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Andrew Falkowski and Philip Vanderhyden, Red Pictures

Hudson Franklin Gallery
508 West 26th Street, Suite 318, 212-741-1189
January 9 - February 21, 2009
Reception: Friday, January 9, 6 - 8 PM
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Hudson Franklin is pleased to announce Red Pictures by Andrew Falkowski and Philip Vanderhyden. For this exhibition, each artist has produced two monochromatic red paintings of similar size.

Andrew Falkowski’s paintings are hyper-real “portraits” of photographic backdrops. Conventionally filling the negative space of a picture, backdrops are standardized signs denoting “no place.” Falkowski uses them to fill space “un-representationally” while mimicking traditional oil painting’s ethereal atmospheres. Light is centrally located to highlight and form an absent portrait figure.

Initially seen as straightforward abstractions, Vanderhyden’s paintings are “portraits” in themselves. Vanderhyden composes his paintings edge to edge like a color-field painter, but uncharacteristically, the paintings never appear to fully materialize. The effect is stoic crisis. They are on the verge of either opening up to the heroic poses of their historical referents or collapsing into the status of pure object. While resolutely present, the images lurk as figurative ghosts.

Executing their paintings in red historically locates them within the language of melodrama, exaggeration and expression. It provides an emotive quality associated with archetypal narratives: life, death, love, etc… Its warmth creates a contrast with the content of the works. The images appear to vanish and retreat as the red void left in their wake advances.

Vanderhyden’s brush denies interiority while Falkowski’s seeks to reveal it. The anticipatory blur, focusing on an absent figure as well as the theatrical folds of the backdrop, further compels the interior vacancy of these paintings.

Andrew Falkowski received an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2003. His work is currently part of a group exhibition, This Shadow is a Bit of Ideology, at Gallery 400 in Chicago and will appear with work by Karl Erickson at The Suburban opening on February 15.

Philip Vanderhyden received an MFA from Northwestern University in 2004. He had a solo show at Hudson Franklin in 2007 and was part of the gallery’s group exhibition The Believers in 2006. A solo show of his work opens January 8 at Light & Sie Gallery in Dallas.
Have photos of this show? Tag them with artcal-8584 to see them here.