Brian Morris Gallery is pleased to present “Genius of Love”, a group exhibition featuring 7 artists. This show includes Rick Briggs, Jaqueline Cedar, Farrell Brickhouse, Shara Hughes, EJ Hauser, Emily Noelle Lambert and Andrea Belag. The title bears the same name as the Tom Tom Club’s song of 80s. The new wave group’s album covers often captured a wild, playful figuration meets abstraction. The paintings in this show run the gambit of painterly approaches with seasoned painters like Briggs, Brickhouse and Belag sharing room with a younger, unrestrained generation of painters. And collectively, the works allude to painting as love – romantic, aggressive, sensual, playful and transcendent.
Many of these works relish in hybrid painting techniques and varied paint handling. Rick Briggs painting Transcendence highlights a moment of near spiritual ecstasy. Briggs uses spray paint, oil and pencil to render multi-colored bands, dot patterns and a white silhouetted figure with neon green beams that emit from the forehead. In kind, Emily Noelle Lambert’s abstract painting Break In moves the eye inward and outward with striking patterns that create a shallow visual depth. Using a radial motif on a rectangular format Lambert’s soft, geometric imagery reads as densely layered passageways.
EJ Hauser’s works are decidedly expressive and often bear text or paper on canvas. Her piece Moonflower 02 is an atmospheric, glowing text-based painting. Moonflowers’ are short-lived species that only bloom in the night. In this work, subtly veiled behind white text, is a patterned ovoid form of deep blues, greens and reds. Shara Hughes paints imaginary interiors/exteriors that explore the material possibilities of paint. Her vivid painting, Curtain Forest invites the viewer into a lush, green thicket. The branches peel back to display a small, glowing open doorway.
Farrell Brickhouse’s intimate figurative paintings are full of brief gestures and highly nuanced color. His piece, Entanglement – Under Cherry Red Stars portrays two lovers in a pinkish, red field under a rainbow. The two bodies enmesh. Brickhouse uses nearly indecipherable hues to blur figure and ground resulting in a highly emotional work that figuratively and formally “entangles.”
Jaqueline Cedar’s psychological, figurative paintings advance and recede in abstracted space. Her paintings simultaneously explore cerebral environments and translucent, washy mark making. Andrea Belag’s sensual, abstract paintings unravel like theater curtains and often resemble enclosures. Fire Drill is an intense painting that bisects the canvas. Here Belag uses broad sweeping strokes of deep reds, dark blues and pale yellows that draw the eye into the intimate center.
“Genius of Love” brings together a group of contemporary abstract and figurative painters whose works reference everything from psychological states of mind to emotionally-charged atmospheres.
“Genius of Love”
Curated by Jason Stopa
May 22 – June 23, 2013
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 30th 6-8pm
Brian Morris Gallery
163 Chrystie Street
New York, New York 10002