Dan Colen: Mailorder Mother Purgatory

Dan Colen: Mailorder Mother Purgatory
Dan Colen, Electra, 2018. Oil-based enamel on linen, 120 x 96 inches (304.8 x 243.8 cm). © Dan Colen 2018. Photography by Tim Nighswander.

New York—Lévy Gorvy will debut new paintings and sculpture by Dan Colen in the artist’s inaugural exhibition at the gallery, opening May 2nd. Dan Colen: Mailorder Mother Purgatory will present three recent bodies of works that focus on technical innovation in pursuit of ambience and emotional depth. The exhibition, which will run through June 23rd at the gallery’s New York location, is both a celebration of Colen’s recently announced representation by the gallery and an evolution of his painterly practice.

A leading figure of his generation, Colen pursues an art deeply rooted in the history of painting. Having engaged in long periods of material experimentation, employing substances from chewing gum, flowers, dirt, and grass, to confetti, and tar and feathers, he has gradually deconstructed the essence of painting’s brushstroke and the gestural mark of the artist’s hand. His bold, spirited, and fertile style of tromp l’oeil techniques and tongue-in-cheek humor deliver a decidedly contemporary interpretation to the recognized canon. However, it is also through this lens that Colen so fervently mines and questions established historical styles: Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Conceptualism. Challenging the heritage of his medium through an innovative approach to materiality, technique, and content, Colen pushes the boundaries of painting while imbuing his work with formal rigor and art historical richness.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue that features a conversation between the artist and Jeff Koons moderated by curator Douglas Fogle as well as an essay by art historian and critic Andrianna Campbell, a noted specialist in American art of the modern and contemporary period.



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