Eva Presenhuber is pleased to present Mothercolor, an exhibition of new and recent paintings by Amy Feldman. This presentation is Feldman’s first with the gallery and showcases the artist’s continued investigation of gray-on-gray composition using a singular visual language of painted abstraction. For more than a decade, Feldman has dedicated her practice to working almost exclusively in a monochromatic palette, specifically grayscale. Sidestepping the hue’s gloomy and clinical cultural connotations, Feldman instead imbues her canvases with a studied concision of form and scale that is anything but indifferent. Working from preparatory sketches and studies, the artist synthesizes her personal lexicon of windowpane grids, animated brushstrokes, and spheroid hourglasses—innately feminine in shape and application—before transposing these gestures onto larger-than-life canvases in an automatic fashion, furthering a long modernist history of Abstract Expressionism, wherein the exuberance of the presented image belies its controlled creation.
Augmenting this dichotomy between impulse and precision, entropy and order, is the artist’s recent introduction of trompe l’oeil elements of untreated canvas and digitized brushstrokes. In several works on view, Feldman has silkscreened digitally enlarged fabric onto exactingly prepared gray canvas, employing the warp and weft of her chosen medium to indicate planar depth while concurrently nodding to the grid patterns reiterated throughout the exhibition. The artist’s gestural brushstrokes and impasto streaks atop the silkscreen create a dissonance between painted and printed that paradoxically render the distinction between the two obsolete, constantly drawing the viewer’s gaze between foreground and recession, immediacy and preparation. In haptic fashion, the triumvirate layers of silkscreen ink, acrylic paint, and impasto invite interrogation of the relationship between ground and figure, plunging the viewer into a unique optic glow only achieved through the studied accumulation of grays. This oscillation of depth is a telling aspect of Feldman’s practice, in which the saturation of analog and digital images creates a closed-loop system of continually re-deployed and re-contextualized forms.
Enveloping the viewer into their pictorial field, Feldman’s often massive paintings use an economy of shape and color to maximum effect, achieving an emotional gravity through the heightened instability of the towering picture plane. Yet, through Feldman’s hand, this unsteadiness is anything but hesitant. Instead, the artist’s process of quick execution results in works that are at once recognizable in their seeming simplicity, visually mesmerizing in their meticulous groundwork, and conceptually forceful in their media investigation.
I am interested in the potential of gray as a neutral and non-neutral force, how it operates as subdued and powerful at the same time. I enjoy the psychology of the color, its sublime capabilities that are inherently contradictory.
Feldman was born in 1981 in New Windsor, NY, US, and lives and works in New York, NY, US. Feldman received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, US (2003); and her Master of Fine Arts from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, US (2008). Recent solo exhibitions include Tennis Elbow, The Journal, New York, NY, US (2019); Counter Ground, Anna Bohman, Stockholm, SE (2018); Nerve Reserve, James Cohan, New York, NY, US (2017); Breath Myth, Blain Southern, Berlin, DE (2017); Psyche Shade, Ratio 3, San Francisco, CA, US (2016); Good Gloom, Corbett vs Dempsey, Chicago, IL, US (2016). Select group exhibitions include This and That: Recent Acquisitions, The Hall Art Foundation, Schloss Derneburg Museum, Derneburg, DE (2018); nonObjectives, Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE, US (2017); MCA: DNA, RIOT GRRRLS, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, US (2017); Quicktime, Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery at The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA, US (2017); New York Painting, curated by Christoph Schreier, Kunstmuseum, Bonn, DE (2015); The New York Moment, curated by Lorand Hegyi, Musée d’art Moderne, St. Etienne, FR (2014).