Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to present “Feathers and Wax”, an exhibition of new paintings by the Irish artist Chloe Early. This exhibition marks the artist’s New York City and Joshua Liner Gallery solo debut.
Working in oils on linen and aluminum panel, Chloe Early has developed a unique style that is simultaneously lush and raw. The romantic and the gritty meet in her paintings, which tease out a distinctively poetic worldview through the juxtaposition of extremes. At their core is a sensitivity to lyrical feelings and themes—love, beauty, innocence, softness—which collide with more worldly symbols of aggression and degradation, such as bullets, bombs, urban refuse, and ruins.
Yet Early avoids any kind of resolution, or even overt narrative. Rather, she simply allows these opposing elements to float in space and intermix, creating a charged atmosphere that suspends a definitive reading or conclusion. The effect, though disorienting, suggests the achievement of psychological or spiritual wholeness, however momentary.
As the exhibition title, “Feathers and Wax”, suggests, the concept of suspension is noble but also naïve and ill fated. Alluding to the Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus, these materials allowed young Icarus to sore to idealistic heights and flout the sensible cautions of his father. The consequences were tragic. This contrast of dream and reality is given a contemporary retelling in Early’s painting “Frontier Firecrackers”, where a pair of youths are pictured plummeting through a garland of grapes and roses into a new environment of junkyard tires and cruise missiles.
The tondo “Rocket to the Moon” generates a spinning sensation around the floating central figure of a young woman, ringed by roses, rifle bullets, and the circular guns of military artillery. Even more ambiguous is the central male figure in “Vostok’s Voyage”. Perhaps a cosmonaut, as the title suggests, this youthful ideal gazes heavenward while appearing to both emerge from and recede into a forbidding atmosphere of plank-like swathes of negative space.
With this series, Early explores her fascination with flight through depictions of the body in motion. In her representations of gravity, and the brief moments when it is suspended, her figures are caught at the tipping point between soaring and falling. These atmospheric “scenes” are set against high-contrast washes of saturated color. Early creates her large-scale painterly montages by incorporating imagery mostly from her own source photography and personal travel photos. Throughout, symmetry is created and destroyed as the paintings shift between the abstract and the representational, Eden and Armageddon.
Born in 1980 in Cork, Ireland, Chloe Early received a B.Des. from the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Dublin, and currently lives and works in London. Solo exhibitions of her work include Birdsong and Machine Sounds, Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles (2010); Clouded Apollo, Stolen Space Gallery, London (2009), Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Spinning in Space, Stolen Space Gallery, London (2008); Pieces of a Dream, Tramyard Gallery, Dublin (2008); Between Earth and Heaven, Stolen Space Gallery, London (2007); and Springboard, Tramyard Gallery, Dublin (2006). Selected group shows include Summer Group Exhibition, Joshua Liner Gallery (2011, 2009); and Chasing Castles (with Conor Harrington), Kinsey Desforges Gallery, Los Angeles (2009).
Joshua Liner Gallery, located in New York City’s Chelsea Arts district, presents an exciting roster of established and emerging artists from North and South America, Asia, and Europe. Also on view, in Gallery II: Ryan McLennan, Abominations, October 20–November 19.