Contributed by Sharon Butler / Despite our deep dive several years ago into Provisional painting and the Casualist tendency, a battery of questions continues to confront painters in the studio: can a painting be meaningful if the process involves fun rather than struggle? Is hard-earned resolution required? Or can something painted quickly and easily still qualify as good? At Sardine, the painters in “We Woke Up this Way” – Mike Olin, Jon Lutz, and Mairikke Dau – suggest an affirmative answer to the last question.
They self-consciously embrace playful, idiosyncratic, and seemingly undemanding strategies, making pretty but not terribly rigorous paintings that are too weird to be decorative. And this seems fair enough: they would rather present visual possibilities than deliver a record of accident, misstep, and endeavor.
About the artists (from the press release for the show):
Mairikke Dau lives and works in NYC. She received her BFA from the University of California Santa Cruz and her MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has shown her work at Safe Gallery, 808 Gallery, Bakalar Paine Galleries, Wildlife and hosts a performance art event ‘Home Perm.’ Her current body of work is about autonomy, play, and following the logic of decision making.
Jon Lutz is an independent curator, writer, gallery director, and artist that lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He began an independent curatorial project entitled Daily Operation in 2005, and was a director at Sardine from 2013-2015 and then at 106 Green from 2016-2018.
Mike Olin was born in Los Angeles, he has lived and worked in NYC since 1999. You can see the influence of Southern California in Olin’s interest in light, color and natural forms. When Olin moved to Bushwick, Brooklyn he was struck by the varieties of trash in his new neighborhood and began collecting it. Adding detritus and other mixed media to his canvases eventually became part of the process of creating his landscape-like paintings. Mike has shown his work throughout the US and internationally, including NYC shows at Edward Thorp Gallery, Klaus von Nichtssagend, Regina Rex, and George Lawson Gallery in San Francisco.
“We Woke Up This Way: Mairikke Dau, Jon Lutz, & Mike Olin,” Sardine, 286 Stanhope Street, Ground Floor, Brooklyn, New York. June 22 – July 28, 2019.