New York solos: Chuck Close and Keltie Ferris - Art Collector

  Chuck Close, Self-Portrait I, 2014. Installation shot courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, NY

By Jess Holburn

Pace opened an exhibition of new grid paintings by Chuck Close this month titled Red Yellow Blue, revisiting developments in the 1970s when he first restricted his palette to three colours. Painted solely with layers of cyan, magenta and yellow pigment, Close leaves each work unfinished at the base, revealing remnants of the printing process through juxtapositions of hue and variation in saturation.

The earliest works in the exhibition include portraits of Cecily Brown and Cindy Sherman. In 1999, Close's Cindy II (1988), a portrait of the photographer Cindy Sherman was reported by Carol Vogel in the New York Times to have sold for $1.2 million, against a high estimate of $800,000. Close has been represented by The Pace Gallery, in New York since 1977, and by White Cube, London since 1999. Many of you will recall his recent retrospective at the MCA in Sydney curated by Terrie Sultan, director of the Parrish Art Museum in New York and Sydney’s curatorial coordinator Glenn Barkley, reviewed by John McDonald as “the most impressive one-man print survey one is ever likely to see.”

A slightly lesser known artist yet also inventive in approach, Mitchell-Innes & Nash opened its second solo exhibition of new gestural paintings and unique works on paper by Brooklyn-based artist Keltie Ferris this month. Using combinations of air spraying and smearing techniques to create a kind of analog glitch aesthetic, hearkening to the likes of Gerhardt Richter and Albert Oehlen. Martha Schwendener of The New York Times points out these and more points of reference:

  Image credit: Keltie Ferris, Paintings and Body Prints, 2015. Installation shot courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NY

“What might read from afar (or in photographs) as pixels are, close up, thick rectangles of paint applied with a flat-ended brush. These marks distinctly recall the pointillism of Seurat and Signac, as well as the synthetic vision of Impressionism: When you step back from the canvas, the image snaps into focus.”

The body prints evoke Yves Klein’s Anthropometries nude body press series, only in this instance Ferris is clothed during the process, the resultant image echoing Warhol’s silkscreen portraits of Elvis Presley, a commentary on the genderedbody.

Ferris received her MFA in 2006 from Yale School of Art and her BFA in 2004 from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). Recent solo exhibitions include Keltie Ferris: Doomsday Boogie at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, and Body Prints at Chapter NY, New York. Her works have been included in group exhibitions at institutions such as Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, Texas; Brooklyn Museum, New York; and Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Indianapolis. She was recently awarded the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in Painting by the Academy of Arts and Letters, where her work was included in their 2014 Annual Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts. She has an upcoming solo exhibition at the University Art Museum at the University of Albany, NY opening in February 2016. Founded by Lucy Mitchell-Innes and David Nash, who previously headed the worldwide Contemporary and Impressionist & Modern Art divisions of Sotheby’s, Mitchell-Innes & Nash strike an equilibrium between their championing of cutting edge newcomer artists and their survey shows for 20th century masters such as Roy Lichtenstein and Willem de Kooning.

Chuck Close, Red Yellow Blue, Pace Gallery, 534 West 25th Street, from September 10 to October 17, 2015.

Keltie Ferris, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Paintings and Body Prints, 534 West 26th Street in Chelsea, from September 10 through October 17, 2015.

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