Installation Views

This is an installation view of the exhibition by Brian Calvin in 2017 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by Brian Calvin in 2017 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by Brian Calvin in 2017 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by Brian Calvin in 2017 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by Brian Calvin in 2017 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by Brian Calvin in 2017 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by Brian Calvin in 2017 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by Brian Calvin in 2017 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by Brian Calvin in 2017 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.
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Works

This is a painting named Looking Over by American artist Brian Calvin made in 2017. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 108 x 72 inches.This is a painting named Longneck by American artist Brian Calvin in 2017. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 108 by 72 inches.This is a painting named In The Distance by American artist Brian Calvin in 2017. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 60 by 48 inches.This is a painting named Exhale by American artist Brian Calvin made in 2017. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 60 inches in diameter.This is a painting named Focusing by American artist Brian Calvin in 2017. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 40 by 30 inches.This is a painting named à Gauche by American artist Brian Calvin made in 2017. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 60 inches in diameter.This is a painting named à Droit by American artist Brian Calvin made in 2017. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 60 inches in diameter.This is a painting named Inhale by American artist Brian Calvin made in 2017. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 60 inches in diameter.This is a painting named The Silent Treatment by American artist Brian Calvin in 2017. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 40 by 30 inches.This is a painting named Soft Focus by American artist Brian Calvin in 2017. The materials are acrylic on linen, and the dimensions are 28 by 18 inches.This is a painting named Hand by American artist Brian Calvin in 2017. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 82 by 102 inches.This is a painting named Daughter by American artist Brian Calvin in 2017. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 40 by 30 inches.

Press Release

Brian Calvin
September 7 –
October 7, 2017

In his fifth solo show at Anton Kern Gallery, the California-based painter Brian Calvin presents a new body of work featuring tightly-cropped portrait paintings, colored pencil drawings, and anthropomorphic wooden sculptures.

 

Among the new group of paintings, the artist introduces tondos (circular shaped canvases), whose cropping eliminates any sense of background or place, and underscores the flatness of his compositions. Also, for the first time at the gallery, Calvin presents sculptures: stilt-size painted wooden legs leaning against the wall, suggesting a group of idle teenage loiterers. The exhibition demonstrates the evolution of Calvin’s reduced style of depicting the human form, and a looseness that opens up his pictorial vocabulary.

 

Through repetition of his archetypal female figure, the artist invites us to look past the inviting face we are confronted by, and consider the idiosyncrasies of his formal choices. By reducing the face to its essential features, and isolating eyes, lips, hair, each work offers pieces of a code for the viewer to interpret.

 

Oversize eyes gaze past the viewer. Lips are paused between forming words, revealing charmingly imperfect teeth and soft pink tongues. Faces are cropped and abstracted to various degrees, drawing attention to specific features. Mini landscapes appear in fingernails, the shapes and gradations in eyes and lips mimic sunsets over a horizon. Calvin’s dreamy palette of pastels and ocean blues reflects the eternal summer of California and the sweetness of youth.

 

Throughout the exhibition, the artist presents exercises in seeing. He plays with doubling; hanging works that are nearly identical, but differ in terms of scale, orientation, or expression. Titles such as A Gauche and A Droit, Inhale and Exhale suggest opposites, sequences, or perhaps a duality in states of being. In Sleeper, he places mouths where the eyes should be and vice versa. This simple inversion frustrates our instinct to rearrange the features, creating an exciting optical tension.

 

Calvin’s work is asking, not answering, questions. Unconcerned with representation or narrative, the artist frees himself to meditate in the abstract activity of painting and explore the history of portraiture - from cave paintings, to the Renaissance, to the selfie - tapping into a primitive human desire to create images.

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Press

  • December 1
    2017
    Artforum
    Top 10
    PDF
  • September 18
    2017
    New Yorker
    New Yorker
    PDF