Martial Raysse’s forthcoming exhibition, opening February 28th, will showcase a series of recent paintings, many of which have never been exhibited, and several historical works that illustrate his sustained engagement with the art-historical tradition of portraiture. Composed in vivid, high-key hues, his visages are marked by a contrived beauty and innate strangeness that mirrors the psychological complexity of human beings. This enticing solo exhibition underscores Lévy Gorvy’s close relationship with the artist, and the gallery’s dedication to innovative presentations of his work. The exhibition, which will be on view at Lévy Gorvy’s New York location through April 14th, will be complemented by a publication featuring essays by curator and art historian Jane Livingston, and sociologist Dr. Eduardo de la Fuente.
Amid amplified sociopolitical tension and the ascent of commodity culture, Raysse began producing portraits, predominantly of women, in 1961. The artist’s most recent series of visages conveys the essential nature of his sitters, and captures their projections of self with effervescent color. Reminiscent of his earliest experiments in Pop Art, self-possessed, confident women appear centrally in Raysse’s portraits, empowered by their command over crumbling, chaotic surroundings. Sensual and surreal, these paintings gesture toward the artificiality of aesthetic norms, asking, in the process, if these codes might be open to change.