Best known for exhibitions at Zach Feuer that combine materials from everyday life in sprawling quasi-scientific installations, Phoebe Washburn has been painting on pages from the NYTimes, in single and quadruple sheets, and the paintings will be on display at Josée Bienvenu Gallery this month. According to the press release the drawings unfold organically as Washburn explores systems, rules, problems and behaviors.
Drawing and painting on newspaper is similar to building a structure with found wood. Newspapers come from the real world and a larger system that is constantly in motion. Each sheet is dated and considered recorded history although it becomes immediately disposable as old news. The existing information on the newspaper provides a point of departure for the drawings. Even if most of the information is ultimately covered up, it is layered underneath and still affects the drawing on many levels....Playing with the ideas of looking at something, through something or in something is elemental to these works. It manifests in different ways: the background field, the porthole, the arena, the moon, and the wormhole. Sometimes these ways of looking and viewing are happening simultaneously.Although seemingly less ambitious than her installations, these insouciant paintings look pretty good. The show opens on September 13.
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