Installation Views

This is an installation view of the exhibition by artist Brian Calvin in 2006 at Anton Kern Gallery.This is an installation view of the exhibition by artist Brian Calvin in 2006 at Anton Kern Gallery.This is an installation view of the exhibition by artist Brian Calvin in 2006 at Anton Kern Gallery.

Works

This is a painting titled Music (Borrowed Tune) by American artist Brian Calvin in 2006. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 36 by 24 inches.This is a painting titled The Low Road (God Out West) by American artist Brian Calvin in 2006. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 48 by 60 inches.This is a painting titled Cold Cross by American artist Brian Calvin in 2006. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 72 by 48 inches.This is a painting titled Still Life With Flower by American artist Brian Calvin in 2006. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 60 by 48 inches.This is a painting titled Heads Believe by American artist Brian Calvin in 2006. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 78 by 60 inches.This is a painting titled Heads See by American artist Brian Calvin in 2006. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 78 by 48 inches.

Press Release

Brian Calvin
September 7 –
October 14, 2006

A group of paintings and drawings by L.A. based artist Brian Calvin, making a subtle turn from his previously known work, will be on view for his second solo show at Anton Kern Gallery until October 14, 2006.

 

It has been said that Brian Calvin’s paintings explore the physiognomy of slackerdom, that they are populated with androgynous bohemians, skinnies in groups and trippy teenage characters coolly detached and aimlessly gazing at the spirit of melancholia (just to paraphrase a few noteworthy classifications). However, after biting into the reality of pausing-as-an-activity, or as the elders used to say the vita contemplativa, something else has come jotting into the foreground, namely the question of what is really at stake in these paintings. Perhaps it is, as critic Bruce Hainley pointed out, that “Calvin’s paintings oddly come to be about the figure as the appearance of the non-figurative, narrative as the appearance of the non-narrative” thereby recalling a conundrum of Greenbergian proportion namely the representation/non-representation struggle in which Calvin’s protagonists truly test the limits of their own existence.

 

In these new, seemingly simpler paintings the figure “as the appearance of the non-figurative” has clearly won over the narrative; gone are the vague descriptors of a generation apparently drenched in ennui. In reality, which means the reality of the viewer looking at the painting, the works have become more demanding since they refuse to offer a narrative structure. But at the same token they are physically deeply rewarding, portraying, by means of, say two heads in a complex formal entanglement, the presence of unrelenting beauty and real tenderness, or simply the splendor of truth.

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Press

  • September 28
    2006
    Time Out New York
    Reviews: Brian Calvin
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