acrylic

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Art

A Storm of Paint Entangles the Enigmatic Subjects of Glenn Brown's Winding Portraits

December 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Lactate (Midwinter)” (2020), oil and acrylic on panel, 78 3/4 x 55 1/2 inches. All images © Glenn Brown, courtesy of Max Hetzler, shared with permission

Winding lines and sinuous strands form the textured labyrinths that surround Glenn Brown’s subjects. The uncanny portraiture that comprises his series And thus we existed seamlessly revitalizes icons of pop culture and art history with the London-based artist’s distinct aesthetic. Bold prismatic hues whirl in curling strokes that intertwine outward across each panel, centering the figures while emphasizing the individual lines that provide their shape.

Prior to painting a backdrop or enigmatic subject, Brown begins with a source image, which he then digitally alters before transferring to the panel. While he evokes the aesthetics of surrealists or artists like Karel Appel, Frank Auerbach, Georg Baselitz, and Chris Foss, each of Brown’s acrylic and oil paintings transcend simple appropriation. Instead, he identifies the unexplored possibilities within the original image, casting unusual and complex lines that bolster the works’ mysterious and unsettling qualities. His deviation from the primary source also entangles his own narrative with that of his predecessors.

And thus we existed will be on view at two of Max Hetzler’s spaces in Berlin—Bleibtreustraße 45 and Bleibtreustraße 15/16—through January 23, 2021. To see where Brown’s work is headed next, check out his Instagram and his site.

 

“Cathedral Gin (after Castiglione)” 2020), oil and acrylic on panel, 52 x 37 3/8 inches

“The Crystal Escalator in the Palace of God Department Store” (2020), oil and acrylic on panel, in artist’s frame, 83 7/8 x 54 3/8 x 3 1/2 inches

“Bring on the Headless Horses” (2020), oil and acrylic on panel, 78 3/4 x 55 1/2 inches

“Drawing 2 (after Delacroix/Raphael)” (2019), acrylic paint on polyester film over cardboard, in artist’s frame, 43 x 37 x 2 3/8 inches

“And Thus We Existed” (2019–2020), oil and acrylic on panel, 78 x 48 1/8 inches

“Myths of the Near Future (Painting for Georgiana Houghton)” (2019), oil and acrylic on panel, 77 3/4 x 48 inches

 

 



Art

Metaphorical Scenes Examine Mystery in Dreamy Paintings by Artist Duy Huynh

November 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

“ReciprociTea,” acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 x 2.5 inches. All images © Duy Huynh, shared with permission

Vietnamese artist Duy Huynh (previously) examines balance through nuanced scenes replete with ethereal, surreal elements: individual flowers ascend from a teapot, a chain winds around an artichoke heart, and figures float mid-air. Rendered in muted hues, the acrylic paintings are metaphorical and narrative-based, visualizing stories by connecting unusual symbols or positioning disparate objects together. The North Carolina-based artist gives the works witty names— “Thyme to Turnip the Beet” and “ReciprociTea,” for example—adding to their playful and whimsical natures.

In a statement, Huynh writes that the core of his practice involves drawing connections “between two or more mysteries,” which he explains further:

My characters often float (literally) somewhere between science and spirituality, memory and mythology, structure and spontaneity, ephemeral and eternal, humorous and profound, connectivity and non-attachment. The intent isn’t necessarily to provide enlightenment but to celebrate the quest itself.

Huynh co-owns Lark & Key, where his elegant paintings are part of a group show that’s on view through November 28. Limited-edition prints and greeting cards of his works are available through the gallery, as well.

 

“No More Clouded Hearts,” acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 x 2.5 inches

Left: “Thyme to Turnip the Beet,” acrylic on wood, 12 x 12 x 1.75 inches. Right: “Wisdom Keepers,” acrylic on wood, paper on piano reads “press any key to continue,” 30 x 40 x 2.5 inches

“Heart of Gold,” acrylic on wood, 12 x 12 x 2 inches

Left: “A Matter of Pace, Space and Equanimitea,” acrylic on wood, 16 x 16 x 2.5 inches.  Right: “A Life More Aliferous,” acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 x 2.5 inches

“New Dawn Rising,” acrylic on canvas, 34 x 34 x 2 inches

 

 



Art

Antidote: Organic Lifeforms Rendered with Prussian Blue Create Vivid Ecosystems by Yellena James

October 6, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Yellena James, courtesy of Stephanie Chefas Projects, shared with permission

Using a combination of acrylics, gouache, and ink, Yellena James cultivates brightly-hued ecosystems ripe with lines, patterns, and nature-based motifs. The Portland-based artist paints organic forms that resemble both marine species like coral and kelp in addition to full-bloom flowers, creating brilliant, labyrinth-like ecosystems. Although Prussian blue ink has been a mainstay in James’s practice for years, she recently discovered that the specific color serves as a remedy for certain toxic metal poisonings. This realization spurred the series shown here, which is aptly named Antidote. Each work features the vibrant hue in some capacity.

