Artist: Ned Vena
Venue: Real Fine Arts, New York
Exhibition Title: Paintings Without Borders
Date: March 8 – April 21, 2014
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Real Fine Arts, New York
Real Fine Arts is pleased to present Paintings Without Borders, Ned Vena’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. In a series of 10 white monochrome paintings Vena continues an involvement with material behavior and meaning. The monochromes are made by rolling layer over layer of Rustoleum white enamel paint on top of a stencil of straight lines. In addition to the monochromes are a series of 5 paintings in which Vena has exchanged his hard-edged abstract motifs for graphic imagery. The imagery comes from leftover digital files from completed sign contracts. Moonlighting as a vinyl sign-maker, Vena utilizes the vinyl cutting machine that he employs to make stencils for his paintings for a client base composed primarily of other artists. He runs this business simultaneously alongside his painting practice. Taking and repurposing images created by clients of his sign business, these paintings illustrate a breach of trust rather than a gesture of appropriation. Procedurally they are identical to previous works and many of the same phenomena occur within the material interaction in these works.
A shaped canvas is a canvas that is somehow neither a square nor a rectangle. A shaped canvas could be viewed as having been trimmed from the borders of a quadrangular shape, a more typical painting surface. The remaining picture is inhibited by this paring. Due to the specificity of the shape, the capital letter G in Collegiate Black font, these paintings can be read literally. The G is a repeated letter, a repeated symbol. It has the straight lines and angles of modern shaped canvasses, such as Frank Stella’s “Telluride” or “Pagosa Springs”. If anything they acknowledge the missing picture plane where the painting could have occurred and interrupt the continuity of the processes and images whose execution they have sustained. Despite these absences, however, they are treated as normal surfaces and painted. The graphic images are removed from their original use, and superimposed into a shape. The edges of the paintings have been meticulously taped.
All of this is to be viewed on a surface of soft rubber, not unlike the rubber of the paintings, typically used as padding to support the knees and backs of people working on their feet.