Can anyone stop thinking about politics these days? We can’t. For “Blue State,” an exhibition we organized for DUMBO Open Studios, May 13 & 14, 1-6pm, Two Coats of Paint has selected work that reflects our state of mind. Artists include Matthew Deleget (Minus Space Gallery), David Mann (Margaret Thatcher Projects), Helen O’Leary (Lesley Heller Workspace), and Two Coats founder Sharon Butler (Theodore:Art), who is hosting the show in her studio at 55 Washington Street. On Saturday at 4pm, Rob Kaiser-Schlatzlein, a member of the Two Coats $50 Stock Club for Artists, will present a lecture/performance called “Inflation: The open secret of everyday life.”
Matthew Deleget and his wife Rossana Martinez are the founders of Minus Space, a gallery on Main Street in DUMBO that specializes in reductive abstraction. Matthew’s art practice encompasses several modes of working, including installations, accumulation, and painting. “My work absorbs, digests, and reacts to what I see and hear around me … urban culture, corporate government, news propaganda, unwinnable wars, religious fundamentalism, unconscionable materialism, and more.” In Deleget’s hands, art may be abstract and reductive, but it can still be political.
David Mann lives in Brooklyn and has maintained a studio in DUMBO for over thirty years. His dark, mysterious paintings walk a nuanced line between abstraction and representation, between the illusion of photographic effects and painterly materiality. He and I share an interest in the character of the painted surface and how it can convey meaning. Here he gaslights viewers into wondering what they are perceiving – a photograph or a painting, a record of something real or imagined.
After many years in Brooklyn, Irish painter Helen O’Leary recently relocated to Jersey City. Her new work is about her own history as a painter, rooted in ruin and failure. “I have disassembled the wooden structures of previous paintings—the stretchers, panels, and frames—and have cut them back to rudimentary hand-built slabs of wood, glued and patched together, their history of being stapled, splashed with bits of paint, and stapled again to linen clearly evident.” To paraphrase Beckett, we can’t go on, we must go on.
Sharon L. Butler
Sharon Butler has been making abstract drawings on a phone app called PicsArt and posting them on Instagram each morning. She says the drawings are like worry beads—working on them keeps her from checking Twitter obsessively for news that impeachment proceedings against the 45th president have begun. Her paintings are based on the drawing series.
Two Coats of Paint is a NYC-based art project founded in 2007. It includes an award-winning art blogazine, artist residency, small press, and other special initiatives, such as curating this exhibition. Two Coats gained fiscal sponsorship two years ago and has received funding from Creative Capital, the Warhol Foundation, blogazine reader donations, and an ongoing advertising initiative. We are a participant in the Two Trees Cultural Space Subsidy Program.
“Blue State: Matthew Deleget, David Mann, Helen O’Leary, and Sharon Butler,” curated by Two Coats of Paint, 55 Washington Street #321, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, 14, 1-6pm.
“Inflation: The open secret of everyday life,” a lecture/performance by Rob Kaiser-Schlatzlein in conjunction with the Two Coats $50 Stock Club for Artists. Saturday, May 13, 4 pm. Free and open to the public.