RARE is pleased to present Inside-Out, a series of new paintings and drawings by Francesco Longenecker that marks his third solo show at the gallery. Running from November 15 through December 19, the exhibition continues the artist’s exploration of the interplay of materials and space that has come to characterize his oeuvre.
Departing from the traditional grounds of canvas and paper, Longenecker exploits the translucency and layering potentials intrinsic to the mediums of Plexiglas, Mylar, and glassine. Deriving inspiration from European reverse glass painting techniques and the overlaid folios of traditional cel animation, Inside-Out serves as an apt description for the artist’s play on (and with) materials.
In his paintings, Longenecker builds up surfaces on both the back and front of Plexiglas to create interaction between the translucency of the oil pigments and the transparency of the support. Similarly, his drawings are comprised of several individually incised sheets that are placed over each other to construct a singular stratum, presenting composite imagery of fragmented forms. Echoing these techniques is the choice of subject matter. Architectural structures of the past and the future collide with naturalistic and industrial landscapes to render complex scenarios that combine realistic and illusionistic depths in a newly invented space.
The artist’s methodology results in dynamic compositions that are experienced as suspended sculptures rather than stationary images. Logistical factors such as lighting, wall color, and one’s movement through the exhibition space transform the viewer’s perception of each piece into singular moments of complicated nuances. Utilizing a layering process to connect subject matter and setting, Longenecker weaves a spatial netting that continually shifts between deep and shallow space, linking together the elements of a work to convey an evolving sense of immediacy and discovery.
Longenecker received his MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2007, and a BFA from Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, MI, in 2005. His work has been most recently exhibited at Quint Contemporary, La Jolla, CA; and at Asya Geisberg Gallery, Storefront Gallery, and Site 95 in New York. Francesco lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.