If you’re in Portland, check out James’s solo show at Stephanie Chefas Projects through October 10. To see the artist’s works in progress, head to Instagram, and try your hand at similar drawings with James’s book, Star, Branch, Spiral, Fan: Learn to Draw from Nature’s Perfect Design Structures. (via Supersonic Art)

 

 

 



Art

Glitched Paintings by Olan Ventura Give a Contemporary Twist to 17th Century Still Lifes

September 4, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Still Life of Flowers, Shells and Insects” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 76.2 x 101.6 cm. All images courtesy of the artist, the Working Animals Art Projects and Yavuz Gallery

Filipino artist Olan Ventura creates lavish acrylic paintings in the tradition of 17th century Dutch still lifes. Replicating the smallest details of iconic works such as Jan Davidsz de Heem’s Vase of Flowers (c. 1660), Ventura veers off course with striking glitches and drips that shoot off the canvas edges, seeming to pull grapes, lobsters, and roses from the past into the present. A statement on Yavuz Gallery explains that Ventura is interested in identity, technology, popular culture. Ventura holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from University of the East, and has been exhibiting in solo shows for the last 15 years. His most recent show, Colour Feast, ran this spring at Yavuz Gallery in Singapore. Ventura keeps a low profile online, but you can explore more of his still life paintings on Yavuz’s website, and a wider range of his work on artnet. (via Hi-Fructose)

“Abundant Bouquet with Pomegranate” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 162.5 x 121.9 cm

“Still Life With Golden Goblet” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 121.9 x 137.2 cm

L: “Still Life with a Melon and Pears” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 45.7 x 61 cm / R: “Fruit Basket” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 45.7 x 61 cm

“Still Life of Flowers” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 101.6 x 76.2 cm

“Fruit Still Life” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 101.6 x 76.2 cm

Yavuz Gallery installation view

Yavuz Gallery installation view

 

 



Art Illustration

Blue and White Greenhouse Illustrations Appear like Sun-Baked Cyanotypes

February 25, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Portuguese artist Ana Frois uses her background in architecture to draft precise structures she fills with imaginative monochrome plants and miniature gardening accessories. The series, simply titled Greenhouses, is created with white pencil on top of deep blue acrylic on paper. The ghostly forms are reminiscent of a cyanotype or faded architectural sketch, as if the clean-cut floating renderings are memories from another time. You can find more of Frois’s drawings on Instagram, and purchase prints of her work on Etsy.

 

 



Art

Abstract Goldfish Swim Through Imitation Plastic Bags in Multi-Media Constructions by Riusuke Fukahori

November 20, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All image courtesy of the artist and Joshua Liner Gallery

Riusuke Fukahori (previously) has long admired the appearance of goldfish, immortalizing realistic depictions of the small creature in layers of acrylic and resin. Previously Fukahori has focused on paintings of goldfish moving inside of Japanese household objects such as bamboo hats, wooden sake cups, and handmade bowls. For his new Irobukuro series his inspiration has turned to imitating the vessels and scenery of Mong Kok’s Goldfish Market in Hong Kong, where rows of colorful fish line stall after stall. For the included works he molds resin to resemble plastic bags filled with water. Instead of realistically depicting the detailed scales, eyes, and fins of the fish Fukahori paints abstractly to capture how a goldfish glides through the water.

These works, along with some of his more traditionally painted pieces in memory-laden objects are included in his third solo exhibition with Joshua Liner Gallery  in New York City, titled Goldfish Blossoms. Fukahori will present realistic paintings in black bowls used at a Buddhist temple, paint cans from his studio, and a wooden oke tub previously used at a restaurant he frequented as a child. The exhibition opens on December 13, 2018 and runs through January 19, 2019.