Andrew Chesler continues to use atmospheric/biomorphic abstraction as a metaphor for a future world absent humanity. In these small scale, largely airbrushed paintings and watercolors a variety of forms coagulate or separate while floating in an indeterminate atmosphere of toxic-seeming ethers, or, in the case of the watercolors, against the infinite white of untouched paper.
While Chesler’s vision of the future takes science fiction into account, he is not interested in the fantasy elements or tropes that the genre is known for. Rather, he finds genuine scientific theory more to the point. He cites Alan Weismans’s new book, The World Without Us, in which the author posits a vision of the earth without human life (as if humankind had been wiped out, leaving only its infrastructure). In it, a scientist speaking about the enormous amounts of discarded plastic dumped into the environment says ”...nature will change it into something else. Just like trees buried in bogs a long time ago—the geologic process…changed them into oil and coal. Maybe high concentrations of plastics will turn into something like that. Eventually, they will change. Change is the hallmark of nature. Nothing remains the same.”
So it is in Chesler’s paintings that his odd collection of semi-abstract, semi-solid shapes that could plausibly be made of injection molded plastic, could be the changelings born of human kinds technological excess—some sort of animal plastic cyborg directed by spliced DNA navigating through an atomosphere a lot less breathable than today’s.
This exhibition at Heskin Contemporary is Andrew Chesler’s third solo show in New York City. He has also exhibited in Paris, France, Rome, Italy and various cities across the U.S. Chesler received his MFA from Parsons School of Design, and his undergraduate degree from Vassar College. He has received Residency Fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and Fundacion Valparaiso in Almeria, Spain.
A catalog will be published to accompany the exhibition.