Betty Cuningham Gallery is pleased to open an exhibition of the work of Greg Drasler at 541 W. 25 Street between 10 and 11 Avenues. The exhibit will be a comprehensive view of his recent work, including approximately 15 oil paintings, all on large canvases. It will be his first show in the space.
“I view my paintings as sites in which interpretation and response are located.. In this sense they are places in which subjects can interact, and they interact through the familiar.”
In his most recent body of work, Drasler continues his practice of painting interior places but has progressed to the interior of a car, a particularly recognizable object. In this case, he chooses a movie-set car dating from the 1940’s. The familiarity of the automobile coupled with the human presence within each painting, represented by open car doors, an untouched cup of coffee, or a book left behind by its owner, presents the painting as accessible and invites the viewer to enter and occupy his scenes. Also in his current work, the artist depicts interiors of steamer trunks and Deco lobbies, pulling you further into his dream world.
The artist focuses less on the formal qualities of painting but rather considers himself to be “content driven”. While creating a work, he has no specific direction but engages himself with the painting and follows his brush at the end of a stroke thinking not about how he is applying the paint to the canvas but deciding in the moment where to paint objects in the place he is creating. He has said his process of producing a work is comparable to the way in which one dreams.
Greg Drasler was born in Waukegan, IL and received his BFA and MFA from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana. He began exhibiting his paintings upon moving to New York in 1983. His work can be seen in the collections of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY; Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL; University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, IL; Dow Jones, Inc.; and Thurston Twigg-Smith, Honolulu, HI. He has received numerous prestigious awards, including a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in 1991 and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1993. Additionally, he has taught painting at Montclair State University, Princeton University, and Pratt Institute.