New York, April 16, 2021—Pace Gallery is pleased to announce representation of New York-based artist Damian Loeb ahead of his inaugural solo exhibition with the gallery opening May 19, 2021 in Palo Alto. Pace will co-represent the artist alongside Acquavella Galleries, with a focus on bringing his work to an even larger audience. Wishful Thinking will be on view through July 2, 2021.
Marc Glimcher, President & CEO, Pace Gallery, shares:
'Damian works with the intensity of an ecclesiastical artist. His radiant depictions of celestial bodies and events present a new iconography of belief. Not to be confused with photorealism, Damian’s perfecting of the imagery is more devotional than it is analytic. While stemming from the last years of the Pictures Generation, his paintings speak to a consciousness of our 21st century.'
Damian Loeb shares:
'As a huge fan of Pace Gallery, I am excited to join their incredible roster of artists, many of whom are long time heroes of mine. Marc’s insight and commitment to his artists is inspiring, as is the professionalism and expertise of his entire team. I look forward to working together with Pace and Acquavella Galleries to share my new and future works.'
Wishful Thinking, Loeb’s debut presentation with Pace, is an off-world homage to the history of allegorical painting and comprises eight new paintings created in 2020 and 2021. Celebrating the relevance of representational work in a conceptual world, Loeb extends the genre of landscape painting to encompass new realms, translating the 19th-century Romantic ideals of the sublime into contemporary images of the universe. He manipulates scale and composition to capture the spiritual awe of extra-terrestrial scenes, using classical art tropes to convey the escapist beauty in these strangely familiar expanses. Alluding to the Pygmalion myth, the show’s title refers to the desire of a certain reality rather than what exists. These works present distant landscapes as welcoming and a possible future home, yet simultaneously highlight the failure of verisimilitude—the fact that they will forever remain an 'ideal'.
Following the tradition of early Baroque painters, these transcendent paintings seek to offer a spiritual salve for modern times and reference classical myths to examine themes such as martyrdom, faith, and sacrifice in their contemplation on the human condition. In Danae and the Shower of Gold (after Rubens) (2020), viewers see the gaseous folds of Jupiter mirror the modesty of fabric and plentiful flesh presented in Rubens’ painting of the same name.
Moving toward a new level of abstraction, the artist invites viewers to contemplate questions about an individual’s place in the infinite through this new body of work. Loeb’s paintings are 'wishful thinking': a meditation on fate as it manifests itself in beauty, and a false resolution—offered by myth—to find lost hope by anthropomorphising the vast and mysterious images of other worlds, seemingly closer and better than the present one.
Damian Loeb (b. 1970, New Haven, Connecticut) is a self-taught artist. He first came to attention after being discovered by Jeffrey Deitch of Deitch Projects in 1997. Loeb’s art is informed by cinematography and the image soaked culture of contemporary times. The artist dissects and recomposes life as experienced through the eye of a director, taking resonant, emotional moments and distilling them into representational work to highlight the sense of the universal and the uncanny that subtly erupts in everyday life.
For the past decade, the artist has been focused on painting grand and graphic scenes of Earth and its celestial environs. In the summer of 2017, Loeb travelled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to experience firsthand the 'Great American Eclipse.' His meticulously painted images capture the intimacy and immensity of this existential event. The artist continues to build on these themes, creating paintings that expand the terrestrial view and that show dreamlike images beyond humanity’s known world.
Since his first solo show at Mary Boone Gallery in 1999, Loeb has had solo shows at White Cube in London, Mario Diacono Gallery in Boston, Jablonka Gallery in Cologne, and Acquavella Galleries in New York. In 2006, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut held a retrospective of his work. He is co-represented by Acquavella Galleries and Pace Gallery. At Frieze New York in 2019, Acquavella Galleries presented Loeb’s paintings as a solo exhibition, only the second time in the gallery’s history that they have dedicated their presentation at a fair to a single artist.
Press release courtesy Pace Gallery.