For the exhiobition the artists continues his focus on the remote and dusty corners of the American landscape. Painting in the studio, from memory, rather than en plein air, or from photographs, Longstreth's improvisational approach allows for unexpected nuance.
Monya Rowe Gallery is pleased to present Free Range, a new exhibition of
paintings by Jake Longstreth. In his second exhibition with the gallery,
Longstreth continues his focus on the remote and dusty corners of the
American landscape. Painting in the studio, from memory, rather than en
plein air, or from photographs, Longstreth’s improvisational approach allows
for unexpected nuance, both calming and unsettling.
The paintings, at times, dissolve into the immediacy of the delicate paint handling. Shades of warm greys, wan yellows and muted greens are applied in repeating stuttering strokes to form renderings of mountains and flora. Above the ridgeline is a creamy, opaque sky, gradating between deadened blues and sickly browns and greys. The overall effect is of an atmosphere and sense of light that is as stifling as it is familiar to anyone who has lived or spent time in the American West. In an era with an immense amount of homogenous globally-oriented art, Longstreth has doubled down on exploring the visual and sensory experiences of a specific region -- in his case, Southern California.
"Free Range" - a catch-all phrase meant to invoke a specific worldview of low-impact, eco-conscious living, is perhaps bitterly invoked here. Or not. As Miguel Arzabe wrote in a recent review of Longstreth’s work: "We experience nature’s inability to reveal anything to us other than what we project onto it." In the way we may project our hopes for a better world onto a carton of eggs, we do the same when beholding a landscape. Is the blue sky emerging above from the grey, smoggy horizon a consolation? Is it beautiful? In Free Range, Longstreth examines the difficulty of this question through this new suite of quiet landscape paintings.
Jake Longstreth (b. 1977) received a MFA from California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA and a BA from Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR. Recent solo exhibitions include Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA and a two-person exhibition at Ever Gold Gallery, also in San Francisco. He is a 2008 recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Longstreth will have a solo exhibition at the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum at Flagler College, St. Augustine, FL in Fall 2016. Longstreth lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Image: Jake Longstreth
Opening: Sunday, April 19, 6 - 8 PM
Monya Rowe Gallery
34 Orchard Street, Ground Floor
Wed - Sun 11am to 6pm