Matt Rich and Victoria Fu Nov. 6, 2021 to Jan. 1, 2022 Halsey McKay Gallery 79a Newtown Lane East Hampton, N.Y.
Halsey McKay Gallery presents two concurrent solo exhibitions featuring Matt Rich and Victoria Fu on view from Nov. 6, 2021, to Jan. 1, 2022. Rich’s exhibition, And And And, will include a series of new stretcher-less paintings. Fu’s self-titled show, Victoria Fu, will pair a new suite of photographs with a large, printed silk curtain.
And And And Rich’s third solo show with the gallery, installed on the ground floor of the gallery, extends his continuous play with the notions of supports and surfaces, objecthood and observation, flatness and relief, abstraction and recognizability.
Rich’s cut canvas pieces are assembled piece-by-piece into larger, constructed compositions, taking the stretcher bar out of the equation. His practice has a “flawed clarity,” capturing the teeterin —sometimes tense exchange—between painterly effect and precise construction. Rich’s not-quite flat paintings unsettle, revel in and trample surfaces—their own as well as the gallery’s rigid walls.
Rich enriches his paintings with an array of techniques that complicate their experience and presentation. Slicing, rippling, looping and wrinkling his works, Rich creates “surplus surfaces”—which cast undulating shadows under the lights of the gallery, part of an extending network of spatial, material engagements.
Rich’s paintings explore using materials as foils to the traditional painting process and free the weight and flow of colour and the tautness of forms into our surroundings.
While his primary language and approach remain that of colour-based abstraction using fundamental geometric shapes, some of Rich’s paintings incorporate the recognizable figure of the ampersand. Rooted in this familiar form, the works seem to reach something beyond. Rich’s curved rendering of the ampersand and its “and” meaning suggest an open-ended sense of connection and extension.
In Fu’s first exhibition with Halsey McKay, installed in the upper gallery, the eponymous exhibition sets a large printed silk curtain, part of the artist’s continuing body of work, with a suite of new photographs.
Organized in this grouping, the works refer to our now standard practice of touching and living with layers of screens—depicting colourful desktops, illuminated gradient windows and long, trailing marks.
Fu’s work typically begins from technical images created with lens-based cameras by examining our mediated relationships to the digital world and its spaces. Fu then manipulates and arranges, proceeding with a painterly sense of colour and space.
In doing so, Fu references both our lived and virtual surroundings, our lives directly in and infinitely exceeding the gallery. A centrepiece of sorts, Fu’s Curtain 3 likewise occupies multiple positions at once: a screen, a photograph and a functional art object.
Its depiction of a desktop references our expanding haptic engagement—with both the flat world of computer and touchscreen interfaces and the surfaces of lush textiles. The photographs, in turn, examine the perspectives and feelings of touch as reimagined in the modern digital age. Together, the works are a many-levelled reflection on living with screens and the lives of images.