Despite their explosive color, the genesis of these paintings was a gradual process for Garber-Maikovska, and something of a radical departure for how the artist approaches the medium. Begun in 2017, they were developed in stages as the artist and his partner were expecting their second child and completed shortly before the artist’s recent exhibition at High Art in Paris this past September. As it happened, the baby arrived the same week of the opening and Garber-Maikovska flew home to assist his wife during the child’s delivery, missing the opening reception in the process. (That show was anticipatingly titled Homebirth.) Despite the parallel chronology of paintings and child, the metaphor of embryonic life is not a subject of POSTPARTUM or its 9 paintings. Rather, Aaron Garber-Maikovska’s new paintings shift their focus to painting itself, an activity the artist previously produced in dialogue with his performances. Just as the artist’s early works in performance and video presented a radical, non-verbal type of communication, based on gestural movements and occasional utterances, so POSTPARTUM also suggests his paintings speak an entirely different language than that of Abstract Expressionism, a superficially similar style to Garber-Maikovska’s work. Preceding paintings were conceived as extensions, or documents, of an idiosyncratic choreography the artist developed in reaction to spiritless places and things, responding, for example, to a tree island in a Target parking lot or to the table in a booth at Red Robin. Garber-Maikovska’s paintings were symbiotic extensions of these deliberate events, and they used gator board as a surface, a decidedly inorganic material that resisted Garber-Maikovska’s scrawled marks in ink and chalk pastel so that the paintings took on an unusual, sometimes humorous idiom, translating the slapstick mechanics of his physical performances to a two-dimensional plane. They seemed to express both effort and failure, signature and scribble, and, importantly for these new paintings, an intrusion of color into space. POSTPARTUM reminds us, however, that Garber-Maikovska’s art is not explicitly a formalist endeavour, but an embodied practice, a way of resisting unimpeachable forces that is at times both ridiculous and sincere, absurd and yet spiritually affirming. In turn, Garber-Maikovska’s new paintings have expanded their visual vocabulary, so they function less as artifacts of performance and more as self-contained entities with their own drama, tension and play. Paintings were made on fluted poly boards measuring 90 x 80 inches and painted with oil and oil sticks made and mixed by the artist himself, the first stage of a more durational, and diffuse, process. Strikingly, Garber-Maikovska’s new paintings all share a dual-form composition – a simple device the artist cites as a breakthrough for his work, which allows relationships to emerge that he describes as “omni-directional” and which let him go deeper into the experience of painting. The new works stand, or more precisely, perform on their own. In this way, POSTPARTUM is about the completion of one artistic chapter and the beginning of another.