MILES McENERY GALLERY is delighted to announce an exhibition of recent works by Tom LaDuke, on view 24 June through 31 July 2021 at 525 West 22nd Street. The exhibition will debut nine paintings and one sculpture all created within the last year, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue featuring an essay by Daniel Spaulding.
Tom LaDuke's paintings are painstakingly constructed, offering multiple layers to absorb, with their own references and meanings. In his essay on the artist, Spaulding asserts, 'hard-to-describe forms occupy a spatial netherworld that is neither entirely here nor there: neither entirely on the flat of the canvas, nor entirely in the spatial grid of post-Renaissance perspective.' LaDuke's paintings situate the viewer in an illusory middle dimension, suspended between many levels of imagination.
Forms tend to be screened, stacked, and occluded among layers of fused, brightly coloured impasto brushstrokes. 'Art grows from the gallery like a tree from soil, in which strange tubes, tree-like structures, rock-like protuberances, proto-figures, or miasmatic nebulae of colour precipitate from the atmosphere.' The complex abstract layers are set against the industrial lighting and airy architecture of the art gallery.
The painting Cistern, 2021, incorporates the work of five artists whom LaDuke is inspired by and a landscape that references Édouard Manet's masterpiece The Old Musician, 1862. The central form in With, With Threshing Oar, 2021, is a sculptural representation of Johannes Vermeer's The Glass of Wine, 1659, converted, distorted, and transformed through 3D software. In The Proper Channels, 2021, LaDuke thoughtfully merges shadows and shimmers of metallic reflections mirrored in the artist's studio. We Were So Sure We Could Not Be Heard, 2021, is a hyper-realistic sculpture of an octopus that the artist has been developing for several years; discovering the possibilities and pushing the limits of materials in the pursuit of his vision. Composed of elements such as salt, epoxy, resin, and fruit loops, LaDuke has clothed the etheral sculpture in a minutely exact replica of his own skin.
Spaulding contextualises LaDuke's work with reference to philosopher Gilles Deleuze who differentiated the relationship of the virtual/real from that of the possible/actual, declaring 'Something possible may or may not happen, but something virtual is already there, just not in a way that's yet perceptible.' LaDuke's paintings encourage viewers to cautiously examine and reorient themselves in a world where both the real and unreal coalesce.
Press release courtesy Miles McEnery Gallery.