these new works, as if to say, once you look at me I will look back and not let go! Gazing at someone says much about the relation between the observer and the observed; and about the relations, between and among, the subjects of the gaze and about the circumstance of the gazing. Calvin remarks that he sits “with them…painting what seem like masks until they start to look back at me.” In this case then, one could even say that the gaze does not belong to the subject, the viewer, any longer, but, rather, to the object of the gaze, the painting.

 

Calvin as the painter of the contemplative life, of paintings in which the figure appears as the non-figurative, makes the act of looking the new narrative. This certainly demands more of the viewer since the paintings refuse to offer any additional narrative structure, but then a reward is offered, a glimpse at unrelenting beauty, tenderness, and the splendor of truth.

Read MoreRead Less
PDF

Press