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MIV01

For exhibition 43 we are pleased to be showing the paintings of Michael Voss, small-scale oils on linen. Voss was born in Brazil of German parentage and now lives and works in New York. Voss charts the deep geology of painting, working a kind of plate tectonics with pigment, setting up drifting continental shelves that collide, kick up along their fault zones, and form topologies in the process. He maps the congealed masses, showing the way around the horn and how far inland this tributary will take you. He shows who passed this way through the brush, and whether they were in a hurry or not. It is as if we were getting our news from tree bark. These paintings could be thought of as fields lying somewhere off the grid and beyond the dependency of distributed networks, and at the same time as field recordings, their roughly hewn aspect serving as high fidelity. In the contemporary context they may seem low tech, except that painting, rather than being an old technology, is more like the perennial base condition technology addresses. Sleep is such a ground and sleeping pills are technology, or nutrition and vitamins. The weight of the mission Voss has undertaken can be measured against the value we place on our own sensate experience of the world, and by how much we still navigate with a visual acuity indelibly linked to our sense of touch.

PHIL CHANG
HEATHER CLEARY
JOHN HOUCK
JAMES HYDE
KLEA MCKENNA
FABIOLA MENCHELLI
CARRIE POLLACK
MARIAH ROBERTSON
KUNIE SUGIURA
SARA VANDERBEEK
HANNAH WHITAKER
LETHA WILSON
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For exhibition 42, we are pleased to present Aggregate Exposure, curated by Jennah Ward, and featuring a group of twelve artists from Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York City, and San Francisco who work with photography using a hybrid approach.

The exhibition's emphasis is placed on looking at the processes through which the work is made, rather than what is represented in the photographic image. For this reason, the images contained in the work have a generalized broad range, extending from landscapes and portraits, to still lives and abstractions. The varying processes result in a type of aggregated form and artifact created by merging photography with sculpture and/or painting. In some cases, as with the work of James Hyde and Kunie Sugiura, the work physically combines painting and photography. In other cases, as with Hannah Whitaker and Carrie Pollack, the work incorporates painting conceptually through multiple exposures or digital layers. The work of John Houck, Mariah Robertson, and Klea McKenna emphasize both flat and varied perspectival spaces, which are traditionally left to painting. While the work of Letha Wilson, Fabiola Menchelli, Heather Cleary and Sara VanDerBeek allude to painting, it is more invested in the language of sculpture. Wilson actually folds an image into curing concrete and Cleary, Menchelli, and VanDerBeek photograph sculptures, either found or constructed in their studios. Lastly, Phil Chang’s nearly identical triptych suggests with the depiction of a monochrome print, curled at one end, that we can simultaneously see aspects of painting, sculpture and photography.

We thank each of the twelve artists and multiple galleries that lent work for the exhibition: Phil Chang and Hannah Whitaker appear courtesy of M+B, Los Angeles; John Houck appears courtesy of On Stellar Rays, New York; Mariah Robertson appears courtesy of American Contemporary, New York; Kunie Sugiura appears courtesy of Leslie Tonkonow Artworks+Projects, New York; and Sara VanDerBeek appears courtesy of Altman Siegel Gallery, San Francisco.

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For Exhibition 41, we are pleased to be hosting London-based painter Clem Crosby with a suite of new paintings in oil on aluminum-backed Formica panels.

Crosby's work grew out of monochrome roots back to modes that incorporate drawing, figure-ground and composition, but without sacrificing the conceptual underpinnings of radical painting. He has managed to balance the interdependence of image and object in his painting, much in the way that they merge in a ceramic vase. Crosby's conscious exploitation of the peculiarities of his formica support, and its contribution to his picture making, pushes his result beyond abstract expression to something more concrete and actual. His palette tends toward complex tertiaries, often mixed wet on wet on the panel in stacked planes and latticework. The physicality of his color anchors the image back down to the support, almost as if the vestigial picture has been pulled up from the back. He works in a subtractive mode, painstakingly iterative, with a great deal of wiping and revision.

Crosby represented Britain in 2012 at the Venice Biennale Architectural Pavilion with the firm Haworth Tompkins. He is represented in London by Pippy Houldsworth and has shown at the Tate Britain Drawing Symposium, the UC Berkeley Art Museum, and Lisson Gallery. This is his fourth solo with the gallery.

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womeninthedunes

For exhibit 40, our summer project, we are mounting a group show of painters (and one photographer with very close ties to painting) working with motifs and modes that touch upon borders, boundaries and transitional zones. When I culled my list of artists, some from the gallery stable and others from amongst local painters I admire, I discovered they were all women. After pausing to consider whether gender played any signicant role here, I decided to leave that question up to the viewer, nodding to this coincidence and other shifting sands only with the title of the show lifted from Director Hiroshi Teshigahara's Academy Award winning 1964 film, Woman in the Dunes. Many thanks to the artists, Judith Belzer, Justine Frischmann, Narangkar Glover, Jessalyn Haggenjos, Nancy Haynes, Erin Lawlor, Marie Thibeault, Jennah Ward, Arngunnur Yr and Jenny Bloomfield, who participates courtesy of Gwen Terpstra's Gallery 60SIX.

