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The End of Painting brings together a swath of regional and national artists who are working under the auspices of painting. Defining boundaries in formal and emotive terms, and delineating connections of all sorts, the artists' works are presented within an encapsulation of many end-points. Naturally, this also suggests a place for beginning. Such universal cycles are – on some level – what is always sought in the exploration of painterly qualities; of light, color, and feeling. This grouping contains many differences and similarities. Just as a painterly artwork can die, it can also come alive. Therefore any end of any painting, must also imply survival and continuation, a quality each of these exudes.
“I make paintings that are informed by fragments of urban landscape and culture that are found in the everyday. I am particularly attracted to imagery that is ubiquitous within an urban architectonic setting, in which elements of plasticity and temporality are depicted in a suspended state of in-betweenness. It is my intention that these elements incorporate a resonance of a special psycho-geography of place and placelessness that conveys the infrastructure (physically, psychologically, and conceptually) of the urban landscape and its issues. An urban sampling of fragments and space, that attempts to express something new about the spaces we inhabit. I am interested in making paintings in an analog sense. I believe that painting is a visual language of thinking and seeing. My process is connected to this theory by the ways in which the paintings are made and imagery is depicted. I build my paintings by pouring acrylic paint onto sheets of glass. Once the shapes have solidified and acquired elasticity, they are peeled off and collaged into larger compositions. These collaged constructions create a certain mimetic relationship between the images depicted and the processes in which they are made. This for me, relates back to how the subjects are seen and interpreted in the actual world.” - Erik Benson
Will Bentsen (b. 1965, Houston, TX) lives and works in Houston, TX. His painting process involves ritualistic sessions where his fetish for materials, tools, and the act of painting are embraced and celebrated in visceral bursts. Working on multiple paintings at once, Bentsen splashes, stains, brushes, and drags paint across the canvas' surfaces—hitting each note of color with speed, softness, and restraint that manifest in energetic riffs and chords. Bentsen is represented by Lowell Ryan Projects in Los Angeles, CA and Josh Pazda Hiram Butler in Houston, TX.
Ute Bertog (1970, Germany) is a St. Paul based visual artist, who explores the relationship between language and its many representations. In 1998 she resettled in the US from her native Germany to pursue a career in the arts. She holds degrees in marketing and economics as well as a BFA in painting from the Minneapolis College of Art. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally including the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh, Scotland, grayDuck Gallery in Austin, TX, the Soap Factory, SooVisual Art Center both in Minneapolis, MN, and the Rochester Art Center in Rochester, MN. She is affiliated with Rosalux Gallery in Minneapolis, MN.
Intrigued by abstraction and its reluctant relationship to language, Ute paints fragments of text. Since she doesn’t see herself as an author rather a listener, she collects words from our shared cultural everyday environment. All things strange and unfamiliar, humorous and absurd, misunderstood and misread are game and up for grabs. She constructs small sentences out of these fragments, sometimes bordering on the poetic, typically staying grounded in the nonsensical.
In a subsequent step these extracted fragments are transferred into painting. Painting offers a malleable ground for continuous, open-ended revision and is therefore a perfect medium for reflection, very much in the vein of writing. Covering, tracing, scraping, continuously layering one word or phrase over the other, patiently, methodically transforming the text until only a faint glimmer of legibility is left. The goal is to make the language foreign enough, so that the directness of comprehension dissolves and meaning has to be renegotiated.
Her approach to language is surely informed by her experience as a non-native speaker, which has afforded her a heightened awareness of language as an abstract construct. Meaning then becomes free-floating and easily separated from the sound and visual form of language. This is where imagination and play are able to interject to readily fill in any gaps, offering the chance to reinterpret original content.
I live and work in Minneapolis, MN. I have exhibited my work nationally and internationally at galleries including The Burren College of Art in Ireland, The National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, Soo Local, Minnesota, Circa Gallery, MN, Artistry, MN, Sears Peyton Gallery, NY, Rosalux Gallery, MN. I have had numerous commissions, commercial and residential.
I have been developing an abstract language through painting to contemplate aspects of the landscape. I am particularly interested in the interplay of land, sky, and cityscape. I work with rich shiny Venetian plaster and trowels on wood panel. The plaster is a malleable material and is used in layers – it allows me to question aspects of time, light, and space. I paint to find beauty in the tension between the illusion of a felt space and the primitive mark that created it.
Brad Geiken is an artist living and working in Minneapolis. Geiken’s paintings are spare, gestural abstractions painted with oil on canvas. In 1998/99 he was a Jerome Fellowship recipient.
Christopher E. Harrison (1965) is an Ohio native who developed a strong drive to create at a young age through his fascination with entertainment and current events. His concepts are inspired by historical flashpoints from the past and present that chronicle the Black experience in the U.S. and globally. He received his BFA in 1987 in Retail Advertising from the Columbus (OH) College of Art and Design. Harrison had a successful 15+ year career as a graphic designer/art director in the publishing and advertising industries as he continued to develop his fine art skills through exhibits and commissions, eventually leaving it to pursue his practice full-time in 2016. He received an MFA in Studio Arts in Painting from the Art Academy University, San Francisco (CA) in 2021. Harrison currently resides and works in Minneapolis, MN. He has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions including MIAD (WI), Nemeth Art Center (MN), Soo Visual Art Center (MN), the Duluth Art Institute (MN), Ridgewater College (MN), Smack Mellon (NY) and the DeVos Art Museum (MI).
