76 Grand Street
Surface to Air was an exhibition of new paintings, collages and drawings by Michael Bevilacqua.
The exhibition featured two of the artist’s most ambitious works, Surface to Air and Drawing Under the Influence; Geek USA. Surface to Air was a twenty-four foot painting that summarized the artist’s past themes and led him into a new more painterly direction. Drawing Under the Influence; Geek USA was the final section of a fifty-three foot long painting that rendered the artist’s personal history and artistic development into a vast artificial landscape.
In the two years before the exhibition, Bevilacqua opened up his paintings, no longer emphasizing flatness and graphic logo-like images. His compositions were more fluid, combining a graphic precision with a more gestural approach. He became interested in the debris of the artist’s studio; the floor strewn with discarded tape and tissue paper and the photocopies that he used in his drawings. His paintings were increasingly about the process of making a painting. The studio detritus became an element in the composition.
In Surface to Air, the artist appeared as a somnambulist character on the right, looking into his
painting and observing how it was made. There was the illusion of seeing objects floating through clouds and papers falling through the painting. Bevilacqua learned to paint as a young artist by painting bottles, and the starting point of the painting was a still life of bottles, reminiscent of his first works. His paintings represented the structure of contemporary memory, a floating field of iconic images.
Drawing Under the Influence; Geek USA was an exploration of the way the artist used drawing to structure his paintings. For Bevilacqua, drawing involved photocopies and tissue drawings, with a layering of images. The work was a culmination of the artist’s fusion of art historical references with pop culture, a world where Morandi existed on an equal plane with The Smashing Pumpkins.
The exhibition Surface to Air was a prelude to the retrospective exhibition of Michael Bevilacqua’s work that took place at the Louisiana Museum in Denmark from June 18 – September 18, 2005. The Louisiana Museum exhibition featured the complete fifty-three foot painting that culminated with Drawing Under the Influence; Geek USA.
This was Bevilacqua’s second solo exhibition at Deitch Projects.
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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