Saturday, June 22, 2024
spot_img

Closely Watched Painter Cy Gavin Joined Gagosian Following Solo Debut with Gallery


CY GAVIN, “Untitled (Paths, crossing – blue),” 2022 (acrylic and vinyl on canvas, 86 x 136 inches (218.4 x 345.4 cm). | © Cy Gavin. Photo by Rob McKeever, Courtesy Gagosian

 

FOLLOWING HIS SOLO DEBUT with Gagosian in New York, Cy Gavin (b. 1985) is now represented globally by the gallery. Gavin produces large-scale landscapes infused with vibrant color. The dramatic abstracted paintings are inspired by his natural surroundings in Upstate New York.

A closely watched painter, Gavin hails from Pennsylvania. He presented his first solo show in New York in 2015 at Sargent’s Daughters. The gallery represented him at the time, while he was still pursuing his MFA. In 2016, he was an artist in residence at the Rubell Museum in Miami, Fla. The high profile opportunity was followed by solo shows at VNH Gallery in Paris (2018) and Gavin Brown’s enterprise in New York (2019). Last year, Gavin was featured in the 2022 Whitney Biennial.

In the April 13 representation announcement, Gagosian said, “Gavin paints metaphorical interpretations of sites that have been shaped over time by human intervention and geological or cosmic phenomena. Composed with fluid, gestural brushstrokes in striking colors, they are at times monumental in scale.”

Gagosian opened an exhibition of new paintings by Gavin in February. The show was organized by gallery director Antwaun Sargent and garnered a feature in the New York Times. The profile revealed that after Gavin moved from New York City to a farmhouse in the Hudson River Valley in 2016, he felt less than welcome.

“…[W]hen people drove by, calling him names or throwing garbage; when he spotted racist signs in backyards, such as ‘Cold Beer Matters’ (as opposed to Black Lives), Gavin realized he had no choice but to—literally—dig in,” Robin Pogrebin wrote in the Times.

“I refused to be intimidated,” Gavin told her. “I had to figure out how I was going to relate to the space, the land, which meant also confronting the energy outside of the house.”

The roots of his own biography and the culture and history of the lands and environs where the artist and his ancestors settled have been key motivators and prompts fueling his practice.

“Following the death of his father, he traveled in 2015 to his ancestral homeland of Bermuda to research his family’s genealogy and the island’s history,” the Gagosian announcement said. “The paintings he made during this period include depictions of Gibbet Island, Crow Lane, and Tucker’s Town—the latter being the site of an enclave of Black Bermudians that was destroyed in 1920 to create an exclusive golf resort. The works are marked by the legacies of enslavement, colonialism, and resistance, visualizing the creation and maintenance of similar power structures in the United States.”

 


CY GAVIN, “Untitled (Yellow pine),” 2023 (acrylic and vinyl on canvas, 89 x 78 1/2 inches / 226.1 x 199.4 cm). | © Cy Gavin. Photo by Rob McKeever, Courtesy Gagosian

 

BORN IN PITTSBURGH, PA., Gavin was raised in Donora, Pa., a steel mill town where a lethal smog crisis in 1948 gave rise to the U.S. clean air movement. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University (2007), he earned an MFA from Columbia University (2016).

In 2018, Gavin participated in “Between the Waters,” a group show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York that featured artists “whose work responds to the precarious state of the environment through a personal lens.” His first solo museum exhibition was organized by the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado in 2021. Later that year, his work was on view at David Zwirner gallery in London.

Hilton Als wrote an essay for the Zwirner show. He called Gavin’s work “emotional” and noted the “boldness of his gestures.” Als also said: “…Gavin uses the natural world as a metaphor to describe love, chaos, inevitability—the overwhelming feelings and actions that are part of being alive. Taking in Gavin’s work in Manhattan and then in his studio upstate, I saw, too, how his canvases were not ‘like’ universes unto themselves: they were universes unto themselves, an explosion of activity that fought to be contained even as it tried not to be. Not too far from where those early transcendentalists set up camp, I saw what Gavin longs to make one feel: his cosmos of planets and colours that were bigger than you and me, and as big as the mind and eye makes them.”

“Taking in Gavin’s work in Manhattan and then in his studio upstate, I saw, too, how his canvases were not ‘like’ universes unto themselves: they were universes unto themselves, an explosion of activity that fought to be contained even as it tried not to be.” — Hilton Als

In terms of its footprint, Gagosian is the largest gallery in the world, with 20 presentation spaces in the United States, Europe, and Hong Kong. The gallery has a long history with Jean-Michel Basquiat and just presented a solo show of Amoako Boafo, a fast-rising star the gallery does not represent.

Gavin joins a vast roster of artists at Gagosian, including Ellen Gallagher, Theaster Gates, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, and Titus Kaphar. More recent additions include Deana Lawson, Rick Lowe, Jadé Fadojutimi, Stanley Whitney, and Derrick Adams, who signed on with the gallery last month. This fall, new paintings by Gavin will be on view at Gagosian in Rome. CT

 

IMAGE: Above left, Cy Gavin photographed at Gagosian Gallery, NYC. | Photo bt Marco Giannavola, Courtesy the artist and Gagosian

 


Installation view of “Cy Gavin,” Gagosian, West 21st Street, New York (Feb. 2–March 18, 2023). | Artwork © Cy Gavin. Photo by Rob McKeever, Courtesy Gagosian

 


CY GAVIN, “Untitled (Beaver lodge),” 2023 (acrylic and vinyl on canvas, 81 x 81 inches / 205.7 x 205.7 cm). | © Cy Gavin. Photo by Rob McKeever, Courtesy Gagosian

 


Installation view of “Cy Gavin,” Gagosian, West 21st Street, New York (Feb. 2–March 18, 2023). | Artwork © Cy Gavin. Photo by Rob McKeever, Courtesy Gagosian

 

BOOKSHELF
Antwaun Sargent is the author/editor “The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion” and “Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art.” Also from Sargent, the forthcoming volume “Barkley L. Hendricks: Portraits at The Frick” documents an exhibition opening in September at the Frick Collection in New York. Titles by Hilton Als include “Alice Neel: Uptown,” which accompanied the gallery exhibition he curated at David Zwirner in New York and Victoria Miro in London.

 

SUPPORT CULTURE TYPE
Do you enjoy and value Culture Type? Please consider supporting its ongoing production by making a donation. Culture Type is an independent editorial project that requires countless hours and expense to research, report, write, and produce. To help sustain it, make a one-time donation or sign up for a recurring monthly contribution. It only takes a minute. Many Thanks for Your Support.

 


source

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

[td_block_social_counter facebook="tagdiv" twitter="tagdivofficial" youtube="tagdiv" style="style8 td-social-boxed td-social-font-icons" tdc_css="eyJhbGwiOnsibWFyZ2luLWJvdHRvbSI6IjM4IiwiZGlzcGxheSI6IiJ9LCJwb3J0cmFpdCI6eyJtYXJnaW4tYm90dG9tIjoiMzAiLCJkaXNwbGF5IjoiIn0sInBvcnRyYWl0X21heF93aWR0aCI6MTAxOCwicG9ydHJhaXRfbWluX3dpZHRoIjo3Njh9" custom_title="Stay Connected" block_template_id="td_block_template_8" f_header_font_family="712" f_header_font_transform="uppercase" f_header_font_weight="500" f_header_font_size="17" border_color="#dd3333"]
- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles