VALERIE HEGARTY | JACKIE GENDEL
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CTRL gallery is pleased to present new works by Jackie Gendel and Valerie Hegarty.
Jackie Gendel's world is peopled with gentle, placid expressions. The psychology is slight, with emotions ranging from ever-so-forlorn to barely intimidated to almost happy. This depiction of nascent emotion creates an interesting sort of tension that contrasts perfectly with her intelligent, self-questioning style.
In this new series of paintings, Gendel introduces a certain degree of stylistic variety. Most of the paintings continue her sophisticated experiment in creating images out of the process of painting itself. In these works, she paints and over-paints, obliterating layers of imagery in the process, while willfully leaving vestiges of the painting's earlier states. Other paintings seem more traditional, depicting groups of friends and families in portrait mode, with a lesser degree of erasure and obliteration. In all of these new works, Gendel displays her perfect understanding of all that has lead up to the current state of painting, synthesizing figuration and abstraction in a way that continues to be aggressively relevant.
The New York Times has described Gendel's painting as "smart and sensuous". In an Art In America review, she has been called a "fearless" painter and she reminds a critic at The New Yorker of the elegant economy of Alex Katz. Gendel has had solo exhibitions at Jeff Bailey Gallery in New York and Mixture Contemporary in Houston. She has been an artist in residence at the Macdowell Colony and The Atlantic Center for the Arts and recently was awarded an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her works belongs to many public and private collections including the Wadsworth Athenaeum and The Progressive Collection. Gendel received her MFA from Yale University in 1998. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
In her current exhibition, Incoming Fog, Valerie Hegarty re-creates iconic American paintings by artists such as Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Winslow Homer, Gilbert Stuart and Charles Wilson Peale, offering various scenarios for the physical deterioration of a work of art. This simulated decay, achieved entirely with archival art materials, walks the line between delightfully obvious fakeness and uncanny realness.
A variety of fates have befallen a series of paintings of the instantly recognizable and highly symbolic George Washington. In one case, the decay suggests thousands of years of gradual erosion, while in another, a sudden, cataclysmic tragedy seems to have ravaged the portrait of the founding father.
In other works, the ideas are contained entirely within the realm of art. The fiery painting style of Clyfford Still attracts the ravaging flame, while Rothko's meditative painting seems to have been half submerged in a reflecting pool (or a flooded museum), causing the canvas to ripple and buckle.
Hegarty's compelling new works are alive with the performance of decay and rot. By visiting imagined fates on common cultural currency, she creates 'memories of the future' or 'pre-artifacts' that, despite their weighty evocations, have an undeniable charm.
Hegarty's work has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums including, Guild & Greyshkul, NYC; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum 52, London; Milliken, Stockholm, Sweden and both The Sculpture Center and PS1 in Long Island City, NY. Her last solo exhibition in New York was featured in ARTFORUM International's "Best Of 2006" issue. The House of Campari recently selected Hegarty to create a significant new work for the the 2007 Campari Commission Initiative. Her exhibitions have been extensively reviewed in major art journals including ArtNews, Artforum, The New York Times and Flash Art. Her work is included in many important public and private collections such as the Saatchi collection, London and The Hort Collection, New York, NY. Hegarty received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. She lives and works in Brooklyn.