Anders Oinonen - After After
Jen Levonian, project space
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CTRL gallery is pleased to present After After, an exhibition of new paintings by Toronto based artist Anders Oinonen.
Oinonen is getting some well deserved attention this Fall season, his work being included in exciting group shows in New York (Deitch Projects, Conceptual Figures) and London (Max Wigram Gallery, Mail Order Monsters). For his concurrent solo exhibition at CTRL in Houston, he will exhibit 12 new paintings.
There is a refreshing clarity and immediacy to Oinonen’s work, but there's also a measure of ambiguity. Smart paint handling and unlikely color combinations create arrangements of dimensional forms and planes that require a bit of visual decoding to be seen for what they are. Jutting planks, dripping blobs and thick foggy masses coalesce into faces. Before you see these faces, it's possible to read the paintings as abstracted landscapes or still-lifes, but once you put the parts together and the faces emerge, it's pretty much impossible to un-see them.
But Oinonen's work isn't about illusion or trickery or gimmickry, it's about his obsession with painting. By tethering himself to the most recognizable and elemental visual structure, the human face, he affords himself plenty of room for painterly improvisation. Within these generous parameters Oinonen is able to revel in the physical qualities of paint, while at the same time referencing art historical moments from Cubism to Norse sculpture.
Oinonen received his MFA in 2004 from the University of Waterloo. He has received emerging artist grants from the Toronto and Ontario Arts Councils.
Also on view are new video animations by Philadelphia based artist Jen Levonian. Levonian’s offbeat humor and keen sense for social satire shine through in her animated narratives, most of which have an autobiographical element. Her attention to the mundane details of American life and her innate gift for storytelling find perfect form in these wonderfully made works. Levonian will also exhibit several paintings, cells from the making of the animations.
Levonian received her MFA in 2007 from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has recently completed residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts and Skowhegan.