October 16, 2004
Anton Kern Gallery is proud to present the first solo exhibition of artist Brian Calvin in New York. He currently lives and works in California.
Brian Calvin’s paintings are a continuation of the narrative of the figure in painting; weird and quietly disconcerting, the mischievously witty paintings are a meditation on that practice. Blank-faced characters are cast in frozen moments that form no narrative.
The perspective recalls an awkward landscape survey with flattened palate and skewed cropping. Yet as paintings, they are amazingly coherent. Calvin builds them up by using simple lines and matte color patches to transform the ordinary into something enchanted. The painted scenes are overlays of reality, detached elements that form a cerebral puzzle. Frames, smoke rings, a landscape painting and tropical vegetation act as mysterious evidence linking his work to art history.
The bi-dimensionality of the work lulls the viewer into a meditative state. Even as the paintings veer toward abstraction they retain instances of magically vanished moments.
“To me, all of my work is a contemplation of painting and it’s possibilities, so it feels natural to sometimes make works involving the act of painting. I strive to think through painting, not to paint what I think.” – Brian Calvin.