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Andrew Gbur Exhibition Introduces New Rhythm in His Flat, Familiar Imagery

  • Andrew Gbur exhibition
January 5, 2016

It was an amazing year for the Team Gallery from New York City. Their art spaces in Manhattan hosted a number of great exhibitions, while the gallery presented the work of its artists at the world’s finest art fairs – Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2015, Art Basel in Basel 2015, Art Basel Miami Beach. After a successful year, we are all expecting to see what Team Gallery has prepared for 2016! The beginning seems promising, since art lovers, collectors and art enthusiasts will have an opportunity to enjoy Andrew Gbur exhibition in January. A solo show of work by American painter Andrew Gbur will mark artist’s New York debut with Team, and the visitors will see a brand new group of paintings.

Andrew Gbur exhibition
Andrew Gbur – Legs (Purple Pants), 2015, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 108 inches 203 x 274 cm,

Exploring Your Own Art Historical Influences – The Art of Andrew Gbur

Andrew Gbur is an American artist, born in 1984, known for his screen-printed ink paintings of repetitive, colored stripes in the tradition of Frank Stella and Op artist Victor Vasarely. He uses obscure images, patterns, and monochromes to explore duplication, originality, and visual representations of the experience of music. For the artist’s show at Team Gallery, the artist pares down familiar images to two or three opaque shades, applied contiguously in cartographic blocks. While the resultant pieces are recognizably depictive, the acts of isolation, visual reduction and repetition void their subject matter of its wonted semantic content. While Gbur’s past exhibitions have been limited to a single repeated subject, the artist’s driving concern with seriality manifests here as a network of motifs and themes, endowing the exhibition with a discernable rhythmicity. The works are hindered in post-war Art History, repurposing the aesthetics of Pop Art and Minimalism in order to investigate the value and significance of contemporary symbols.

Andrew Gbur exhibition
Andrew Gbur – 30th Century, 2015, acrylic and screen-printing ink on canvas, 80 x 108 inches, 203 x 274 cm

From Warhol to Ruscha

Andrew Gbur derives his raw material from a variety of sources, recycling specific, identifiable iconography (the 20th Century Fox logo, a Suicide album cover), as well drawing from a more general pictorial lexicon (a sword, a pair of pants, a pumpkin). The paintings are cannibalistic, stripping pictures of nutritional value and re-presenting them as skeletons of themselves. A smiley face, the contemporary emblem of banal pleasantry, in Gbur’s hands reads as both vacant and malevolent; rather than serving its standard purpose of evincing happiness, the smiling hieroglyph instead reconnoiters the potential for deception and psychological violence intrinsic to pictographic communication. By inverting his subject matter’s semiotic associations, Gbur strengthens his surfaces. Each painting is an explicit condensation of Gbur’s own art historical influences. Warhol’s screen-prints provide a generative point of reference: he imagines those works’ underpaintings, with the top layers of detail stripped away. The artist also adopts and repurposes the aesthetics of Blinky Palermo’s works on canvas and Henri Matisse’s cutouts, cobbling together floating shapes of opaque color. Perhaps most significantly, the legacy of Ed Ruscha is central to this new body of work.

Andrew Gbur exhibition
Andrew Gbur – Legs (Purple Pants), detail, 2015

Andrew Gbur Exhibition at Team Gallery

Andrew Gbur has been exhibiting at galleries both in the United States and abroad. This exhibition is the artist’s New York debut with Team Gallery. The new body of work that will be exhibited at Team Gallery is a bit different from the artist’s previous work. Therefore, this exhibition is a perfect opportunity for all art enthusiasts to see how the artist’s approach has evolved since previous exhibitions. The show will take place at the Gallery’s 83 Grand Street location (concurrently, the Gallery’s 47 Wooster Street space will house a solo exhibition by Alex Bag). The show will be on view from January 14 until February 28, 2016 at Team Gallery in New York.

Featured Image: Andrew Gbur – 30th Century, detail, 2015. All Images courtesy of Team Gallery.