May 28 – June 19, 2016
Opening reception: Saturday, May 28 from 6 – 9 PM
East Hampton, NY: Eric Firestone Gallery is pleased to announce Fresh Cuts, a group exhibition curated by Agathe Snow and Eric Firestone. The gallery’s first exhibition of the summer opens Memorial Day weekend and celebrates a local tradition of declaring summer at a blossom’s first sighting. The show’s artists revisit the flower, a symbol that has resonated throughout history. As pervasive in folklore as it is in nature, the flower embodies the undeniable and heavy truths governing life, growth, death, and renewal, reminding us of the beauty found in each phase.
There are as many flowers now, as there were snowflakes. In art, there is a universal flower from which all others are formed. An archetype that is revealed or buried, flawed or idealized, deconstructed and reconstructed. Despite sharing the same visual origin, no artist has ever made the same flower twice. Many artists in Fresh Cuts feature botanical symbolism in their artwork, employing flowers as metaphors for culture and humanity.
Throughout his career, Donald Baechler has gathered, collected, and employed popular images and objects to amass an archive of American culture today. Unashamed, Baechler strips an object of its surroundings and brazenly sets it on display, alone and exposed, emphasized by hard lines and forceful color. As a result, the image confronts viewers, provoking them to call upon their own memories or interpretations of meaning. Conversely, Rosson Crow’s floral imagery inspires nostalgia, describing a place that is at once familiar and distant. Flowers become vessels of collective associations in Crow’s work, representing concepts such as elegance, class, love, and heartbreak.
In turn, the potted plants in Paul Wackers’ shelf paintings are used as clues or props to strengthen narratives and root them in reality. Wackers’ shelf paintings are amalgams, his impasto compositions depict interiors and collections of objects, real or imagined, and artworks interspersed with plants and flowers. This greenery is singularly grounded in reality and the familiar, making Wackers’ depictions of improbable objects, tangible and recognizable. In Jessica Craig-Martin’s photography, floral pat- terns illuminate the remains of brash bacchanalia. Craig-Martin presents anonymous images of party-goers partaking in suspicious activities. Her portrayals of fresh roses strewn amongst disregarded Ispahan cakes and braided gold bangles, tell the story of a lost evening. Flowers guide the viewer’s eye across the surface, as the artist offers a voyeuristic view of decadence.
Spring flowers, even the resilient dandelion weeds, mark the end of winter’s bitter cold and solitude; summer nights seem full of possibility as days become longer and warmer. With this in mind, Fresh Cuts fills the gallery with artworks inspired by the emergence of summer in the Hamptons and all things that blossom, mimicking the abundant flora both native and foreign that festoon our homes and gardens with bright colors and seductive aromas. As a result, the viewer can buzz from one art piece to the next, hopefully stopping to smell the roses because the most important thing to do this summer is to enjoy it.
Fresh Cuts features artworks by Marco Barrera, Donald Baechler, Sanford Biggers, Kelsey Brookes, Ann Craven, Dan Colen, Rosson Crow, Todd Eberle, Sally Egbert, Leo Fitzpatrick, Danny Fox, Andrew Kuo, Anthony Holbrooke, Cody Hoyt, Hanna Liden, Nate Lowman, Jessica Craig-Martin, Tony Matelli, Jacolby Satterwhite, Miriam Schapiro, Shoplifter (Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir), Agathe Snow, Odessa Straub, Sage Vaughn, and Paul Wackers.