Exhibition of new and recent work by Amy Sillman opens at Gladstone

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Exhibition of new and recent work by Amy Sillman opens at Gladstone
For Sillman shape, color, and drawing prevail, but always in a state of flux and situated within the context of time. © Amy Sillman, 2024.

NEW YORK, NY.- Gladstone presents To Be Other-Wise, an exhibition of new and recent paintings, works on paper, and a video by Amy Sillman. Depicting both recognizable and reimagined forms, Sillman's paintings push and pull between overt abstraction and ciphered figuration. In To Be Other-Wise, Sillman lays bare the time and space in which abstraction is made through a sequential unfolding of thought and process. Her serial works on paper reveal an analog animation process, unfurling the various stages of mark-making that in paintings are compressed into buried layers. Sillman embraces an artistic process that champions improvisation and challenges conventional notions of form and representation.

Sillman’s work in painting and drawing has been shaped by her basic notion of artmaking as a conduit for change. Rather than working toward beauty or grandeur, Sillman’s work proposes a cheerfully skeptical attitude toward traditional categories (such as abstraction or figuration). Instead, she continuously re-investigates various formal structures – figure and ground, color and line, painting and drawing, representation and nonrepresentation – as dichotomies that her work refutes through the presentation of energetic figures within liminal grounds. With this sense of an activated present, Sillman emancipates viewers from the preconceived expectations of a “finished” piece that captures a singular moment, stating that “each work is a continual painterly process of destruction and recreation, often going on for months before it comes to a kind of conclusion, a conclusion which is itself an open question.”

For Sillman shape, color, and drawing prevail, but always in a state of flux and situated within the context of time. Her depiction of torsos signifies more than just the human form: they embody a broader contemplation of transformation and temporal fluidity. In this exhibition, she presents a sequence of over 60 works on paper selected from a larger body of work that juxtaposes torsos with words, arranged horizontally across the gallery wall as a diagrammatic grid. Through these visceral depictions, but in all of her paintings as well, Sillman seeks to reveal the fragile and often disjointed state of being, creating scenes that reflect the body’s entanglement with its own sense of disembodiment and alienation. Investigating the complicated relationship between the object, subject, and the abject, the artist’s continuum of images contends with both a philosophical and physical consciousness. This ongoing examination of both the body and structures of form and language offers a lens through which to view the broader questions the artist addresses in her work—the impermanence of form, the shifting interplay between affect and cognition, and the continuous cycle of creation and deconstruction in her practice.

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