Miles McEnery Gallery opens an exhibition of recent works by Tom LaDuke

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Miles McEnery Gallery opens an exhibition of recent works by Tom LaDuke
Miles McEnery Gallery, Tom LaDuke, 24 June – 31 July 2021. Image: Christopher Burke Studio. Courtesy of the artist and Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY.

NEW YORK, NY.- Miles McEnery Gallery is presenting an exhibition of recent works by Tom LaDuke, on view 24 June through 31 July 2021 at 525 West 22nd Street. The exhibition marks the culmination of work created over the last few years, including nine paintings and one sculpture, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication featuring an essay by Daniel Spaulding.

Tom LaDuke’s paintings are painstakingly constructed, offering multiple layers to absorb, with their own references and meanings. In his essay on the artist, Spaulding asserts, “hard-to-describe forms occupy a spatial netherworld that is neither entirely here nor there: neither entirely on the flat of the canvas, nor entirely in the spatial grid of post-Renaissance perspective.” LaDuke’s paintings situate the viewer in an illusory middle dimension, suspended between many levels of imagination.

Forms tend to be screened, stacked, and occluded among layers of fused, brightly colored impasto brushstrokes. “Art grows from the gallery like a tree from soil, in which strange tubes, tree-like structures, rock-like protuberances, proto-figures, or miasmatic nebulae of color precipitate from the atmosphere.” The complex abstract layers are set against the industrial lighting and airy architecture of the art gallery.

The painting Cistern, 2021, incorporates the work of five artists whom LaDuke is inspired by and a landscape that references Édouard Manet’s masterpiece The Old Musician, 1862. The central form in With, With Threshing Oar, 2021, is a sculptural representation of Johannes Vermeer’s The Glass of Wine, 1659, converted, distorted, and transformed through 3D software. In The Proper Channels, 2021, LaDuke thoughtfully merges shadows and shimmers of metallic reflections mirrored in the artist’s studio. We Were So Sure We Could Not Be Heard, 2021, is a hyper-realistic sculpture of an octopus that the artist has been developing for several years; discovering the possibilities and pushing the limits of materials in the pursuit of his vision. Composed of elements such as salt, epoxy, resin, and fruit loops, LaDuke has clothed the ethereal sculpture in a minutely exact replica of his own skin.

Spaulding contextualizes LaDuke’s work with reference to philosopher Gilles Deleuze who differentiated the relationship of the virtual/real from that of the possible/actual, declaring “Something possible may or may not happen, but something virtual is already there, just not in a way that’s yet perceptible.” LaDuke’s paintings encourage viewers to cautiously examine and reorient themselves in a world where both the real and unreal coalesce.

Tom LaDuke (b. 1963, Holyoke, MA) received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1991 from California State University in Fullerton, CA and his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1994 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, IL.

Recent solo exhibitions include “Tom LaDuke,” Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; “New Work,” CRG Gallery, New York, NY; “Candles and Lasers,” Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; “Tom LaDuke,” CRG Gallery, New York, NY; “eyes for voice,” CRG Gallery, New York, NY; “run generator,” Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, and Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC; “Auto-Destruct,” Angles Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; “Pattern Seeking Primate,” Angles Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and “Private Property,” Angles Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.

Recent group exhibitions include “It’s All About Water” (curated by Elizabeth Fiore & Melissa Feldman), The Storefront, Bellport, NY; “Belief in Giants,” Miles McEnery Gallery; “Loose Canon,” L.A. Louver, Venice, CA; “Inaugural Exhibition,” CRG Gallery, New York, NY; “New Art For A New Century: Contemporary Acquisitions 2000-2010,” Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; “FYI–The Reflected Gaze: Self Portraiture Today,” Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; “Tools,” Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery, ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena, CA; “Like Lifelike: Painting in the Third Dimension,” Sweeney Art Gallery, University of California, Riverside, CA; “New Works: A Group Show of Gallery Artists,” Angles Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and “SceneSeen: Recent Acquisitions from the Luckman Fine Arts Complex Permanent Collection, 1979–2006,” California State University, Los Angeles, CA.

His work is included in select collections including Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, FL; Colección Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico; Luckman Gallery, California State University, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA; Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY and The Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY.

Tom LaDuke lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

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