218 N Highland St
Marfa, TX 79843
April 22-25, 2021
Nino Mier Gallery presents Sand Canyon, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles based artist Jake Longstreth presented in Marfa, Texas as part of a special annex of the Marfa Invitational Art Fair. Longstreth is well-known for his atmospheric landscapes of Southern California that capture the region’s natural topography in a bright, bathing light. Longstreth marries a stark, contemporary realism with a landscape painter’s sensitivity to mood and tone. For Sand Canyon, the artist has created landscapes on such a massive scale, the viewer becomes immersed in an arid Californian diorama.
The artist’s distinct style is epitomized by the backdrop of slightly smoggy, softly gradated skies in his iconic renderings of eucalyptus and pine trees. Eschewing the famous palm trees of the LA area, Longstreth prefers the more ubiquitous and oft overlooked eucalyptus and pines that populate the region’s landscape. A foreboding and piercing light underscores the artist’s attention to bleaker aspects of the idyllic environs: hanging smog, raking shadows, sunbaked earth, and burnt branches surrounding the ancient bodies of looming, giant trees.
For Sand Canyon, the sheer scale of the works places the viewer within the tableau of the scenery, capturing a cinematic sense of place. Longstreth wanted to paint pine trees that approached life size and indeed the width of the trunk and length of the pine needles of Sand Canyon (Pine 1), does just that. Highly realistic from a distance, a closer look reveals how subtly stylized the paintings are: repetitive, combs of brush strokes form into fans of pine needles, s-shaped marks layer together as dappled eucalyptus leaves, various flat planes and lines fit like puzzle pieces into craggy pine bark.
Although the scenery is specific in its depiction of Southern California, the artist confesses that the Sand Canyon shown in these paintings does not exist. It is instead a name taken from a song title. His paintings are, after all, created inside his east side Los Angeles studio. They are composites of reality and memory. Scenes of nature are tacked on his studio walls: from various photographs, his own sketches, beloved picture books or found online imagery. These fragments of his particular reality inform the paintings, yet the landscapes for Sand Canyon are formed in Longstreth’s head. Conceived from a lifetime of collected memory, but wholly borne with a paintbrush.
Jake Longstreth (b. 1977, Sharon, CT; lives and works in Los Angeles) received his MFA from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA. He has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions at Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco; Crisp Ellert Museum, St. Augustine, Florida; Monya Rowe Gallery, New York; M Woods, Beijing; Blum & Poe, Los Angeles and Mahan Gallery, Columbus.
Booth No. 7
113 E El Paso St
Marfa, TX 79843
April 22-25, 2021
Nino Mier Gallery is pleased to announce the Marfa Invitational 2021 solo presentation of new paintings and works on paper by Nikki Maloof.
The paintings are a continuation of the artist’s series presented in her 2020 exhibition “Nervous Appetite” where memento mori paintings of the sourcing, preparation, cooking and enjoying of a grotesque, yet compelling feast were shown with gaudy and garish patterns that create\ a palpable anxiety for the viewer.
The kitchen for Massachusetts-based Maloof is a psychological space, one where the quiet frustrations and joys of being a wife and a mother are realized on a daily basis. Like so many of us during quarantine, the constraints of the pandemic relegated Maloof to the kitchen and unable to escape domesticity, Maloof began to embrace the tracings of entrapment by painting her warden. Walking back and forth from the kitchen in her house to the paintings of kitchens in her studio created a never ending loop which is echoed in her paintings, where surreal compositions of meats, fish and of severed vegetables arrange themselves against undulating wallpaper patterns. We, like the poultry and bovine that adorn her canvases, are trapped in a domestic nightmare; one that is cleaved into us by the dark hues of red in The Red Kitchen. Red the color of blood undulates through the patterned wallpaper and diamond tile - and if the message isn’t clear enough, the severed head sitting in parchment paper, chopped hoofs, and thick slices of meat ready to be seared in the pan, only bring us closer to the inherent violence of kitchen life.
For Maloof, this violence is to be ridiculed and using the parody of color, Maloof transforms the violent act of cooking into a humorous endeavor. In The Meat Stall With Squashed Pigeon Maloof uses a vibrant blue for the traditional checkered wallpaper juxtaposed against the pinkish reds of the hanging meats, rolled sausages, choice cuts and pickled vegetables. Borrowing the aesthetic of Francis Bacon anguished visions of humanity in his post-war meat paintings while echoing market scenes of the Dutch masters Pieter Aertsen and Rembrandt Van Rijn, Maloof endeavors through her color relationships to subvert the stereotype of meat as brutal and haunting into lighthearted parody. When we look at Maloof’s high intensity colors, we are transported more closely to Wayne Thiebaud’s pastry counters where pastels reign supreme rather than the bleakness of the aforementioned masters. This brightness can be seen as an anecdote to the gore and one in which Maloof lampoons the traditional role of a 1950’s housewife rather than a commentary on a nihilistic existence.
Reference to women and their roles can similarly be seen in Weeping Women with Cooked Goose where Delft blue ceramics of Picasso’s cubist portraits lay bare ahead of a feast of olive speared duck and hallah bread. Here again, tragedy is personified in a mimicry of Picasso’s legacy of the weeping woman and then made fun of by Maloof’s garish tablecloths patterns. Where in today’s world the traditional roles of the household have been muddied and cooking is not necessarily seen as women’s work, Maloof’s paintings take aim at these engendered roles and the residue of the division of labor that still seems to exist.
Nikki Maloof (b. 1985, Peoria, Illinois; lives and works in South Hadley, Massachusetts) will present a solo exhibition at Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles in November 2020, and has recently exhibited a solo show, After Midnight at Jack Hanley Gallery, and the group exhibitions What Did I Know of Your Days: Danielle Orchard and Nikki Maloof at V1 Gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark, 36 Paintings at Harper's Books in East Hampton, New York, Animal Kingdom at Alexander Berggruen in New York, NY Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts at The American Academy of Arts and Letters 30th, Anniversary Exhibition at Jack Hanley Gallery, Drawing Island at The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, Horror Vacui, or The Annihilation of Space at Misako and Rosen, Tokyo, A Forest on the Edge of Time at The Pit, Los Angeles, The Great Figure Two at The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, Imagine at Brand New Gallery, Milan, Let's Get Figurative at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York, Tiger Tiger at Salon 94, New York, Undertonk and Friends at Undertonk, New York, Please Excuse Our Appearance at 247365, New York, and Immediate Female at Judith Charles Gallery, New York. The artist has received several awards, most recently the Helen W. Winternitz Award in Painting and Printmaking and the Gloucester Landscape Prize. Maloof received her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Indiana University in 2008 and Master’s of Fine Art in Painting from Yale University in 2011.