76 Grand Street
Deitch Projects presented Beyond and Back, the next chapter in Michael Bevilacqua’s exploration of popular culture through painting. The axis of this exhibition was a custom-designed race car surrounded by four large-scale paintings and a suite of works on paper. The car’s painted and collaged surface reprised greatest hits from Bevilacqua’s past seven years. Bevilacqua spent the last few years exhibiting in Tokyo, Copenhagen and Paris. Beyond and Back marked his return to New York.
Bevilacqua combined an enthusiasm for pop culture with a sophisticated study of modern painting. His work was a lexicon of contemporary icons and logos, embracing music, fashion, and art. The paintings were a visual diary of his artistic influences, including rock album covers, fashion house logos, children’s cartoon characters, and images from celebrated contemporary paintings. There was no separation between high and low culture. The works were like time capsules funneled through the sensibility of someone who grew up in Northern California during the 70’s and 80’s. Bevilacqua was as much a painter as a social sculptor.
Bevilacqua was also an extraordinarily skillful and subtle painter, a master of color and line. His virtuosity was overshadowed, at first, by the exuberance of his pop subject matter. But like a pointillist painting, there was painstaking detail and technique behind the overall image. His compositions had the visual layering of an overloaded computer screen but there was a harmony between the various clashing planes. The lines were taught and crisp, and the palette was provocative. Every image fit into the overall context. The paintings represented the structure of contemporary memory-- built on layers of icons.
Summarizing his approach to painting, Bevilacqua has said that, “I am constantly swimming in a sea of signs and the canvas is my opportunity, like a writer, to tell my story in paint. Making paintings out of all this stuff allows me to document who I am, where I’m going, and affords me a little daydreaming as well.”
This was Michael Bevilacqua’s first solo exhibition at Deitch Projects. He had previously exhibited at Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, New York, 1999 and 2001, Tomio Koyama, Tokyo in 2002 and Galleri Faurschou, Copenhagen in 2003. Bevilacqua’s work was in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, Dallas Museum of Art, and Orange County Museum of Art. His work was also in the collections of Neuberger Berman, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLC, Vicki and Kent Logan, and the Dakis Joannou Foundation.
A book on Michael Bevilacqua’s work, co-published by colette in Paris and Deitch Projects, was available during the exhibition.
March 8 - 11, 2018
We will present a special solo project by the artist JR.
Image: JR, Migrants, Walking New York City, 2015
April - May 2018
18 Wooster Street
76 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
Monday – Friday
10 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday – Saturday
Noon – 6 PM
The gallery reopens with People in April 2018.
+1 (212) 343-7300
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