John Copeland, "This Wild Country", 54 x 126 inches, oil and acrylic on canvas, 2013
Galerie Alex Daniels - Reflex Amsterdam proudly presents ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING, the seond solo exhibition of John Copeland (US, 1976).
There is tension in Copeland's works. The paintings vibrate between figuration and abstraction, putting your eye and mind to work at first glance. The situations depicted; dinner parties, original bikers, classic portraiture, lingering nudes and gritty still lives share a cinematic snapshot quality. The works generate curiosity and questions; what is happening? What has occurred? What will happen next?
There is suspense in the painted moment, a sense of urgency, amplified by the seemingly furious pace of the painting style. As if it had not been captured fast, it would disappear. Moments like these never last.
In juxtaposition to the suspense in the single work, there is a timelessness in the subject matter and general imagery. This contrast is also emphasized by the style of painting, that effortlessly draws from neo-expressionism, bad painting (as defined by Marcia Tucker) and abstract expressionism.
Contemplating this new body of work, paintings and works on paper, another reoccurring theme is images of images. Paintings of people looking at paintings. People reflected in mirrors. Distorted reflections of figures turning to abstraction or vice versa. A feeling of voyeurism and simultaneously being watched. Copeland's work is beautifully uncomfortable, violence and carnal pleasure smile at you, enticing you. If you stare, the world stares right back at you.
Copeland is part of a younger generation of prolific New York based painters revitalizing the narrative of contemporary painting. Copeland has taken part in exhibitions in Zurich (Switzerland), Portland (USA), Boston (USA) and New York (USA). Copeland's work has also been featured in the exhibition "Wonder Works - Master Works from Private Danish Collections" at the Museum Of Modern Art Aalborg, Denmark in 2012.
We cordially invite you to the opening on Saturday, May 25th from 5 till 7 pm. The artist will be present.