Eleven Rivington is pleased to present the US solo debut exhibition of New York artist Jacob Kassay, on view from February 14 – March 29, 2009. The exhibition is accompanied by a self-published artist book project.
Jacob Kassay’s work encompasses painting and installation in various media, including acrylic, fiberglass, paper tape, solid and printed synthetic fabric, asphalt, and the chemical element of silver. For this exhibition he will present a suite of recent monochromatic (silver) paintings, all 2009. While his practice mines territories of formal abstraction – it ‘performs’ the feat of representation; Kassay’s ‘mirrored’ paintings reflect their surroundings, the shifting of light, and the space and viewer before them. They are primed, composed, painted and prepared on canvas in the studio and then finished by a process similar to mirror / silver plating. In these works, alchemy is an integral part of a mixed media practice that presents illumination and transformation as primary subjects.
Kassay’s training is in photography and he has translated many of the medium’s essential techniques and concepts into his painting practice. This includes the basic photographic printing principle in which a support is coated with a medium that is then dipped, bathed, transformed and ‘fixed’ as an image. Kassay applied and developed this premise to painting, using silver – a precious metal used variously from jewelry and silverware to electrical conduction – as a catalyst for his work. This seemingly fixed technique is subverted by varying impasto, gesture, brushwork, collage elements such as string and tape, and the inevitable possibility of oxidation. Tarnish develops creating a halo effect around shapes and brush marks, while the raw canvas edges burn in the process. Kassay’s work ricochet with disparate and sometimes contradictory effects, employing the reflection of light and image in a paradoxical manner in order to engage the interpretive qualities of painting, image, and abstraction.
Jacob Kassay was born and raised in Buffalo, NY, and received a BFA from The State University of NY, Buffalo. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Group exhibitions include Art:Concept, Paris (forthcoming); Cave Painting at PSM Gallery, Berlin, curated by Bob Nickas (forthcoming); Emily Harvey Foundation, NY; Derek Eller, NY, and White Flag Projects, St. Louis, among others.