Skarstedt London presents Strangers, the first U.K exhibition by American artist Justin Adian.
The exhibition will feature a series of new paintings and will coincide with Frieze London.
Strangers is a meditation on Adian’s relationship with his works and the transformation that occurs once they have left the familial environment of the studio to venture out in the world:
“ Once something leaves the studio it changes, kinda moves onto its own life, its own scene”.
The exhibition will include 10 abstract, shaped paintings in Adian’s unique style of canvas stretched over ester foam. Often combining two or more abstract forms into one piece to create a three-dimensional composite wall relief, the surface of the canvas is painted using industrial materials such as oil-based enamel and spray paint.
Demonstrating the influence of Minimalism in his approach to colour, Adian adds a further dimension to several of the works by painting their reverse surfaces with bright colours which reflect onto the supporting wall to create a ‘back lit’ effect.
While Adian’s formal practice is inspired by numerous artists, including Richard Tuttle, Eva Hesse, LyndamBenglis and Richard Prince, an early supporter of his work, he identifies specifically with the humour that is present in much of the art from Texas and the West. In his paintings, there is a notable playfulness in the shapes he fabricates with foam as well as his choice of brightly sprayed colours.
This humour is enhanced by the interplay between the works and his choice of titles such as Bikini and Wanna?.
Narrative plays an important role in Adian’s work with the inspiration for this series coming from Larry McMurtry’s 1972 book All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers and Merle Haggard’s 1965 song of the same name.
To accompany the exhibition and catalogue, Adian has written a collection of short stories which demonstrate the emphasis of narrative structure in his paintings:
“I have been thinking of the pieces as participants in the same activity. They are all similar, like patients in a lobby waiting for the therapist…they all need to talk but say different things.”
Strangers 14.10 – 22.11.14
Skarstedt, 23 Old Bond Street, London W1S 4PZ, UK
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. – Aristotle