contemporary art

Charles Mayton

United States 1974

Charles Mayton
Charles Mayton
United States
December 28, 2014

Charles Mayton is New York-based contemporary artist, whose paintings combine the abstract and the schematic, exploring the questions of time, language and performance in painting, straddling abstraction and figuration.

Mayton was born in 1974 in Florida. He studied at the Ringling School of Art and Design, and graduated from Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College in 2007.

Mayton’s paintings are tantalizingly beautiful, with vivid hues of paint swept across canvases featuring bright semiotic symbols, including question marks, quotations, and clouds. This quality places a premium on the tangible, as a reminder that the best way to incite the unconscious, to release the imagination, is to begin with the overtly physical. Charles Mayton’s practice examines the various ways in which cultural artefacts can be redistributed and reanimated, with an increasingly acclaimed aspect of this enquiry centered on painting about painting. In essence, Mayton’s work provides an inspired documentation of inspiration itself, a pictorial overview of the various ways in which another’s creativity can trigger our own in a constant process of reproduction and renewal.

Charles Mayton’s first solo show in New York, entitled The Difficult Crossing was held in 2011. It was a three-dimensional realization of his 1926 painting of the same title, by René Magritte, which depicts an artist’s studio, the starting point for an array of responses to the Belgian surrealist’s image. Magritte is not an unconscious inspiration here but a decidedly conscious one. Ranging from dissections of Magritte’s perspectival framework to analyses of color palette, Mayton’s painterly quotations and paintings that also reference the practice of making them veer from overt borrowings to far less obvious, meandering meditations. By plunging the viewer into the center of Magritte’s canvas, Mayton conjures a world that demands that one consider the role of the unconscious within the artist’s studio, a place where ideas take material shape. Given that our daily experience increasingly plays out against a digital wasteland of information, it’s worth pausing for a moment to remember the ethos of the Surrealists. Mayton builds on the group’s pursuit of psychic freedom, stimulating a dialogue about the importance of artistic creation and its relationship to consciousness.

Charles Mayton’s work has been displayed in numerous group and several solo exhibitions, in Paris, New York, Dallas and London. He lives and works in New York.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2015Tableau Table TavoloAmerican Academy, RomeSolo
2015Heather Guertin, Eberhard Havekost, Peter Mandradjieff, Charles Mayton, Zak Prekop, Torben RibeGalerie Hussenot, Paris Group
2014A Moveable FeastPart XII, Campoli Presti, Paris Solo
2014Ô,TÄPSEDavid Lewis, New YorkSolo
2014Hypothesis for an ExhibitionDominique Levy Gallery, New YorkGroup
2014Slow LearnerTimothy Taylor Gallery, LondonGroup
2014Lucas Knipscher | Charles Mayton - End Of The Night Café Thomas Duncan Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Five Red HerringsCampoli Presti, LondonSolo
2013Two-StepThe Power Station, Dallas Solo
2013A Scanner, DarklyDavid Lewis Gallery, New York Group
2013Avant de Rentrer, Il Faut Incendier la MaisonThomas Duncan Gallery, Los Angeles Group
2013Painter PainterThe Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Group
2013Everything and All of ThatSimone Subal Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2013From where I come … maybe … I don’t’ knowGalleria Raucci, Santamaria, NaplesGroup
2012The Muse VenaleBaliceHertling, ParisSolo
2012Needles in the Camel’s Eye Thomas Duncan Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2012Foreign Figs for Florence Dingum at Villa RomanaVilla Romana, Florence Group
2011The Difficult CrossingBaliceHertling & Lewis, New York Solo
2011Balice Hertling & LewisFront Desk Apparatus, New York Group
2011Vide-PocheSculpture Center, Long Island City Group
2011Best of 2011Soloway, BrooklynGroup
2010179 Canal AnywaysWhite Columns, New York Don Group
2010Juan in the Village , curated by Bjarne Melgaard Lars Bohman Gallery, StockholmGroup
2009Leave No Trace: Troughs, Phantom LimbsInternational Studio Curatorial Program, Brooklyn Group
2009No Bees, No Blueberries SaloonHarris Lieberman Gallery, New York Group
2009Am Nuden DaSession 2, Flags LondonGroup
2009New Images , UnisexKevin Bruk Gallery, MiamiGroup
2009No Bees, No BlueberriesI-cabin, LondonGroup
2009Session_2_Flags Am Nuden Da, LondonGroup
2008Hermann’s Grid, curated by Gareth JamesGalleria Franco Soffiantino Arte Contemporanea, Turin Group
2008The Grey House That Thinks Itself Into Your Head Without AskingPeter Fingesten Gallery-Pace University, New YorkGroup
2008Wish You Were Here  TAT, BerlinGroup
2007New Misunderstandings-Return of the SameMoti Hasson Gallery, New YorkGroup
2007Brief EncountersCaren Golden Fine Art, New York City, NYGroup