WOAW is pleased to present Allegory of Painting, a group show curated by @willnyc (William Leung) co-founder of ATM Gallery, New York. The exhibition features paintings by seven artists created in 2020 that initiated the new tendency in the art world. On view at WOAW, 5 Sun St, Wan from 5th – 15th, November 2020, with an opening reception on Thursday, November 5th from 6 – 8 PM.
Gathering a class of innovative painters Anna Weyant, Ana Benaroya, Ryan Travis Christian, Alexis Ralaivao, Roby Dwi Antono, Jess Valice, Jason Mason, their works grow from the history of genre painting, it recharges the tradition of portraiture by embracing collage and disregarding exacting realism. These artists set about making images which are lovingly enhanced, heightened by an attention to craftsmanship and a care for line, colour, and hue. The figure dominates the canvas and each of the representations stage an evacuation of volume and amplifies a specific graphic sensibility used in technical drawings, sign painting, and cartoons. The figures in these works are obfuscated or exaggerated by another element, which could be seen either at the background, the foreground, or midground. This intersection instigates a chain of associations which turns over into a form of storyboarding and storytelling.
The paintings selected by @willnyc for Allegory of Painting exhibition, continue a tradition that many first encountered at the Whitney Museum in 2016, in Flatlands, a group exhibition curated by Laura Phipps and Elisabeth Sherman. The participants in the show were noted for their “compositions with objects, bodies, and places that are based on reality, yet are exaggerated, re-contextualized, simplified, or flattened.” These works initiated the new propensity, one which @willnyc has encountered throughout the past year. This exhibition includes recognizable portraits and introduces a vocabulary of the figure formed against fields of rich, vivid hues. The human figure is often enlarged, cropped, or augmented. Sometimes it is embellished with bravura brushwork and bold colour, yet this too is penned in by a careful command of design. The emblematic centrality that was previously placed on things, or goods, has been re-directed to a provocative encounter with the personal.