Run Straight Through
June 15 — August 24
Opening June 15, 6 PM
Curated by Kate Mothes, this exhibition presents 4 rising stars in the contemporary painting scene: Tahnee Lonsdale, Kristy Luck, Michael Nauert, and Thom Trojanowski.
How can contemporary painting register the experience of those who travel, migrate, and pass through borders of the world? Run Straight Through is a curatorial project conceived around the notion of physical presence and movement through an exploration of figuration, landscape, and the abstract. The exhibition features four artists based between Los Angeles and London whose works draw connections between place and body; the landscapes that we inhabit, and that inhabit us.
The title, Run Straight Through, is a phrase with multiple meanings: someone may run from one place to another, or something can be run through like a blade in flesh—straight through—cleanly. Some of the paintings are purely abstract, and others represent specific actions, objects, or figures, yet all of these artists question what it means to be “here” and how to get there. Some works, such as those by Tahnee Lonsdale and Thom Trojanowski, present the figure as symbolically cartoonish, separating emotional experience or existence from the body. In the work of Michael Nauert and Kristy Luck, the abstract gestures and forms allude to movement and landscape as metaphor for the presence of the body.
Tahnee Lonsdale’s paintings are influenced by the body as object, particularly furniture, the beginning forms of which are often derived from discarded mattresses, chairs, or sofas that she notices on the side of the road around Los Angeles. Additionally, she constructs textile body-like forms out of fabric stuffed with poly-fill, which she folds into dense poses that mimic furniture, challenging notions of “use” especially relating to the female body.
Oil on canvas
67 x 63 inches
Kristy Luck’s paintings invite us into ethereal settings, which hover in the space between representational and abstract form. Viewers are guided through womb-like passages and exotic landscapes that seem to fade in and out of abstraction. The imagery is mostly invented, occasionally employing recognizable forms such as flowers or waves that exist in a glowing dream state.
Oil and wax on canvas
25 x 21 inches
Michael Nauert’s expressionist abstractions diverge from the figure itself and instead seem to illuminate their absence, marking the space around where the figure might have been. Gestural brush strokes and clustered marks build abstract impressions that encourage the viewer to follow the trails of material and color across the surface, hinting at landscape briefly before becoming abstract again.
Idea as Angel
Oil on canvas
18.25 x 24.25 inches
Thom Trojanowski’s idiosyncratic works further “cartoon” the figures that strut purposefully across the surfaces of his paintings, giving them moon-like shapes for faces, and blocky, geometric forms for bodies. Impaled by a spike or stomping on flames, they are determined figures that lumber around in an imaginary world.
A Silent End
Oil and spray paint on canvas
54 x 62 inches