Ezra Johnson, Untitled (Red Billboard), 2015, Oil and pastel on canvas, 49 x 72 in.
December 19th, 2015 - January 30th, 2016
Mindy Solomon Gallery is pleased to present ‘Cut Rate Paradise,’ a new exhibition of paintings by Ezra Johnson. In the gallery’s Project Space, Bruce Kates explores mixed media in his installation ‘Mumbo Jumbo.’ Both artists share an appreciation for the abandoned and neglected. With a sense of vision and sensitivity, they create works of art that galvanize an investigation of the unornamented as art.
Ezra Johnson, Statue of Liberty Guy, 2015, Oil on canvas, 48 x 72 in. Oil on canvas
Ezra Johnson’s exhibition ‘Cut-Rate Paradise’ is inspired by Florida. This group of paintings and video reflect the mid-twentieth century promise of an inexpensive paradise for all, with no winter and a big house and pool, which ultimately loses its sparkle. The infrastructure of this promise is visibly crumbling and worn out. Signs no longer communicate messages because of sun fading and weather, but they retain original shapes; often, odd shapes, pointing at now vacant lots, faded and dusty. Johnson is not trying to make a negative statement about the American Dream; the truth be known, he likes these qualities, and regards them as beautiful and mysterious. Johnson states: “It is a pursuit of beauty that has been formed slowly through a combination of man-made infrastructures and weathering by the strong sun and jungle that is so haunting to me. My work is normally a response to my environment as well as inspirations such as literature, poetry or paintings. The writings of Joan Didion, Don DeLillo, Cormac McCarthy, Jean Baudrillard as well as paintings of Tal R, Edvard Munch and Josef Albers’ Homage to the Square series are sources of consideration and reflection.”
Bruce Kates approaches the discarded and forgotten as a means of artistic re-interpretation. Kates states: “‘Mumbo Jumbo’ is a body of work which was developed with an approach to process based on ‘informed intuition,’ much the way one learns to print and then ultimately develops a signature. The materials are mostly repurposed fragments, found scraps and materials that were previously used.”
Bruce Kates, Untitled, 2015, Wood and mixed media,48 x 96 in.
Kates derives inspiration from Alberto Giacometti, Kurt Schwitters, and the Russian Avant-Garde, a movement that combined Cubism with the art of the Italian Futurists. His wall reliefs convey a sense of delicacy despite the sometimes heavy and rough-edged materials utilized. The minimal compositions are carefully weighted line drawings articulated through material conversation.
ABOUT MINDY SOLOMON GALLERY
Established in 2009, Mindy Solomon Gallery specializes in contemporary emerging and mid-career artists and art advisory services. The gallery represents artists working in painting, sculpture, photography, and video in both narrative and non-objective styles, and was named one of the Top 500 Galleries Worldwide in Louise Blouin Media Modern Painters 2013 and 2014 annual guides.
The gallery serves as an incubator for dynamic artists establishing their creative voices and exploring a broad range of exhibition possibilities.
Represented artists include: Scottish photographer Muir Vidler, LA photographer and writer Scot Sothern, Korean sculptural artist Kang Hyo Lee, Mexican mixed-media artists the de la Torre brothers, New York-based painter James Kennedy, and an array of national and international talent. Mindy Solomon Gallery participates in global art fairs including Art Miami, Zona Maco, VOLTA BASEL, VOLTA NY, PULSE, Moving Image, and Shanghai Contemporary. Always interested in the intersection of art and design, Mindy Solomon and her staff work closely with designers, advisors, consultants, and curators to inform and integrate fine works of art into every aesthetic environment.