On May 2nd, Lévy Gorvy will debut new paintings and sculpture by Dan Colen in the artist’s inaugural exhibition at the gallery. Conceived for the gallery’s flagship location at 909 Madison Avenue, the exhibition will present three recent series—Purgatory, Mother, and Mail Order—that focus on technical innovation in pursuit of ambience and emotional depth. This exhibition, which will run through June 23rd, is both a celebration of his recently announced representation by the gallery and an evolution of his painterly practice.
The Mail Order series of screenprints on linen depicts images of clothing from mail-order catalogues, enlarged to a monumental scale, harnessing the power of subversive marketing to consider commodity, originality, and artistic production. The Mother and Purgatory paintings continue Colen’s ongoing interest in the sentimental tenderness of mid-20th century hand-drawn animation. Despite their apparent restraint, these paintings are painstakingly layered—each canvas is sprayed, stained, or hand-painted over a period of months to create a smooth surface, formless beyond foreground and background. Trapped in an irresolute reality outside of conventional space and time, these ethereal paintings suggest a connection to feelings hidden beneath amorphous, seemingly abstract, memories of adolescence and projections of fantasy.