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SOCO Gallery presents "Into the Woods", an exhibition of new works by artist Douglas Melini
Douglas Melini, installation view. Image by Lydia Bittner-Baird. Courtesy of the artist and SOCO Gallery.

CHARLOTTE, NC.- SOCO Gallery presents “Into the Woods”, an exhibition of new works by artist Douglas Melini. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with SOCO Gallery.

Influenced by an unlikely combination of Minimalism, pattern, and decoration, Melini investigates color, space, and the “abstract and pictorial nature of making an image”. He challenges how the audience views his works by opening up the visual space and distorting horizon lines. Adhering to the Bauhaus maxim “form follows function”, his artwork creates a pause for the viewer, allowing and encouraging a moment of contemplation.

For his exhibition, “Into the Woods”, Melini has created six paintings and twelve collage pieces. Inspired by the history of the lush tree and mushrooms grown in New Jersey Pine Barrens, the collages celebrate the cyclical and symbiotic relationships within the forest. The mushrooms, sourced from a dizzying array of field guides, are personified and presented larger than life. The vibrant and transparent watercolor connects the mushrooms to each other and to the surrounding world.

The colorful abstract paintings are constructed with reclaimed wood sourced from tobacco barns in North Carolina and feature layers of oil on linen and a textured build-up of acrylic stain and sealant. The natural material contrasts with the foraged wood to create two vastly different ways of interpreting visual spaces, one natural and one assembled. This theatrical juxtaposition further captures the viewer’s attention, establishing a portal to another world. Together, the paintings and the mushroom collages create one harmonious, natural biosphere.

The artist
Douglas Melini (b. 1972, American) received his BA from the University of Maryland in 1994 and his MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 1997. Melini has exhibited nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland, Oregon (2018); 11R Gallery, New York, New York (2017); Feature Inc., NY, NY (2009-2014); Minus Space, Brooklyn, New York (2009); Ursula Werz, Tubingen, Germany (2005); Rocket Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2004, 1999); and Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, California (1998); among others. In 2008, Melini was awarded a Painting Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Melini’s work has been reviewed and featured in The New York Times, Hyperallergic, Time Out New York, and Artcritical, and is included in private and public collections worldwide. He is represented by Van Doren Waxter, NY, NY and SOCO Gallery, Charlotte, NC. The artist currently lives and works in New Jersey.

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