Bathers - Matthew Samolewicz, Ross Simonini
Jun/4 - Jul/12
Blackston is pleased to present Bathers, a two-person exhibition featuring independent bodies of work by artists Matthew Samolewicz and Ross Simonini.
Taking Paul Cezanne's The Bathers as an example of work that embarked on new territory in its still life and landscape genre, and in many ways signified a point of departure with tradition, this exhibition introduces work that, in its various forms, incorporates art-making convention with approaches that push into dynamic, expansive territories.
Matthew Samolewicz's abstract oil paintings convey a distinct sense of form and space with a uniquely disorienting density and perspective. A balance between looseness and build-up and the awareness and disintegration of form are at play at all times. The figure is considered but averted. Decisions made take on the timeless elements of painting and seek to embrace new psychological terrain.
Ross Simonini's practice is a reflection of changing conditions and mark-making in response to circumstance. His Anxiety Napkins are produced by making marks (by marking down or soaking up) that reflect the anxiety, or anxious thoughts, of the artist with food, ink, paint, and graphite. In lieu of sketchbooks, Simoninis napkins are taken from restaurants and carried in his pockets and bags for weeks, used as needed to evidence the residue of anxiety. They reflect an immediacy and urgency resulting from the marks made in response to various situations. They also embrace the intimacy, veracity and impact of drawing yet result in the transformation of an object.
Simononi's itinerant canvases are a distinct form of landscape painting, like traditional bathers paintings. Rather than capturing the image of a landscape, his work attempts to capture its essence with materials. The paintings travel with the artist, and are unrolled and worked on in response to different locations and experiences. He uses the natural pigments of flowers or substances in his vicinity to reflect on his immediate environment.
Matthew Samolewicz (b. 1988, Northampton, MA), lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received his MFA from Rutgers University in 2014 and BFA from MassArt in 2010. Select group exhibitions include Jersey Fresh at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY, ӔOLIAN at the Mason Gross Galleries in New Brunswick, NJ and Proof at the Northampton Center for the Arts in Northampton, MA.
Ross Simonini (b. 1981, San Francisco, CA) lives and works in New York. He has exhibited his work at Jack Hanley gallery, Martos gallery, 247365, Know More Games, Fredericks and Freiser, Human Resources, Denny Gallery, Tomato House. He is also a founding member of the band, NewVillager, and has performed at the Brooklyn museum, the Andy Warhol Museum, MOCA, Performa, Queens museum and many other festivals and venues. He is the interviews editor at The Believer magazine and the executive producer at The Organist, McSweeney's radio show on KCRW. He contributes regularly to Interview magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Frieze, and other arts publications. He holds a Bachelor's of Music Composition from the University of California, an M.F.A in writing from Bennington College.