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Shadowrun
November 17, 2022 – January 14, 2023
515 West 24th Street
 
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Gladstone is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Richard Aldrich. Through a multifaceted, conceptually-based practice that encompasses painting, sculpture, and drawing, Aldrich defies simple categorization. Here, the artist presents a series of works that continue upon his career-long interest in visualizing immateriality and the processes of perception through the modalities of art and exhibition making. Unlike previous exhibitions, which often brought together a curated selection of works from the past two decades of his career, the focus of this exhibition is a series of the artist’s recent large-scale paintings made over the last three years.

Aldrich’s intentionality in this new selection of paintings is immediately recognizable, with each work acting as both art object and, when viewed all together as a complete exhibition, as mirrors through which viewers can undertake their own understanding of what is presented, beyond the visuality at hand. Resisting easily digestible categories like abstraction, figuration, and collage, Aldrich proposes a new form of comprehension by positing how art concepts are used and presented, without being rooted in stylistic definitions.

In these paintings, forms, textures, landscapes, and patterns appear in both abstracted and discernible spaces. Image making takes many forms: sometimes it is more straightforward as in the basic reproduction of a figure from an anime film, or in a composition based on a photograph of a wall of fabrics. In others, cloth material is layered directly onto the surface, and physical elements protrude both conceptually and literally. Forms cut out from one painting find themselves repurposed in another; subtle motifs appear and reappear, both in paint and in fabric. The previous functions and histories of these fabrics— old studio shirts and leftover material from a quilt made by his partner—and the intimacy of those histories are the fundamental basis for their use. All the while, layers of paint are built up to create dense yet nuanced surface and color compositions. Throughout the works in the exhibition, the artist demonstrates the malleability and potential for an understanding of art’s function beyond the confines and structure of art history.