KANSAS is pleased to present 7 North, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Brendan Cass. Opening September 13, the works will be on view through October 27, 2012.
In his newest body of work, Brendan Cass deviates from his trademark neon exuberance, maximal paint application and use of archetypal – generally European – landscape imagery, and delves into an array of darkly chromatic acrylic paintings made within the last year while residing in the historic (and inoperative) Cornwall Bridge, CT train station est. 1890. The Housatonic Railroad runs parallel with one of America’s earliest highways, Route 7, from Norwalk, CT into Great Barrington, MA. The atmosphere of New England mixed with the lingering history of the station play a special role in this major transformation of Cass’s aesthetic tone, imagistic inclinations, and general studio practice.
The inferred narrative in the new works addresses personal loss, death, meditations on spirituality, individualism, puritanism, and a contemplative “reverent silence” towards State Highways and the vestiguel presence of yesteryear. The highways are in memorium to some of Cass’s most revered American pioneers: Ethan Allen, Katherine Hepburn and Norman Rockwell among many others, all of whom find common ground on the walls of Cass’s train station thoroughfare. The artist employs an etheric use of figures, faces, and landscapes that emerge from a deeply emotional, mystic space. Cass writes about his new work, “regions of opacity flicker with veils of thin reflective sheens of paint creating a sense of catharis and night sensations.”
Cass writes at will upon certain paintings. Notations of local roads and figures in a scrawl/rune type of lettering ritualize the surface with revolt and respect in equal measure. The words are written with a stream of consciousness and act as a impulsive, psychological marking while simultaneously disrupting notions of the pristine picture plane. Fascinated by tree fort vandalism, the calligraphic tendency of Cy Twombly, Jean Michel Basquiat’s use of line and word and Baeselitz’s Hero paintings, the artist describes moods and scenes of isolation, death and sanctity.
The ethical realities of 9/11 recovery, quisitive spiritual trajectories and economic market crashes have long been associated with Cass’s previous work which dealt with travel, escapism and memory of experience through place. Here he begins to explore narrative painting as a reductive mechanism and lingusitic surrogate, not unlike his interest in the relationship between landscape and architectural form; these new placeholders of cathedrals and highway landscapes become a reflective mental space rather than simply a pictorial or optical experience.
Brendan Cass was born in New Jersey and lives and works in Cornwall Bridge, CT. He attended the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College, The School of Visual Arts and SUNY Purchase. His solo exhibitions include CANADA, New York; Lars Bohman Gallery, Stockholm, SE; Kenny Schacter ROVE, London, UK; Alain Noirholm, Brussels, BE and Zürcher Studio, Paris, FR.
This is his first solo exhibition with KANSAS.
For more information, please contact Steven Stewart at KANSAS by calling +1 (646) 559-1423 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org