On March 3, Gavin Brown’s enterprise will open an exhibition of paintings by Cy Gavin. It is the artist’s first show with the gallery. Comprised of new paintings, the exhibition features a series of nocturnal landscapes exploring ancestry and colonial histories in Bermuda, the homeland of the artist’s father, and the Hudson Valley, where the artist’s studio is based. A departure from figuration, the works are portraits of places – the landscapes serve as proxies for the body.
The centerpiece of the exhibition, Bash Bish Falls, is a 12-by-28 foot painting of the well-known waterfall, which is located on the border of New York and Massachusetts in a gorge formed in the last ice age. According to lore, the site is named after a Mohican woman who met her death after being pushed over the waterfall. Though there were witnesses to her murder, her body was never recovered. The site is one of many in Hudson Valley with a native name and a forgotten or obfuscated narrative. Gavin visited the site during the full lunar eclipse in February of this year, painting the work alone in the desolation of a freezing winter night with a consciousness of a changing global climate.