NOW & THEN
MAY 25 – JUNE 28, 2006
513 WEST 20TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10011
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Now & Then
May 25 – June 24, 2006
Jack Shainman Gallery is proud to announce a solo exhibition of artist Jonathan Seliger.
Seliger works with paint and canvas composed in three-dimensional structures in real, enlarged or abstracted scales that serve as representations of industrial and commercial packages and quotidian artifacts. Seliger’s configurations are startlingly poetic and economical and provoke the viewer to reflect on topics such as the relationship between surface and interior, content and packaging, the hand-made and the mechanical, past and present and the endless recycling of the disposable and the new—always with playfulness, wit and formal aptness. For example, the free-standing “Between Cups” conveys a sense of fragility and precarious balance, how life can change irreversibly from one moment to the next, by perching one oversized coffee cup upside-down atop the other. “Keeping the Flame,” a wall-mounted replication of a book of matches emblazoned with an iconic portrait of JFK, explores nostalgia for the innocence of a bygone era with affectionate irony and winking detachment. "Standing Still" features a full-length mirror sized box leaning against the wall with a pair of flip-flops placed before it, made of bronze, canvas and pigmented paper pulp, creating an austere and elegiac sense of absence. "Slices," a trio of mammoth stacked pizza boxes pitched on a tilt, is a dynamic, comic and gluttonous homage to a precursor.
Drawing from the long history of the tromp l’oeil and painting-as-object, and using a distinctive Post-pop sensibility, Seliger works with a unique process that involves painting much of the work as a flat canvas and later creating the folds or curves in a painstaking way in order to resemble a given commercial prototype. Seliger’s material investigation has also extended into aluminum and bronze fabrications of oversized objects which are painted with automotive enamels, and he has recently completed several permanent public and private outdoor installations: subjects include a large brown grocery bag, a ring of 9V batteries, and a white to-go cup pouring water.
The intended tension between Seliger’s practice, rooted in the realm of the meticulously handmade, and the highly ubiquitous nature of the packages and objects that he typically portrays, provide both a new way of looking at these everyday objects and a way of thinking about the mimetic and transformative qualities of painting. Seliger’s works merge Realism and Surrealism, Minimalism and Pop Art in unexpected ways.
Jonathan Seliger’s works are included in the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, the Panza Collection, Magasin 3, the Weatherspoon Art Gallery, and the Walker Art Center, among others. He has exhibited at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, the Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT, the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery in Saratoga Springs, NY, and in many galleries throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. For additional information and photographic material please contact the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org.