2525 Michigan Avenue, B-5A
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Richard Heller Gallery is proud to present Russell Tyler, Altered State. This is Tyler's second solo exhibition with the gallery.
About the artist:
Russell Tyler's recent paintings are a playful, method-based approach to abstraction, as opposed to his earlier series which captured an expressionist bravura or cool geometry. In these new works, Tyler uses mid-sized canvases that are deceivingly large in scale with outlined marks that act as drop shadows and compositions that stretch edge to edge. Alternating between a vertical and horizontal format these works flirt with references to weeds, trees, and ponds without veering into representational territory. Rather, they read as graphic, punchy abstractions painted with close value ranges, about 5 colors to each work, overlapping washes with thick impastoed handling.
Some works, like "RMP" fashion themselves as dynamic, sensual contrasts. Here, two large, dark curvilinear forms are balanced by a light, salmon-colored one that cuts through the center of the canvas. Other works, like "RV," "FLP," and "YP," feel celebratory as multi-colored tendril-like marks splinter off from the center toward the edge of the canvas. The value contrasts combine with the compositional treatment to create an explosive effect reminiscent of fireworks against a night sky.
Tyler received his M.F.A. from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and his B.F.A. from Concordia University in Montreal. He has had solo exhibitions at Richard Heller Gallery in Los Angeles, Denny Gallery in New York City, Galerie Bernard Ceysson in France, Ribordy Contemporary in Switzerland, DCKT Contemporary in New York City, Freight + Volume in New York City, Alon Segev Gallery in Tel Aviv, Gordon Gallery 2 in Tel Aviv, and EbersMoore Gallery in Chicago. He has been included in group exhibitions at the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Torrance Art Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, Anonymous Gallery, Retrospective Gallery, The Fireplace Project, Ana Cristea Gallery, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, ACME (Los Angeles), among others. His work has been reviewed or featured in Artforum, Hyperallergic, Modern Painters, T The New York Times Style Magazine, NY Arts Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail and Le Monde.
And, in our West Gallery, presenting a Group Show, featuring new work byTrudy Benson, Farshad Farzankia, Benjamin Klein, and Jean Isamu Nagai.
We will be hosting an artist reception on Friday, January 26, and Tyler, Benson, Klein and Nagai will all be in attendance.
Incorporating the appearance of digital graphics into her decidedly handmade work, Trudy Benson makes paintings for the 21st century. She describes her abstract pieces as “inspired by old imaging software,” but also expresses a desire “to prove that painting is better than computers.” She builds up her mid- to large-scale compositions in layers and uses a range of paints, including enamel, acrylic, spray paint, and oil. The richly textured surfaces feature geometric shapes, stripes, and other flattened forms interwoven with exuberant, sweeping scribbles and thick impasto lines that read as sculptural reliefs. Benson does not shy away from drips, scratches, and errant globs of pigment; she considers accidents an important part of her process and, by extension, the finished piece.
Benson has held solo shows at Lisa Cooley (New York), Half Gallery (New York), Galerie Bernard Ceysson (Luxembourg), Horton Gallery (New York) and Freight + Volume (New York). Benson has previously been featured in group shows at Johannes Vogt Gallery (New York), Denny Gallery (New York), Halsey McKay (East Hampton), Saatchi Gallery (London) and the New Britain Museum of Art in Connecticut. She has been featured in The New York Times, Art in America, ARTnews, ArtInfo, Time Out London and Whitewall Magazine.
Benson received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and her MFA from the Pratt Institute. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn.
Inspired in part by the language of Neo-Expressionism, Farshad Farzankia remixes cultural references from the 1980’s to the present to tell powerful narratives of migration and power relations. The artist lovingly renders icons of personal importance to build a lexicon of meaning through symbols. Cameras reference the artist’s love of film and film direction, shoes become understood as symbols of migration, and red tulips that surround faces reference iconic posters from Farzankia’s childhood in Tehran.
Farzankia holds a bachelor degree in Visual Communication and worked for 15 years as a graphic designer in the field of poster and music design before he retired as a graphic designer and started painting full-time.
Copenhagen-based artist Farzankia made his U.S. debut with Richard Heller Gallery at UNTITLED, ART in December, 2017, and this show marks his first gallery exhibition in the U.S.
Benjamin Klein was born in Chicago and grew up in Montreal. He holds a BFA from Concordia University (Montreal, 2005) where he graduated with great distinction and was awarded the Guido Molinari prize in Studio Arts. He completed his MFA in Studio Arts at the University of Guelph (Ontario, 2013). In 2010, Klein was a semi-finalist in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition. His works are part of many private collections in North America. In 2014, his work was presented simultaneously in two solo exhibitions, at Joyce Yahouda Gallery and McClure Gallery in Montreal. Klein lives and works in Montreal.
Jean Isamu Nagai:
Jean Isamu Nagai is a visual artist living in Los Angeles, CA. Born in 1979, in Olympia, Washington, he is inspired by the abundant natural world of the Pacific Northwest, the contemporary pop cultural landscape and the subtle areas of the color gradient. His work is often abstractly representative of complex patterns imbued with the texture and movement of seaweed, clouds and embroidery.
Current work explores the intersections of vanishing Northwest textural landscapes and pop culture themes. It is a contemporary iteration of the Japanese aesthetic tradition of Ukio-e, or, ‘floating world’, which refers to a “conception of an evanescent world, impermanent, fleeting beauty and a realm of entertainments.”
Expanding bodies of work include “Color Stratum,” which utilizes multitudinous layers of paint sanded into psychedelic patterns, “Red Earth,” a series exploring intuitive representations of Northwest topography, and “Celestial Bodies,” a series including huge, meticulously drawn portraits of divine, symmetrical bodies.
He has developed a visual vocabulary reflecting the confluence of nature and mass culture, manifested utilizing traditional and experimental techniques. He received his B.A. in Fine Art at The Evergreen State College.