Lisa Cooley is pleased to present Alan Reid’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, Heiresses on Terraces. The exhibition opens with a reception for the artist on Saturday, November 22 from 6 until 8 pm and continues through Sunday, December 28, 2008.
Reid’s new paintings, delicately rendered in colored pencil, depict a seemingly affluent and predominately female cast. His elegant, attenuated figures revel in the moment, dignified despite preposterous circumstances leopard-bitten, floating mid-air, or festooned with underwear. In addition, disjunctive formal conceits mirror the protagonists befogged psychology observe missing heads, horse bridal leads, preposterous proportions, flattened perspective and occasionally ham-fisted rendering.
The paintings are fabulous as well as ridiculous: they laugh as they tell. Witness European aristocracy summer in Marrakesh, placated lovers lounge in trashed hotel rooms, weary fashionistas absorbed in ennui, and more than one woman leaving the house wearing improbable equestrian tack. Reid is a narrative painter with conflicted interests. He is both a viewer and an instigator, conjuring and enjoying scenes rich with yearning, absurd psychological logic and love-of-life insouciance.
Suffused with the aura of Serge Gainsbourg, Helmut Newton, Fellini, Godard, Antonioni, Klossowski, Ian Flemming, Michael Caine these images put male libido at the wheel, and under examination. Reid simultaneously fleshes-out and attacks this driving force, setting desire up for a pratfall. One frequently observes a knowing, ludicrous descent from the exalted to the commonplace an anticlimax. Note this in “The Credits,” an absurd rethinking of Cinematic performance annotation set, props, and an actor adrift in the frame.
These paintings undermine the idea of weight as a metaphor for seriousness. The exhibition’s title implies as much the words heiress and terrace both pun on being in the air. Reid suggests that lightness can not only convey us towards more reflective, weighty conversation, but also, that lightness can assuage the weight of seriousness and its myriad anxieties.