×
The Hole

RomCom

  • Alex Gardner
  • F43cadc9 ee05 4985 bab4 67ecbb6ba9da
    Alex Gardner, Peptalk on PCH, 2017

Press for RomCom

Current Exhibitions at The Hole


GULP

  • Drake Carr,
  • Opens: Jun. 28, 2018
  • Closes: Aug. 12, 2018
  • Reception: Jun. 28, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 9pm
  • Admission: free

EXTRA

  • Charlie Billingham,
  • Cristina BanBan,
  • Eric Yahnker,
  • Fernando Botero,
  • Francine Spiegel,
  • George Rouy,
  • Gina Beavers,
  • Jonathan Chapline,
  • Koichi Sato,
  • Misaki Kawai,
  • Monica Kim Garza,
  • Rebecca Morgan,
  • Vanessa Prager,
  • Opens: Jun. 28, 2018
  • Closes: Aug. 12, 2018
  • Reception: Jun. 28, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 9pm
  • Admission: free

NEOPHYTE

  • Matthew Stone,
  • Opens: May. 12, 2018
  • Closes: Jun. 24, 2018
  • Reception: May. 12, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Royal Jarmon

  • Royal Jarmon,
  • Opens: Apr. 10, 2018
  • Closes: May. 06, 2018
  • Reception: Apr. 10, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 9pm
  • Admission: free

CLAY TODAY

  • Alice Mackler,
  • Allison Schulnik,
  • Aubry Broquard,
  • Brie Ruias,
  • Christian Vargas,
  • Cristina Tufino,
  • Dan McCarthy,
  • Diana Rojas,
  • Francesca DiMattio,
  • FriendsWithYou,
  • Gustav Hamilton,
  • Heidi Lau,
  • Jenny Hata Blumenfield,
  • Jennie Jieun Lee,
  • Jesse Edwards,
  • Joakim Ojanen,
  • Kate Klingbeil,
  • Linda Lopez,
  • Ling Chun,
  • Rebecca Morgan,
  • Rose Eken,
  • Roxanne Jackson,
  • Shinichi Sawada,
  • Thomas Mailaender,
  • Trevor Baird,
  • Valerie Hegarty,
  • Zimra Beiner,
  • Opens: Apr. 10, 2018
  • Closes: May. 06, 2018
  • Reception: Apr. 10, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 9pm
  • Admission: free

Structural Color

  • Joe Reihsen,
  • Opens: Mar. 08, 2018
  • Closes: Apr. 08, 2018
  • Reception: Mar. 08, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 9pm
  • Admission: free

In The Pink

  • Vanessa Prager,
  • Opens: Feb. 03, 2018
  • Closes: Mar. 04, 2018
  • Reception: Feb. 03, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Road Trip II

  • Ben Jones,
  • Opens: Jan. 06, 2018
  • Closes: Jan. 28, 2018
  • Reception: Jan. 06, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Johnny Abrahams

  • Johnny Abrahams,
  • Opens: Nov. 21, 2017
  • Closes: Dec. 31, 2017
  • Reception: Nov. 21, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 9pm
  • Admission: free

Adam Parker Smith

  • Adam Parker Smith,
  • Opens: Oct. 21, 2017
  • Closes: Nov. 19, 2017
  • Reception: Oct. 21, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 9pm
  • Admission: free

Eric Shaw

  • Eric Shaw,
  • Opens: Oct. 21, 2017
  • Closes: Nov. 19, 2017
  • Reception: Oct. 21, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 9pm
  • Admission: free

TL;DR

  • Morgan Blair,
  • Opens: Sep. 07, 2017
  • Closes: Oct. 15, 2017
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

RomCom

  • Alex Gardner
  • Opens: Sep. 07, 2017
  • Closes: Oct. 15, 2017
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

When

Sep 07 - Oct 15, 2017


Where

The Hole

  • 312 Bowery, New York NY 10012 Map
  • 212.466.1100

About

Welcome to Alex Gardner’s 1st solo show in New York, “RomCom”, featuring fourteen new acrylic on linen paintings by the Long Beach-based artist. His entangled ink-black bodies are draped with dramatically folding white cotton separates and posed in pastel environments where the reflections of color produce subtle gradients and thoughtful tonal shifts.

The paintings indicate in gesture and pose a wordless “romantic comedy”. As in Mannerist paintings, they capture drama with their bodies through the distortion of torsion, a clump of muscle, a knobby knuckle, a languid wrist. Over-articulated fingers and feet contrast with completely featurelessly smooth faces; expression is only through body language. Gender is hinted at but as with the skin and the clothes and the environments, all cultural signifiers are smoothed over to de-individuate and universalize.

In these paintings the artist charges the familiar with poignancy, highlights the details as important, and paints figures that all genders and races could see themselves in. Mimicking snippets of classical painting—from an El Greco hand to a Pietà carry, a crucifixion foot, a Michelangelo muscle group—he is not just inserting his contemporary identity into art history, but also opening up these art historical perspectives for all viewers to connect with.

The body parts are not anatomically perfect and, as with the drapery, willfully fancified; signs the artist is not working from figure models or photographs but from his imagination augmented by emotion. The smooth gradient paint style of layered acrylics (illogical for figure painting as a genre) must be maddening to apply, painstaking to perfect. There may be chill pastels and casualwear in these works, but the compositions scintillate with restrained emotion.

His titles try to ease the tension: “Forgot My Wallet” negates the intimacy depicted of one figure carrying the other, while “Picnic with a Future Ex” is glib. “Audition in the Frozen Food Section” emphasizes the performativity of romantic relationships as a theme, but the detached vibe doesn’t match the intense and dramatic works: as in the layers and layers of acrylic built up to form these precise gradients, there’s a lot going on beneath the surface.


Top