Miguel Abreu Gallery is pleased to announce the opening, on Sunday, November 4th, of Bubble Revision, a collaborative exhibition by Alexander Carver, Pieter Schoolwerth, and Avery Singer. The show will be on view at our 88 Eldridge Street location.
Gilded dawn light shimmers on the surface of towering reservoir pools and across the pristine concrete pathways of the virtual park of tomorrow that is the backdrop of Bubble Revision. The aesthetic is at once regal, democratic, and antiseptic, a radically new kind of public space that reimagines the demands of heterogeneous use. Taking its name from a notation in AutoCad spatial rendering software that designates a need for design correction, Bubble Revision constitutes the point of convergence between diagrammatic mapping, material production, and reality’s virtual overlay. Following the persistent need for modification and reassessment in design and engineering, the show proposes a complex network of reflection through painting that strives for the ideal of a perfect model while at the same time embodying the inevitability of corrupted planning.
Together, Alexander Carver, Pieter Schoolwerth, and Avery Singer establish a conversation in and about painting that cuts across the seemingly secure positions of artist and spectator to examine the unseen bureaucratic structures that predicate spaces of collective experience. The artists foreground collaboration as an essential creative process in an otherwise fractured world, engaging their practices as a kind of urgent group consultation outlining alternative ways for generative coexisting. Their elaborate virtual model forms the framework from which each artist’s contribution is derived, with interconnected scenes developing into a magnificent technological wonderland that triggers a quasi-hedonistic excitement. Hot tubs and pools abound, as well as DJ booths, high-end workout equipment, panoramic televisions, and a concert stage, all situated in a futuristic structure of elevated, glass-bottom cisterns. But the Carver-Schoolwerth-Singer park of tomorrow is not simply a fantasy construct. Rather, their virtual design adheres to the laws of the built world, following rational systems and the physics of materials. Even the most extravagant element—twisting tubes of pink and red that make up a vein and artery network—forms complex plumbing carrying water from the cisterns to various pools and bathrooms. Here, the questions of public norms and individual agency, of leisure and necessity, and of waste and resources determine the landscape of artistic vision.
In Bubble Revision, painting exists in the perpetual act of transgressing its own material identity, offering an antidote to the constricted experience of bodies increasingly bound by the latent cultural coercion of an over-engineered world and our new state of interpesonal hyper-surveillence. The park’s seemingly arbitrary set pieces, upon closer examination, develop an iconography oscillating between the nefarious and the wholly permissive. Architecture turns punitive, and absolute transparency absorbs any refuge of privacy, risking the boundary between aesthetic purity and the pornographic. Out of this virtual template—a zone of collaborative habitation one step removed from the real world—Carver, Schoolwerth, and Singer derive new vocabularies for painting, scrutinizing the dangers implicit to current social relations as a schematic for new image formation.
Bubble Revision is the sequel to Call Out Tools, an exhibition currently on view at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeilder, Berlin.
Alexander Carver (b. 1984, Boise, Idaho) lives and works in New York. Carver’s varied source material often derives from engineering plans, legal texts, architectural blueprints, or at times medieval iconography. He builds up his paintings like active membranes that receive pictographic subject matter through indirect techniques, such as frottage, stenciling, screen printing, or scraping.
Pieter Schoolwerth (b. 1970, St. Louis, Missouri) lives and works in New York. Schoolwerth’s ‘painting in the last instance’ captures invisible flows of abstraction that structure contemporary experience, and turns them into motifs for an elaborate new kind of figurative painting, with group portraiture as his main area of focus. In his work, the stuff of paint itself appears at the end of a layered, multi-media process only to supplement an already constituted image. Compression and superimposition are recurring features in his imagery.
Avery Singer (b. 1987, New York, New York) lives and works in New York. Singer’s iconographically complex airbrush paintings combine early 20th century aesthetics, cinematic pictorial space and abstractions familiar to us from the digital world. In the three Sensory Deprivation Tank works included in the exhibition, she experiments with the fundamental issues of light and space in painting. “I was interested particularly in the challenge of light passing through water. Depicting water and light is particularly challenging in painting and has a long history. Because the paintings take place in a bathroom, I chose the site of the shower as the focus of the works.”