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For exhibit 39 we are pleased to present Brooklyn Bridge, a group show of fourteen contemporary Brooklyn painters, guest curated by painter Justine Frischmann, and showcasing works by Andrea Belag, Katherine Bradford, Farrell Brickhouse, Sharon Butler, Clare Grill, Clinton King, Chris Martin, Saira McLaren, Paul DeMuro, Mike Olin, Paul Pagk, Jason Stopa, Julie Torres and Wendy White. Frischmann draws parallels between her experiences with the London Punk revival of the '90s and the current resurgence of raw painting in New York neighborhoods such as Bushwick and Red Hook, making a case for a community-driven aesthetic. As Frischmann states, "They are closely knit, talking, arguing, listening, competing, supporting each other. Working and living and partying together. They have nothing to lose because no one is listening to them anyway. And then, one by one, they start 'breaking' and all of a sudden, the critics start writing about a movement. And it has power because it didn’t just come from the journalists or the advertising execs, it comes from the streets, from grass roots, from something that had been forming and gaining power for years. It has the advantage of multiple view points and shared experience, a large and complex network of people behind it." We wish to thank Mitchell-Innes and Nash, Sargent's Daughters, Soloway and Galerie Zürcher for their generous assistance. A color 42-page catalog with commentary by George Lawson and Justine Frischmann accompanies the exhibition.

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For exhibit 38 we are pleased to be showing new work of Bay Area painter Judith Belzer, exhibiting selections from her latest series, Paths of Desire, in which she continues to explore the collision of the natural and man-made world. Belzer uses oil paint at times like watercolor and at times like colored pencil, folding her surfaces in ribbons of thin wash and sharply meandering line. She adopts the aerial perspective of a crop duster, surveying the contested borders between back country, cultivated field, industry and the overlay of her own struggle for an organizing principle. Her motif is not so much the encroachment of civilization as one finds in the pervasive brand-scape, but its crimping effect as she renders worlds that fracture light like crumpled cans. She manages a balance between a maelstrom-like embrace and the hovering detachment of a naturalist reporting back on the condition of a discovered world.

Judith Belzer has shown extensively in New York, Boston, Chicago and California and has participated in institutional exhibitions at the Sonoma County Museum and The Marin County Foundation; Wave Hill, The Museum of Arts and Design and The Arnot Art Museum in New York. She is a recipient of a 2014 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in Fine Arts and a Yaddo Residency. This is her third solo with the gallery.

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For our 37th exhibit in San Francisco, we are pleased to be showing selected recent works by Southern California painter John Millei, his second solo with the gallery. In this group of paintings Millei plays with figurative motifs: portrait heads, inverted torsos, bathers and peripheral glimpses that melt into abstraction.

An old friend who was a drummer once showed me how to tune a set of bongos by holding them over the stovetop, checking the ping every few seconds as the heat tightened the head. Something in the tension Millei achieves in this group of paintings, the image splayed between his anthropomorphic/historical references and the obdurate slap of his paint, reminds me of the way the drum skin would get taut over the burner. When I look at them I start with a fix, and whether it's the formality of Dutch portraiture, the bravado of Picasso, or the accidental conventions of vernacular photography, these associations function like the brads around the rim of the drum, and the skin of paint just pulls tighter for its strain against them. But Millei is in there testing the ping. They're not just taut: they're tuned. Millei hits a certain note by pairing the dead matte of his favored Flashe acrylic with oleo-glosses, and by leaping from stylistic motif to motif. His understanding of the costs and benefits of license and constraint has for some time anticipated the attitudes of a younger generation of painters who freely meld historical homage with divergent methods and materials in their work.

John Millei has an extensive history of solo exhibitions and has shown in the past with Gerhard Richter, Helmut Federle and Helmut Dorner. He has collaborated on two occasions with the late poet Robert Creeley and his work is documented in two shorts by Full Figured Films, "Maritime" and "Woman in a Chair". He is adjunct Professor of Painting at Claremont University and serves on the Fine Art Faculty of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

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dom34

For the 36th exhibit in San Francisco, we are proud to be showing new paintings by New York and Chapel Hill, NC-based artist Donald Martiny, works in polymer medium and dispersed pigment that form swaths of paint directly against the wall. Martiny extends the formal underpinnings of the radical or fundamental painting movement, foregoing traditional support altogether. Martiny’s high relief would suggest a hybrid form with sculpture, yet his working method and his conceptual focus ground these works firmly in the principles of painting. Martiny studied at the School of the Visual Arts and The Art Students League in New York, New York University and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. His work is in private collections in Philadelphia, Washington DC, Amsterdam, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He has an upcoming solo at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and is currently participating in the East Wing Biennial at the Courtauld Institute in London, along with Julie Mehretu, Bridget Riley and others. This is his second solo show with the gallery.

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For exhibition 35 we are pleased to be showing recent paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Jacob Melchi, fresh off his participation in Santa Monica's California Heritage Museum show, NEW ARTISTS ON THE MAP. This is his second solo with the gallery in addition to the group, Seven Young Los Angeles Painters I Like in 2012. Melchi has for some time been the studio assistant of painter Charles Arnoldi and in recent years has emerged in his own right as one of Los Angeles' strongest painters. A 2003 MFA graduate of Otis, Melchi's work has been shown previously at institutions such as The Center for Contemporary Art in Sacramento, The Torrance Art Museum, The Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art in Helsinki, and The Netherlands Media Art Institute in Amsterdam. Melchi draws on references to the outside world such as baseball and freshly mowed lawns, and filters these impressions through his own brand of geometric organization. He handles his medium with a predilection for paint's tactile quality and its ability to retain the history of its own making beneath the surface, often exploiting the jute-like quality of rough-weave linens. Melchi practices a hybrid form of geometric, symbolist and physical art that places him at the center of painting's current resurgence.

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