A good friend of mine once told me that the mark of a good painting show is that it makes you want to drop everything and run to the studio to paint. I have held onto this statement for several years wondering about what it is that makes painters obsess in this particular way. The reason I selected the artists in this show is ultimately very simple; in following the work of each painter included, I have found their responses to the concerns in painting that most haunt me to be such that it forces me to address these crucial questions in my own work. There is not an essential theme that governs my decision to curate this selection of artists but rather sympathies across painting practices and sets of overlapping formal, conceptual, and material affinities that put forward imaginations of painting. If anything unites the artists in this show I think it has to do with a certain kind of haptic, giddy, corny, old fashioned belief in the vitality of paint. —Sedrick Chisom
Omari Douglin (born 1992 Brooklyn, NY) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He attended The Cooper Union for his BFA. Recent group and solo shows include: Stanley and Marta’s Holiday Fête, Stanley’s, Los Angeles (2021) Mother and Child, Friends Indeed Gallery, San Francisco (2021), Deathbound and Sexed, Theta, New York (2021), Gluteus Maximus, Mrs., New York (2019) and A Night in Kumladia, Mrs., New York (2016).
Brook Hsu was born 1987 in Pullman, Washington, USA, and grew up in Oklahoma. Hsu received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2010 and her MFA from Yale University in 2016, and is presently based in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include: Fictions at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler Gallery, Berlin (2021); Conspiracy theory at Et al., San Francisco (2019); pond-love, Bortolami Gallery, New York (2019); Fruiting Body, Bahamas Biennale, Detroit (2018). Group exhibitions include: Particularities (curated by Chris Sharp), X Museum, Beijing (2021); More, More, More (curated by Passing Fancy), TANK, Shanghai (2020); LIFE STILL, CLEARING, New York (2020); The End of Expressionism, Jan Kaps, Cologne (2020); Polly, Insect Gallery, Los Angeles (2019-2020); A Cloth Over a Birdcage, Château Shatto, Los Angeles (2019); Finders’ Lodge, in lieu, Los Angeles (2019); and Let Me Consider It from Here, The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2018- 2019). Her latest monograph and edition titled Norwegian Wood was recently published by American Art Catalogues.
Born in Cardiff, Wales, in 1960, Merlin James studied in London at the Central School of Art and the Royal College of Art. Recent selected exhibitions include Hayward Gallery, London, UK (2021); Leeds Art Gallery, UK (2019) travelling to The Levinsky Gallery, University of Plymouth, UK (2020); A-M-G5, Glasgow, UK (2018); OCT Boxes Museum, Shunde & OCT Art and Design Gallery, Shenzhen, China (both 2018); Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia (2018); CCA Glasgow (2016); Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany (2014); Parasol Unit, London; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (both 2013); and Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2012, 2015). In 2007, James represented Wales at the 52nd Venice Biennale. He curates the exhibition space 42 Carlton Place, in Glasgow, Scotland, where he lives and works
Stanislava Kovalcikova (b. 1988, Slovakia) lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany. In 2017 she completed her MFA at the Düsseldorf Art Academy in the classes of Peter Doig and Tomma Abts. Kovalcikova’s work has since been shown internationally at numerous galleries and institutions including: the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2019), Mendes Wood DM, Brussels (2018), and Tramps, London
Kent O'Connor lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. The artist earned his BFA from Maryland Institute of College of Art, Baltimore, MD and MFA from Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include; Close the Door Behind You, Matthew Brown, Los Angeles, CA (2021) New Paintings, Diane Rosenstein, Los Angeles, CA (2018); Flower Paintings, The Study, New Haven, CT (2017). Selected group exhibitions include It Seems So Long Ago, Matthew Brown, CA (2020) Open Air, Tong Art Advisory, The Hamptons, NY (2020); Seven Year Itch, Diane Rosenstein, Los Angeles, CA (2019); Way Out Now, Diane Rosenstein, Los Angeles, CA (2018); Oily Doily, BBQ LA, Los Angeles, CA (2016). and New York (2015 – 2020).
Painter and sculptor Randy Wray lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and received his B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art. His residencies include the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program. Wray’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina; Camargo Vilaça, São Paulo; White Columns, New York; and Greenville County Art Museum, South Carolina. Group exhibitions include MoMA PS1, New York; Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Socrates Sculpture Park, New York; and Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He is the recipient of awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Gottlieb Grant, a NYFA Painting Fellowship, a Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Grant and the Inaugural Irving Sandler Prize. The artist’s works are represented in museum collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio; Greenville County Art Museum, South Carolina; Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro; Rubin Museum of Art, New York; and the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina. Corporate collections include Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Neuberger Berman and Progressive.
Hiroka Yamashita (born in 1991 in Hyogo, Japan) lives and works in Okayama, Japan. She received her MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Solo exhibitionsinclude Cosmos Remembered at The Club, Tokyo in 2021; Tanya Leighton, Berlin and 融 toru at Higashiyama Bldg. 301, Okayama in 2019. Her work has been included in group exhibitions such as Daichi Takagi, Lucía Vidales, Hiroka Yamashita at Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo in 2020, and Like a Day, 21 Ludlow Street, New York in 2019, among others. Upcoming exhibitions in 2021 include project N 84 at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo, and Dancing in the Dark at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London. Yamashita will have a solo exhibition at Tanya Leighton, Berlin in Spring 2022.