Jessie Homer French at Massimo De Carlo
London, 23 February 2021
Jessie Homer French, Pine Forest Fire (2019) (detail). Ex. Unique, oil on plywood. 30.5 x 44.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and Massimo De Carlo. Photo: Damian Griffiths.
Jessie Homer French, Pine Forest Fire (2019). Ex. Unique, oil on plywood. 30.5 x 44.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and Massimo De Carlo. Photo: Damian Griffiths.

West Coast is the magical self-taught artist Jessie Homer French's debut exhibition at Massimo De Carlo in their London space.

Homer French's paintings are often naïve in style with unusual details and large areas of flatness, but a sensitivity and softness nearly always pervades.

Henri Rousseau seems an obvious influence, along with Ed Ruscha and his famous painting, The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire (1965–1968).


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Charline von Heyl at Corbett vs. Dempsey
Chicago, 20 February 2021
Charline von Heyl, The August Complex (2020). Acrylic on linen. 208.28 x 198.12 cm. Courtesy the artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

If anyone can be attributed with keeping painting progressive and shifting its parameters—without resorting to the re-hashing of past tropes—it must surely be Charline von Heyl.

This incredible recent painting, showing at Corbett vs. Dempsey until 13 March, perfectly encapsulates her relentless desire to create startlingly unique images through the medium of paint.

Her use of jarring colours and motifs interplay with a crisp flatness that jolts us into clutching at why we feel a certain sensation from absorbing these enigmatic compositions.

A unique visionary within the realm of contemporary image making.

Lubna Chowdhary at Jhaveri Contemporary
Mumbai, 20 February 2021
Lubna Chowdhary, Code 4 (2020). Gouache and acrylic on gessoed board. 29 x 23 cm. Courtesy Jhaveri Contemporary.

Ocula Editor Stephanie Bailey, on Lubna Chowdhary in Ocula Magazine:

'There is an undeniable dynamism in the charged currents of movements, fusions, and disjunctions that are contained within Chowdhary's formal arrangements, wherein a restrained minimalism is offset by the weight of matter, the fluidity of memory, and above all, an enigmatic use of colour.'

Read the full article here.

Ljiljana Blazevska at 15 Orient
New York, 19 February 2021
Ljiljana Blazevska, Untitled (Slika) (c. 1975–1985) (detail). Oil on canvas. 130 x 150 cm. Courtesy Orient 15.
Ljiljana Blazevska, Untitled (Slika) (c. 1975–1985). Oil on canvas. 130 x 150 cm. Courtesy Orient 15.

The paintings of late Macedonian artist Ljiljana Blazevska are a stunning new discovery for us, thanks to the painter's beautiful exhibition at 15 Orient in Brooklyn, running until 14 March.

This fantastical scene is unashamedly painterly and gorgeously rendered in vivid colours. Deliciously unexpected treats for the eyes emerge all across the canvas.

Jonathan Gardner at Casey Kaplan
New York, 16 February 2021
Jonathan Gardner, The Bathhouse (2020). Graphite on paper. Paper size: 51.12 x 46.04 cm; Framed: 55.88 x 50.8 cm. Courtesy Casey Kaplan.
Jonathan Gardner, Reader in the Mirror (2020). Graphite on paper. Paper size: 43.82 x 40.64 cm; Framed: 48.26 x 45.09 cm. Courtesy Casey Kaplan.
Jonathan Gardner, Grand Hotel (2020). Graphite on paper. Paper size: 53.50 x 45.09cm; Framed: 57.78 x 49.21 cm. Courtesy Casey Kaplan.

New York-based Jonathan Gardner's simplified forms and illusory framing devices recall Modernist masters, whilst his depiction of everyday scenes playfully root them in the contemporary.

His refined use of tone and shade assures these drawings pack the same punch and compositional clarity as his much sought-after paintings, though this is exquisitely softened by tactile and surreal details.

Casey Kaplan are showing these works online until 6 March 2021.

Thomas Demand at Sprueth Magers
Online, 13 February 2021
Thomas Demand, Pond (2020). C-print/Diasec. 200 x 399 cm. Courtesy Sprüth Magers. Photo: © Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021.
Thomas Demand, Pond (2020) (detail). C-print/Diasec. 200 x 399 cm. Courtesy Sprüth Magers. Photo: © Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021.
Thomas Demand, Pond (2020) (detail). C-print/Diasec. 200 x 399 cm. Courtesy Sprüth Magers. Photo: © Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021.

Thomas Demand recreates sourced images in detailed scale models and then photographs them to produce large-format images compelling us to question both how photography functions as a medium and our own relationship with images.

As the artist once said, 'Models provide us with a focus on our world, as its complexity would place an inconceivable load on our apprehension without such filter'.

This incredible image of water lilies is a highlight from his online exhibition showing at Sprueth Magers until 30 April.

