Left to right: Greg Hopkins and Hanna von Goeler. Courtesy of Sloan Fine Art.
Sloan Fine Art is pleased to present in the main gallery, January 7 through February 7, “Sub Rosa,” the first solo exhibition by Brooklyn-based painter Greg Hopkins.
In his text-based works, Hopkins plays on our need to decipher and comprehend language. A painting might have many strengths: visual narrative, color, balance, paint handling… but these qualities are all trumped by our compulsion to read the words. By obscuring the text in his work, via dripping letters, intricate patterns, and/or the use of slang and codes, Hopkins forces the viewer to look beyond the literal message and explore the painting’s other elements. In his more iconographic works, the message may be more subtle and relayed only through an image. But in all Hopkins ensures that the works be read in terms of painting language instead of just being read, while also delivering a literal message to any viewer willing to work for it.
Greg Hopkins employs a lovingly tedious method to create these intricate acrylic on canvas works. Each color is applied as an individual layer with the help of masking tape and exacto blade. Every curve and flourish is hand drawn and then painstakingly cut and removed to expose area for the next color’s application. With each color he starts over, covering the canvas, and then removing areas to create space for the next phase. With this method, it is impossible to decipher the final image until it is complete. Even the artist himself does not see the final result until the last piece of tape is removed. Haling from the south, Greg Hopkins earned his BFA and MA at the University of Alabama, then his MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Running concurrently with “Sub Rosa” in the gallery’s project room is “The Shadows Cast by Ordinary Objects,” a new installation by Hanna von Goeler.
In “The Shadows Cast by Ordinary Objects” Hanna von Goeler looks at the shadows national and personal histories cast on future generations. Subtle references to a range of histories – from Third Reich Germany to current economic and political developments – are set in the aftermath of an elegant and extravagant meal. “Ordinary objects” commingle with a moving train and small drawings etched into mirrors. The train’s light casts moving shadows that turn the walls of the space into a silent motion picture flashing snippets of our past and foresight into the future. While it is both a cautionary tale and a reminder of histories not to be forgotten, the visual elegance and charming mechanics of “The Shadows Cast by Ordinary Objects” infuse it with the artist’s sincere feelings of hope and optimism.
Hanna von Goeler earned her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from the University of California, Davis. She also studied at the Jan van Eyck Akademie in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Past site specific projects include an installation with six trompe l’oeil paintings and 3000 pieces of mirror in a 12th century gothic church in the Netherlands and an interactive, temporal wall painting in Woodland, California. Her paintings, installations and works on paper have been exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide including The Museum of Arts and Crafts-ITAMI in Japan, 2B Gallery in Budapest, Hungary, Exit Art in New York City and the Somerville Museum in Massachusetts. She is currently preparing for a 2010 solo exhibition at the Hunterdon Museum in Clinton, NJ and a project for the Habeas Lounge economic forum installation concourse space at 1 New York Plaza.