“My paintings contain a double negative: the surface works to undo itself and representation is obscured to reveal a subject that is not an image of the past, but an impression directly inscribed in it.”

 – Beaux Mendes

 

Firmly rooted in materials and direct observation, Beaux Mendes’ paintings are also enigmatically animated with overlaid layers of abstraction and latent apparitional figures. Their work treats painting as a transitory medium, while consistently revealing the physical qualities of the used support. Involving rituals of passage and pilgrimage, their practice invites estrangement and altered states of experience resulting from repeated trips to sites for painting, often remote and obscure. These sites conjure a relay of sensory information and embedded imagery that phase between environment and artist, generating a range of phenomena recorded by way of an artwork as conduit. As such, appearances arrive as much as they withdraw, opening spaces of irresolution. The visual effect of their work is to manifest a unique and reflexive threshold of in-betweenness, a shifting sense of positionality always bordering on transgression. Situated within the different configurations proposed by Mendes’s paintings lies the crux of their poetics: an image is a kind of transference, its nature is never wholly perceptible, let alone conceivable—apprehension is a balancing act on changing, uncertain ground.

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Beaux Mendes (b. 1987, New York) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. They hold MFAs from University of California, Los Angeles as well as from Bard Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts. Recent solo presentations include Black Forest at Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin (2023) and Capitol Reef at Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York (2022). Mendes’ work has been included in group shows at Real Pain Fine Arts and STARS, Los Angeles, Palazzo Tamborino Cezzi, Lecce, Italy, Meredith Rosen Gallery, New York, among others.

 

Their work will be included in the 15th Gwangju Biennale: Pansori – a soundscape of the 21st century, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, opening on September 7, 2024. A solo exhibition will be held in fall/winter 2024 at Miguel Abreu Gallery.