Fifteen contemporary artists meditate on the medium of painting in “Fifteen Painters” spanning both floors at Andrew Kreps Gallery. With all participating artists born after 1980, the works in the exhibition offer a lineage of painting without making a statement on a prevailing contemporary style. Instead, the variety of approaches showcases the possibilities of the medium as both practice and engagement within each artist’s investigations.
Bendt Eyckermans’s A secret theater (2021), for instance, captures a passing moment with baroque sensibility as a figure descends a staircase, hand lingering on the bannister, while a ghostly figure opposite ascends. Eyckermans’s vividly rendered scene seems to tremble on the boundary of danger and drama with its enclosed tenebrosity. Each figure’s outstretched hand, illuminated within the confined shadows, gestures to an ornate painting of the Madonna.
Meanwhile, Han Bing’s abstract compositions offer a meditation on another kind of passing moment—fragments of transitory urban life form the basis of her layered paintings. Bing paints from photographs taken of construction sites and metro stations, delving into their fundamental socio-spatial logics. In Good night cruel world, I'll see you in the morning (2020) [pictured], green and teal brushstrokes paper over each other, never fully covering the underlying axes of the grid. Bing’s expressive brushstrokes draw the composition together, balancing the whorls of pigment that develop across the canvas with painterly precision.
Han Bing, Good night cruel world, I'll see you in the morning, 2020. Oil on canvas, 56 x 70 inches. Image courtesy of the Artist, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York and Night Gallery, Los Angeles.