Portraits at an Exhibition

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Portraits at an Exhibition opens on November 6th.

On View from November 6 through December 6, 2014 at Gallery 151. 132 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011.

Gallery 151 is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by John Platt. Although this is the artist’s third show with the gallery, it is the first to be devoted exclusively to portraiture. Platt has spent the last few years building a reputation as an abstract painter and the portrait, until recently, has played a peripheral role in the artist’s output. This exhibition seeks to re-examine portraiture, both in Platt’s emerging career and in the larger context of contemporary art.  Comprised of portraits completed in the past year, this show deals largely with the themes of relationships, identity and the dialogue between outward expression and inner feeling.

It is rare to see an artist posses facility in both abstract and figurative domains. As in previous exhibits, we see Platt’s examination of symbolic systems of thought and identity: how one thing is intended, then expressed, and thereafter transformed. In the portraits the transformation occurs as the flatness of a photograph becomes a more dimensionalized visual experience of a painting. In the final canvas the process becomes lost in the emotion and movement of each portrait, as though the subject was never–and will never be–still.

Perhaps it is the artist’s experience as an abstract painter that allows him to convey the ever changing nature of the human experience.

In the artist’s words: “My way of working is highly cinematic.  I go to the sitter’s home and do a fast sequence of photographs, then I choose one–or sometimes several–to work from.  I don’t believe in ‘capturing’ someone in a portrait.  You never really do.  My work is more about motion and seeing someone in a split second.  As with all portraits, the work is about the subject’s identity, but my paintings are also about the moment they sat for me. What were they wearing? Who was texting them? The clothes, furniture and accessories all play a role in that, so no detail is ever overlooked.”

The show’s title, “Portraits At An Exhibition” is a reference to Mussorgsky’s piano suite, “Pictures at an Exhibition,” which he composed after visiting an art exhibition. Each movement of the suite follows a viewer stopping and reacting to the pieces that catch his eye evoking varying emotional responses.

 For all inquiries, please contact Edward Daniel at edward@wallplay.com.

  • Filed under: PAST EXHIBITIONS