Studio10 is pleased to present Gestures and Pictures, a solo exhibition of paintings by Adam Simon whose career spans two decades and includes solo and group exhibitions internationally.
Simon’s conceptual paintings depict silhouetted subjects appropriated from low and high culture. He culls most of these archetypes of common experience from stock photography intended for advertising and magazine production. The subjects are isolated from their context to become templates ripe for associations. This exhibition includes one large painting that directly references art history and others where the silhouette serves as container for painterly extravagance. The silhouette becomes a location where painting occurs.
Simon paints the silhouetted image as prototypical in Family, 2011. The power of the painting derives partly from its subject’s archetypal resonance: two parents holding hands with two children, a boy and a girl. Though we seem to be witnessing a family running on the beach, the paint handling and color contradict the sense of normalcy we expect from such an image.
The series entitled Gestures, 2012 is restrained and neutral in comparison to the expressionistic handling and larger scale of other works in the exhibition. The Gesture paintings depict women in everyday actions and situations. One shows a woman playing tennis, another a woman on the phone with a fist raised and a third depicts a figure seated on a bench. Each figure opens itself to multiple readings. The woman with a raised fist could be enraged or ecstatic, the tennis player uses either forehand or backhand and the seated figure could be waving or indicating something else. The result is not so much ambiguous as polymorphic.
Blue Flowers (After Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder, 1621), 2012 is the only work in the exhibition depicting a non-human subject. In this painting, Simon used a 17th century Dutch still life as a reference as opposed to generic stock photography. Only the contour of the vase and the blooms is present in this work. The paint exceeds the limits of the contours spilling out like liquid from a vessel.
In Painter 1, 2012 and Painter 2, 2012 the painterly excursions occur within the painter himself. This iconographic image functions reflexively both in relation to the activity of painting in general and in relation to this exhibition in particular.
Adam Simon received his MFA from Bard College in New York in 1993. He has had solo exhibitions at fiction/nonfiction New York (1993), Pierogi 2000, Brooklyn (1997); James Fuentes Temporarary, New York (2000), Art Moving Projects, Brooklyn (2005;) and Pocket Utopia, Brooklyn (2009); Simon is also known for public projects, including the Fine Art Adoption Network (http://www.fineartadoption.net), Four Walls, Four Walls Rambling Conversations and Avatar (A Visual Artist’s Temporary Actor Replacement Agency).