The exquisite depiction of natural light and reflection moving across the surface envelops the image with drama and an uncanny illusion of depth.

Mark Rothko and Frederic Edwin Church at Mnuchin Gallery
Online, 12 February 2021
Mark Rothko, Untitled (1960). Oil on canvas. 235 x 205 cm. Courtesy Mnuchin Gallery, New York. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging.

'The whole of man's experience becomes his model, and in that sense it can be said that all of art is a portrait of the idea'—Mark Rothko.

Sublime, available via Mnuchin Gallery's OVR, brings together the works of Mark Rothko and the 19th-century American landscape painter, Frederic Edwin Church.

Glauco Rodrigues at Bergamin & Gomide
São Paulo, 11 February 2021
Glauco Rodrigues, A Nave do Destino (1969). Acrylic on canvas on hardboard. 64 x 76 cm. Courtesy Bergamin & Gomide.
Glauco Rodrigues, Maçã Azul (1969). Acrylic on canvas on hardboard. 44 x 44 cm. Courtesy Bergamin & Gomide.

Bergamin & Gomide recently opened an exhibition of the late Brazilian artist Glauco Rodrigues (1929–2004). Acontece que somos canibais [We happen to be cannibals] is on view until 13 March 2021.

These still-life works painted with acrylic on canvas are from the late 1960s after Rodrigues had returned from a few years living in Europe, where he took influence from the Pop Art movement.

The vivid yellow and blue colours used to depict the fruit playfully remove them from the real world, whilst imbuing them with sociopolitical connotations due to their obvious ties to the national flag and Brazilian culture at large.

His use of white as a background and framing device envelops the images with another layer of symbolism referencing Brazil's relationship with colonialism.

Rodrigues excavates objects and symbols associated with Brazilian identity, transforming them into satirical critiques of the foundations these ideals are based on.

Anke Weyer at Canada
New York, 09 February 2021
Anke Weyer, Entrueckte Ebene (2020). Oil and acrylic on canvas, 182.88 × 226.06 cm. Courtesy the artist and Canada, New York.

Anke Weyer's exhibition Heart, Heart is currently showing at Canada in New York alongside an OVR until 27 February.

Weyer's large-scale abstract paintings explode with energy and luscious colour. Her thickly applied, loose brushstrokes trace the gestural movements of her body, immediately connecting the viewer to the performance of painting.

Heart, Heart is in reference to the organs' kinetic motion which is channelled through Weyer's rhythmic process. This is the sixth solo exhibition at the gallery for the Brooklyn-based German artist, having been represented by Canada since 2000.

Joel Mesler at David Kordansky Gallery
Los Angeles, 06 February 2021
Joel Mesler, Untitled (In n Out) (2020). Pigment on linen. 213 x 165 cm. Courtesy David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, Photo: Jeff McLane.

Art dealer turned artist Joel Mesler is exhibiting his new paintings and works on paper in a solo show titled Surrender at David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, until 6 March.

Mesler's playful vocabulary brilliantly merges language and consumer culture imagery to explore themes of childhood, specifically the loss of innocence, while hinting to the continuous journey of self discovery in adulthood.

Untitled (In n Out) is a continuation of this autobiographical approach. Inside a Beverly Hills Hotel plastered in banana leaf wallpaper, Mesler recalls the memory of an event that marked the deterioration of his parents' marriage.

His transition to becoming a painter and his amusing relationship with David Kordansky when the two began their careers in the L.A gallery scene is documented in Boris Kachka's brilliantly written 2018 New York Times article 'How an Art Dealer Became an Up-and-Coming Painter'.

Strange Fruit by Michael Armitage
London, 06 February 2021
Michael Armitage, Strange Fruit (2016). Oil on Lubugo cloth, 300 x 170 cm. © Michael Armitage. Photo: © Ben Westoby. Courtesy White Cube.
Michael Armitage, Strange Fruit (2016) (detail). Oil on Lubugo cloth, 300 x 170 cm. © Michael Armitage. Photo: © Ben Westoby. Courtesy White Cube.

Strange Fruit is the brilliant work of Kenyan born artist Michael Armitage, spotlighted in our most recent Curated Selection by Filipe da Costa Leite.

The tensions between figuration and abstraction, tradition and modernity, play flawlessly in Armitage's works, which tackle socio-political issues in Kenya today. Velázquez's undulating figures and the haunting expressions of Goya's protagonists are brought together in his unique lyrical vision.

Strange Fruit, pictured here, presents a sublime example of this mastery. His whimsical brushstrokes and rich colour palette are both heavily influenced by the East African landscape Armitage has encountered throughout his life, having grown up and now living part time in Nairobi.

Represented by White Cube, Armitage's solo exhibition Paradise Edict is currently showing at Haus der Kunst, Munich until 14 February when it will move to London's Royal Academy of Arts from 13 March to 6 June.

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