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June 26, 2009 – August 16, 2009
Alexi Brown-Schmidt and Rose Marcus are two emerging painters who use palettes of bold and moody color, applied to paper or canvas with exuberant gestures. Cavepainting, the title of their two-person exhibition, indicates an approach that is direct, expressive, and perhaps a bit unrefined. But in sympathy with sophisticated contemporary painters including George Condo, Sean Landers, and Dana Schutz, they freely mine conditions of comedy and tragedy, referencing high and low culture, and good or bad taste. The same could be said about Martin Kippenberger and Pablo Picasso, two hugely influential artists whose works were the subject of recent historical exhibitions in New York.
Brown-Schmidt’s works included simultaneously awkward and tender dogs (reclining, falling, giving birth, playing cards), each located in shallow spaces of gray and black. The figures and grounds are given equal weight by the artist, who installed gestural figurative paintings influenced by art history and kitsch alongside more minimal works that borrow basic television patterns and computer graphics. A painting of a car interior is a whirlwind of monochrome gestures, drips, gloss, and bare canvas.
Marcus’s works offered a diverse range of portraits and figures, each animating lush landscapes including tropical islands, mountain ranges, and brightly colored domestic spaces. Her protagonists (including a figure sporting a rainbow colored afro, and a nimble bikini-clad woman), are painted in a loose notational style, and seem derived from daily experiences (reading the newspaper, eating, getting dressed), advertising (the promise of romantic getaways), and dreams.
Brown-Schmidt lives and works in Atlanta, GA, and Riverdale, NY. He graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Painting in 2006. He has exhibited his work in Brooklyn, NY, at the Bruce High Quality Foundation, Smith Street Studios, and About Glamour Gallery. Marcus lives and works in Atlanta, GA, and Riverdale, NY. She graduated from Pratt Institute in 2005 with a BFA in Sculpture, and has exhibited her work in Brooklyn, NY, at the Bruce High Quality Foundation and Smith Street Studios. She curated a series of nomadic exhibitions in Puerto Rico entitled La Mobil in 2007.