The exihition consists of a new series of painting and drawings by Milwaukee based artist Tyson Reeder. Based on a continuing reflection of Reeder’s Midwestern geographic environment, these works depict an impression of people and places with a gently open abstraction.
When viewed side by side, they reveal ready-made conceptions about space by elaborating a poetic syntax using abstracted assets from the natural world such as animals while rearranging them in fictional ambiguous compositions. In drifting from figurative representation, Reeder proposes a subjective representation of a dislocated environment as opposed to a factually rendered one, lending his work a feeling of simultaneous familiarity and estrangement. The industrial is discarded in favor of dream-like impression, causing the environment to erode as in a painting portraying a seagull atop a wooden post at dusk. A sense of location is replaced with a subjective scene, leaving the landscape to be defined only by its “history,” represented here by two paintings of Native Americans from the local Menominee tribe.
Reeder’s methods have been described as almost democratic in their treatment of media, with Gouache and watercolor sitting alongside ballpoint pen, marker and crayon. These common materials create sensuous surfaces. The background of a portrait is painted with the same ease as a river and the surface of a tree with the same touch as a brick façade. As Reeder paints a bust of Chief Shu’nuni’u from the Menominee tribe with his signature enthusiasm, in another work he portrays a back alley focusing more on stray animals. However one quickly discovers that his choice of a somewhat naïve formal vocabulary is utilized to convey an underlying sense of seriousness and grave awareness.
Reeder has been featured in the New York Times, Flash Art, and Time Out New York, and has recently been featured in a solo show (with brother Scott) at Jack Hanley Gallery in San Francisco. He also co-curated “The Early Show” at White Columns, “Drunk Versus Stoned” and “Drunk Versus Stoned II” at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, where he recently had a two-person project (again with brother Scott) titled “Intelligent Design.”