David Castillo Gallery presents Jackie Gendel & Tom McGrath and Shay Kun’s Opportunities multiply as they are seized 3/14/09

David Castillo Presents

David Castillo Gallery: Jackie Gendel &
Tom McGrath
David Castillo Annex: Shay Kun, Opportunities multiply as they are seized

Jackie Gendel &
Tom McGrath
David Castillo Gallery
2234 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami
March 14 – April 4, 2009
Reception March 14, 7-10 pm
David Castillo Gallery is proud to present new work by Jackie Gendel and Tom McGrath. Jackie Gendel combines personal langauge, Art Historical reference, and cultural cues to create a place and time populated largely by symbolic women and feminized notions of abstraction. The work brings to bear the decadence of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Miss Haversham’s disquieting nostalgia. Gendel magnetizes oil paint, merging and estranging color, form, and a delirious but skeptical mode of expressionism. The ultimate effect of her alchemy is akin to being caught in a bad dream. The viewer floats like a Matisse subject through a psychological landscape rendered with careful ambiguity-an oxymoron that pushes Gendel’s mastery of her medium to transient ends. The viewer begins to doubt the innocuous round of a chin against chin modestly discernable beneath an otherworld of lemon chiffon. Who are these women? What do they want? How much of their effervescence is self-portraiture, how much is observation, and how much is paint finding paint on canvas?

Tom McGrath’s recent work hinges on the painted idiom between the personal and the societal. His gridded sky-views inspired by red-eye flights and lookout points along Los Angeles’s Mulholland Drive command a romanticism in the emotional contexts familiar to American cities and city-dwellers. The God- views imbibed by his large canvasses speak not only to the theme-park tourism of American Graffiti-esque make-out spots, but also to the Manifest Destiny apparent in American painting, real estate, and privilege. McGrath’s combination of neon and naturalist colors as well as the underlying irrationality of applied paint behind his grids suggests a wildness in opposition to imperialist thought in American sentiment and sustainability.

Jackie Gendel earned her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University. She has been an artist in residence at the MacDowell Colony and The Atlantic Center for the Arts. Her work has appeared in Art Papers, Art in America, and the New Yorker. Tom McGrath holds degrees from the Cooper Union School of Art and Columbia University. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and has appeared in Artforum and Harper’s Magazine.

Shay Kun
Opportunities multiply as they are seized
David Castillo Annex
2234 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami
March 14 – April 4, 2009
Reception March 14, 7-10 pm

In the David Castillo Annex, Shay Kun’s Opportunities multiply as they are seized presents a spiritual almanac that unites Himalayan clefts and the shallows of the Hudson River School; a leisurely hot air balloon and the coveralls of industrial unionists; the Bobbsey twins and G.I. Joe. His oil on canvas works recall plein air painting, psychedelic exploration, and science fiction fanzines. Titles such as Put aside the alienation and Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens allow space for the narrative voice of his landscapes to easily incorporate Grandma’s parabolic musings, calculated propaganda, and the script of an undiscovered Alejandro Jodorowsky film.

However, a prolonged look at Opportunities multiply as they are seized seems to suggest that despite the collage-like harmony of Kun’s imagery, Thomas Cole would shake his head at nature’s grandeur populated by human invaders-tourists, adventurists, and workers from all social strata. Although these interlopers and the traces of their occupation do not overwhelm the sublimity of nature, they do question the meaning of progress, the possibility of symbiosis, and whether the spiritual cognizance Cole and his colleagues ascribed to the outdoors stem from unadulterated nature alone.

Shay Kun earned an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, London. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.

About David Castillo

David Castillo holds degrees in History and Art History from Yale University and the Angelicum in Rome. Since 2000, he has dealt in important Latin American, European, and American secondary market works. David Castillo Gallery opened in 2005 after transforming a dilapidated warehouse in Miami, Florida, USA into a 5,000 square foot gallery, project room and annex.

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