November 15, 2017

Billboard on Bowery: Laura Hunt, Maggie Lee & Sayre Gomez | November 15 - January 12, 2018

Blumenthal Gallery is pleased to announce Billboard on Bowery, a three-part exhibition with artists Laura Hunt, Maggie Lee, and Sayre Gomez, organized in collaboration with Polina Berlin. On view from November 13 through January 7, 2017, this marks the inaugural exhibition at Blumenthal Gallery's new Lower East Side location at 75 Bowery.

Flanked by soft drink ads, commercial billboards, and bank signs, the billboard atop 75 Bowery on the corner of Bowery and Canal near the grand triumphal arch at the entrance of the Manhattan bridge, will be occupied by Laura Hunt, Maggie Lee, and Sayre Gomez for a period of three weeks each. The Bowery has long been the home of many pioneering artists. Mark Rothko, Robert Ryman, Sol LeWitt, Eva Hesse, Robert Mangold, Andy Warhol and Lynda Benglis (to name a few) have all lived and worked on the Bowery, and the ineffable Paul Thek lived at this gallery's 75 Bowery address.

Laura Hunt's work collapses the space between painting, poetry, and performance. Hunt repurposes a photograph she took in her studio of slack, metallic red spandex tossed onto a stretched painting of the same fabric. A spontaneous byproduct of her painting practice, the result is a pulsating, kinesthetic image that touches upon both violence and play. Duplicating and relocating her original image, Hunt explores the various channels a picture travels through, and how point of view affects visibility. This is not the first time Hunt has exhibited at Canal and Bowery; in 2014, as part of the artist collective Petrella’s Imports’ performance series Live Stream, she transformed a newsstand on the same corner. Through installation elements, performance, and text-based drawings, she activated it as a public machine for recording and outputting overheard speech.

Maggie Lee has mined personal identity, memory, and youth culture to create work of great immediacy and intimacy. Lee tests notions of selfhood, revealing the mutable self as a mirror of society's complexities. Referencing the iconic Calvin Klein billboard once sited at Houston and Lafayette of a fresh-faced Kate Moss, Lee implements the program Photo Booth, exploiting it's relatively low tech nature to push experimental boundaries. Though Lee does not overtly explore topics of Asian American art through her work, as an artist of Taiwanese decent, the site of the billboard takes on special meaning. In the words of the artist, " Bowery and representative of where my two worlds meet." Lee's work conveys a frantic, ebullient energy; reflecting a restlessness that speaks to the zeitgeist of this generation.

Sayre Gomez appropriates mundane imagery from online sharing platforms and renders them with a masterful trompe l'oeil technique. Gomez employs industrial application processes such as airbrush and automotive paint sprayers, referencing the film and advertising industries. Gomez presents a new iteration of his Thief painting, an ominous image of a pair of white-gloved hands cloaked in darkness while lifting a window. Originally appropriated from FaceBook, in this version, the painted image is stripped of its bold color palette and rendered in stark black and white fading into a vibrant oxide hue. Thief takes on new meaning in this new context and location on Bowery and Canal, touching upon themes of gentrification and meaning production. 


Laura Hunt (b. 1985, Amsterdam, Holland) lives and works in Brooklyn. She holds a BA from Tulane University in Art History and Philosophy. Her work has recently been exhibited at Shimizu Brand, New York; Team Gallery, New York; Essex Flowers, New York; Dotory, New York; What Pipeline, Detroit; US Blues, New York; Redling Fine Art, Los Angeles; Eli Ping Gallery, New York; The Emily Harvey Foundation, New York; and Galerie im Regierungsviertel, Copenhagen, Denmark. She has performed at White Columns, New York; Small Editions, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York, as part of Tony Oursler's Imponderable; and at Shoot the Lobster, New York.

Maggie Lee (b. 1987, Westfield, New Jersey) lives and works in Brooklyn. She holds a BFA from Pratt Institute. Recent one-person exhibitions include Real Fine Arts in New York; Lomex, New York; 356 Mission, Los Angeles; and the New Museum Storefront Window, New York. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; t293, Rome, Italy; The Whitney Museum, New York; Green Naftali Gallery, New York; Triple Canopy, New York; and Martos Gallery; New York. She is represented by Real Fine Arts, New York.

Sayre Gomez (b. 1982, Chicago, Illinois, USA) lives and works in Los Angeles. He holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. He is currently the focus of a one-person exhibition at Ghebaly Gallery in Los Angeles. Recent one-person exhibitions include Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium; Michael Jon and Alan, Miami; Galerie Nagel Draxler, Cologne, Germany; and Galerie Parisa Kind, Frankfurt, Germany. He has recently exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Soccer Club Club, Chicago; Marlborough, Madrid, Spain; IBID, London, UK; and C L E A R I N G, New York. His work is included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Rubell Family Collection, and the Marciano Foundation. 

Robert Blumenthal opened his eponymous gallery at 1045 Madison Avenue in 2013, where he organized exhibitions with JPW3, Sayre Gomez, Max Frintrop, Sam Moyer, Daniel Heidkamp, Chris Succo, Daniel Heidkamp, Coby Kennedy, Derek Fordjour, Peter Saul, Keith Mayerson, Anne Nuekamp, Lauren Luloff, and Steven Felton, among others.  The gallery is dedicated to championing the work of emerging and mid-career artists in all media and will open its first indoor exhibition at its new home on Bowery and Canal in December 2017.