Small Painting

Small Painting

What are the particular problematics of diminutive scale in painting? How are small paintings different from large ones? Are they? Are they just littler, or is there something inherent in the process of making them that makes them their own species? And what is the range of possibilities in small painting? This exhibition addresses these questions and more, challenging certain painters associated with monumental canvases to work on a different span – which, it turns out, many already do – and inviting makers of modest measure to strut their stuff. Take Brian Calvin’s formally playful investigations of the face, some of which are accomplished on a scale that’s appropriate for – and occasionally found on – a billboard; a new set of issues arises when the substrate is reduced to the size of a sanding block, the modular elements – eyes, mouth, tongue, nose, teeth – being suddenly smaller rather than larger than an actual human face. Rebecca Morris has long worked on small scale shaped canvases that are like individual fragments from her large paintings cut loose, gone fugitive, and assuming their own individual identities. Rebecca Shore’s intimate, intricate works encourage viewers to get in close and observe their immaculate surfaces, velvety, with etched away layers. Meanwhile, Celeste Rapone conjures the anxiety of working small in a painting that narrates her fear. Louise Fishman, who is a specialist at working super small, creates incredible tiny works that have all the power and drama of large ones, Shrinky Dinked little Ab Ex canvases, while Jacqueline Humphries has made a brand new series of six-inch square works, cast from 3-D printed versions of her enormous canvases, monochromes with topography that freeze dries gesture, rendering it as a mountain range for mice. The artists in Small Painting are: Helene Appel, Ellen Berkenblit, Samantha Bittman, Melissa Brown, David Byrd, Brian Calvin, Alex Bradley Cohen, Edie Fake, Amy Feldman, Louise Fishman, Jonathan Gardner, Gabrielle Garland, Joanne Greenbaum, Magalie Guérin, Arturo Herrera, Charline von Heyl, Jacqueline Humphries, Carol Jackson, Jennie C. Jones, Ryosuke Kumakura, Kristy Luck, Vanessa Maltese, Rebecca Morris, Celeste Rapone, Tal R, Daniel Richter, Rebecca Shore, John Sparagana, Alice Tippit, Ann Toebbe, Nicola Tyson, Christopher Wool, and Jimmy Wright.

Small Painting

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