Installation Views

This is an installation view of the exhibition titled “HEAD” featuring works by Brian Calvin in 2009 at Anton Kern Gallery.This is an installation view of the exhibition titled “HEAD” featuring works by Brian Calvin in 2009 at Anton Kern Gallery.This is an installation view of the exhibition titled “HEAD” featuring works by Brian Calvin in 2009 at Anton Kern Gallery.This is an installation view of the exhibition titled “HEAD” featuring works by Brian Calvin in 2009 at Anton Kern Gallery.This is an installation view of the exhibition titled “HEAD” featuring works by Brian Calvin in 2009 at Anton Kern Gallery.This is an installation view of the exhibition titled “HEAD” featuring works by Brian Calvin in 2009 at Anton Kern Gallery.This is an installation view of the exhibition titled “HEAD” featuring works by Brian Calvin in 2009 at Anton Kern Gallery.This is an installation view of the exhibition titled “HEAD” featuring works by Brian Calvin in 2009 at Anton Kern Gallery.

Works

This is a painting titled Codex (Head) by American artist Brian Calvin in 2009. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 60 by 60 inches.This is a painting titled On the Plane by American artist Brian Calvin in 2009. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 60 by 60 inches.This is a painting titled Aurora Borealis by American artist Brian Calvin in 2009. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 52 by 52 inches.This is a painting titled Eternal Return by American artist Brian Calvin in 2009. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 44 by 88 inches.This is a painting titled Alta California by American artist Brian Calvin in 2009. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 60 by 48 inches.This is a painting titled Scene I've Known by American artist Brian Calvin in 2009. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 60 by 48 inches.This is a painting titled Head With Stuff (Can With Hand) by American artist Brian Calvin in 2009. The materials are acrylic on canvas, and the dimensions are 88 by 44 inches.

Press Release

Brian Calvin

HEAD

December 10, 2009 –
January 16, 2010

December 9, New York—A group of paintings by L.A.-based artist Brian Calvin, making a subtle turn from his previous work, will be on view for his third solo show at Anton Kern Gallery through January 16, 2010. After establishing himself as a painter of “pausing-as-an-activity,” Calvin now, in this new body of works entitled “Head,” concentrates on the face as a picture of the mind with the eyes being its interpreter. Noting the singular case of the title, the viewer has been tipped off about entering an exhibition concerned with a state of mind rather than portrait painting.

 

With a minimum of modeling of the facial features and backgrounds – achieving an almost Japanese allegorical flatness – the canvas is divided into clear shapes of sunlight-drenched colors, often exaggerating eyes and lips, revealing brushstrokes mainly for their chromatic values and occasionally for expressive accents. Eyelids are heavy under rainbows of eye-shadow, lips glossy and inviting, and sometimes, as if longing for that cooling drink, slightly split open revealing an orange, oblong-shaped tongue. Itʼs the eyes though, that are the most arresting in these new works, as if to say, once you look at me I will look back and not let go! Gazing at someone says much about the relation between the observer and the observed; and about the relations, between and among, the subjects of the gaze and about the circumstance of the gazing. Calvin remarks that he sits “with them…painting what seem like masks until they start to look back at me.” In this case then, one could even say that the gaze does not belong to the subject, the viewer, any longer, but, rather, to the object of the gaze, the painting.

 

Calvin as the painter of the contemplative life, of paintings in which the figure appears as the non-figurative, makes the act of looking the new narrative. This certainly demands more of the viewer since the paintings refuse to offer any additional narrative structure, but then a reward is offered, a glimpse at unrelenting beauty, tenderness, and the splendor of truth.

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