Reception: Thursday, February 23 6-8pm
Morgan Bulkeley, Kirsten Deirup, Satoru Eguchi, Liam Everett, Patty Fabricant,
Blaze Lamper, Cotter Luppi, Joshua Marsh, Oona Ratcliffe, Cary Smith,
S. Clay Wilson, Chris Zitelli
Morgan Lehman is pleased to announce "MetLife," curated by Geoffrey Young, a group show of drawings and paintings featuring twelve apostles of contemporary art as different from each other as neighborhoods are in a huge metropolis. These twelve artists share in the belief that value resides in the particularizing specificity of each inventive hand.
Hovering over this show, like the two words collapsed into one neon sign that towers over Grand Central Station, is a concern for the time-defying issues of lucidity and touch. What preoccupies these artists is their hunger to elicit vitality and pleasure in a visual experience from the careful working of surface. The sustained attention of these trained eyes is a gift we can all share.
What experience doesn’t belong to the city? What life can’t be found here? Every dream has its dreamer, every mark its maker. The flooded nocturnes of Liam Everett; the delicate grotesqueries of Kirsten Deirup; the jagged, elegiac, colored-pencil architectures of Cotter Luppi; the haunted graphite forest pathways of Blaze Lamper: all derive from the imaginative response to actual conditions as felt in today’s world. That goes as well for Satoru Eguchi’s suite of almost visitable ‘scapes (imagine coming upon them in the East River, or in the Pacific Ocean), Patty Fabricant’s stunning wood-grain topographies, and Morgan Bulkeley’s one-shot narratives that tell domestic stories in the context of bird-life, battles at sea, and construction sites.
If Joshua Marsh concentrates his visual miracles on tradition’s venerable table-top, exploring painting’s undying concern with light, object, and color, then Chris Zitelli’s exacting iterations remind us that all representations are a function of choice; that each artist’s motif is a construct; that "the real" is a convention that can be manipulated at will. S. Clay Wilson’s libidinous outrages, famous for thirty years, are no less outrageous for belonging to cartoon culture’s Zap elite. And, when it comes to color and line, Cary Smith and Oona Ratcliffe exemplify radically different uses of the paintbox. What Smith empties out with getting his story told in the Klein-blue mappings of his signature shapes, Ratcliffe fills up with close-valued riots of sensuous tonality.
These twelve artists point the viewer in twelve directions, each visual jaunt inviting us to take the challenge, see art through specific eyes, be amazed at the range and richness of what is being made by hand in today’s metropolitan studio culture.
For images and information, please contact the gallery at 212-268-6699, or visit our website www.morganlehmangallery.com.
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm and by appointment.
Copyright 2003 Geoffrey
Young. All Rights Reserved