Harrison has created public art for sites around Minneapolis as well. His work has been supported with grant funding by Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the City of Minneapolis, the Elizabeth Murray Foundation, the Pollock Krasner Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation, and MRAC Next Step. He is currently an adjunct Lecturer of Drawing at the University of MN-Twin Cities.
Syed Hosain was born in Pakistan and lives and teaches in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN. Syed Hosain explores unfixed histories, traditions, and constructions, of Middle-East geography and his own Muslim identity through painting. Process and material-driven, Hosain builds up rich surfaces on canvas creating a tension between recognition and obliteration. He also works on found surfaces, like old encyclopedias and history books, reworking images with additive and subtractive layers of paint, obscuring factual information and imagery to highlight multiple readings and meanings of text and image.
Josh Meillier (b. 1990, Northfield Minnesota; lives and works in Brooklyn, New York) Meillier completed his BFA in drawing and painting at Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2013, and received his MFA in painting at Pratt Institute in 2020. He has exhibited solo and group exhibitions in New York, Minnesota, Washington, Connecticut, Maryland, Missouri, and South Carolina. Some of his most recent shows have been NO LONGER A GAME at SEASON in Seattle WA, Emergent Poise:Persona at On Canal in New York NY, Contempo Tempo, at NE Sculpture in Minneapolis MN, inheritance, at Super Dutchess Gallery, in New York NY, Lately, at CIRCA Gallery in Minneapolis MN, and I don't understand this world, at Space369 in St. Paul, MN.
These paintings are rooted in the physicality and open intervals of urban landscape and the disjunctive spaces of everyday life. They are built as elemental constructions of shifting interior/exterior spaces and call-and-response visual phrases. They evoke the world of the street and human consequences, but also an internal sense of lived experience, at the intimate level of synapses. Densely layered and decisively edited, the resulting paintings feel solid and rooted, yet open and breathing. Shapes group together and lock in, setting up a spatial structure that shifts as implied connections and ghost images assert an alternate read. Configurations and intervals are stepped apart, incorporating a sense of discontinuity or disruption in which surprising pockets of space open up. These seemingly contradictory reads engage viewers in negotiating challenging spaces, which do resolve, the way polyrhythms can resolve in music. These paintings reflect a particular idea about improvisation, focusing not on elaboration or virtuosity, but rather on the elemental way that parts refer back to the underlying visual statement, allowing resultants to emerge organically. This also sometimes happens in music, when two parts interact to set up a resultant third voice. This is an impure and vernacular approach to abstraction, evoking and provoking charged spaces for looking at and into, intended as challenging and resonant places for seeing and thought. The process involves direct painting, establishing the neural pathways of the painting with a pronounced sense of fluidity and interdependence. I’m working for an economy of means in which nothing is extra and everything is necessary. This visual engagement is demanding in terms of the time required to make the paintings, and something of this concentration is required of the viewer as well. It involves physical and temporal chunks of visual thought and embodied experience, cohering into visual situations for purposes of kinesthetic truth telling. The potential for painting to resonate with experiential nerves in this way is not a given, but it is possible, and it’s what I’m working for. Work to be with, upon the slow read.
Anne Rynearson (b. 1972) is a Minnesota-based artist, curator and teacher. Anne explores abstraction through painting and printmaking media. Her imagery is influenced by science, pseudoscience, mysticism and feminist themes expressed through a mythological lens. She has shown her work nationally and internationally through juried competitions and invitational exhibitions. She is represented by the ODETTA Gallery in New York, NY and is a member of the Chicago Alliance of Visual Artists-Chicago, IL; the Women’s Caucus for Art-New York, NY; the Woman Made Gallery-Chicago, IL and the National Association of Female Artists-Minneapolis, MN. Anne is the recipient of three Minnesota State Arts Board grants and a Jerome Foundation Fellowship to support her work in printmaking. Her creative endeavors also extend into other artistic communities and in education through her independent work as the founder and curator of the ANAGRAM Gallery, an online platform for emerging and mid-career artists, and as an adjunct professor of art at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN.
Anne Rynearson is a fiscal year 2022 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Merritt Spangler’s art is characteristically spontaneous in appearance, juxtaposing text, found materials and mark making all within a single work. Painted on the floor and at times cut and stitched together, her works record the detritus of her studio, resulting in paintings that evoke a wealth of association to her environment.
She utilizes a vast spectrum of unconventional and conventional media in her practice, ranging from dirt and olive oil, to spray paint, charcoal, and oil. Much of her work challenges the viewer to embrace incompleteness and failure through minimal expression. Spangler’s work eludes the notion of a signature artistic style, as what she is building is a body of work that is eclectic and constantly evolving.
Despite no formal training, her work has already been selected by prestigious galleries like London-based Delphian Gallery, and has appeared in private collections from Germany to Saudi Arabia. She was recently accepted into NYC Crit Club's year-long mentorship intensive, The Canopy Program. Her work has been exhibited in galleries across the world from San Francisco, to Berlin and Lisbon. She attended PADA Studios international artist-in-resident program in Portugal in 2022 & is set to attend JOYA as an artist-in-resident in Spain in early 2023. In addition, she has studied Modern Art History, Philosophy of Art, & Documentary Filmmaking, and is a preselection committee member at LA-based Social Impact Media Agency. https://merrittspangler.com/about-spangler
Currently I am studying Fine Arts at MCAD and should complete my BFA in Spring of 2023. My work varies in medium and approach but has a central focus on being bold and eccentric. I have also been doing drag since 2016. My first performance was in Fargo, ND and I have performed in other cities like Minneapolis and NYC.
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