NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MILES McENERY GALLERY is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent works by Michael Reafsnyder. The artist’s sixth solo exhibition with the gallery will open on 28 April at 511 West 22nd Street and remain on view through 4 June 2022. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue featuring an essay by Charles Palermo.
In an effort to revive the painterly traditions spawned by Abstract Expressionism, Reafsnyder’s paintings feature densely filled compositions executed in brilliant color, utilizing a full inventory of application techniques. Acrylic paint is dragged, swiped, piled, scraped, brushed, pushed aside, revised and squeegeed onto stretched canvases. The big gestures suggest motion–a kind of physical freedom or abundance of energy that can be associated with the post-painterly abstraction of Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, and Kazuo Shiraga. His churning surfaces allure the viewers’ imaginations into action.
When questioning why Reafsnyder indulges in these procedural manners, the answer is both substantial and simple. Dave Hickey writes, “Reafsnyder hopes to discredit some of the most astonishing critical misprisions in the history of western art. He wants us to see his paintings as he once saw those 1970s de Koonings, as smooth sites of bacchanalian celebration, as inventions rather than symptoms.” The possibility for invention is made possible by Reafsnyder’s shift to acrylic paint in the 2000s, in which he refers to using the language of risk. The unforgiving combination of acrylic paint and application method requires Reafsnyder to surrender to certain forms of close control, such as the one he has with a brush.
“Somewhere between Reafsnyder’s expert handling of the acrylic paint and the fictional space of the resulting waves and cuts and slashes and stuttered vectors of color, manipulation gives way to fiction. Between the two is the risk that Reafsnyder runs,” Charles Palermo writes. Concentrated viewership reveals the rigor of Reafsnyder’s formal investigations. There is a seriousness to his work that exists in harmony with his spirited and mischievous play.
MICHAEL REAFSNYDER (b. 1969, Orange, CA) received his Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art at Chapman University in Orange, CA in 1992 and his Master of Fine Arts at the Arts Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA in 1996.
Select solo exhibitions include Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, New York, NY; “Sunday Best,” Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City,CA;“We Ate The House,” Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, New York, NY; “More: Michael Reafsnyder,” Las Vegas Art Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada; “Paintings,” Galeria Marta Cervera, Madrid, Spain; “Feast,” Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, New York, NY; “Fresh,”W.C.C.A., Singapore; “Delight,” Marty Walker Gallery, Dallas,Texas; “Sweetness,” Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH; “Put it There: New Paintings and Ceramics,” Western Project, Culver City, CA; and “Paintings,” Blum and Poe, Santa Monica, CA.
Select group exhibitions include “Do You Think it Needs a Cloud?,” Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; “Michael Reafsnyder & Patrick Wilson,” Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; “Belief in Giants,” Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; “Non- Objective,” Telluride Fine Art,Telluride, CO;” From the Collection,” North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, ND; “Step Into Liquid,” curated by Dave Hickey, Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA; “Recent Acquisitions,” Barrick Museum, Las Vegas, NV; “Works of Paper II,” ACME., Los Angeles, CA; “Recent Acquisitions,” Barrick Museum, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV; “Paths and Edges: Celebrating the Five-Year Anniversary of the Escalette Collection,” Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman University, Orange, CA;“Los Angeles Ceramic Museum of Art,” ACME, Los Angeles, CA;“Collecting California,” Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA; “Fresh Paint,” Galerie Eugene Lendl, Graz, Austria.“Black Dragon Society,” Black Dragon Society, Los Angeles, CA; “Floor Flowers,” Peggy Phelps Gallery, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA; “Keramik,” Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, CA; and “New Work: Abstract Painting,” Todd Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, California.
His work may be found in the permanent collections of the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA; Las Vegas Art Museum, Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN, among others.
Michael Reafsnyder lives and works in Southern California.