John Tallman: Not For Pleasure Alone, Objects 2007-2015 & Deb Covell: Real Lines

Gray Contemporary is pleased to present two exhibitions in our debut opening at new location located on Colquitt Street: John Tallman: Not For Pleasure Alone, Objects 2007-2015 and in the second gallery Deb Covell: Real Lines, January 16, 5-9PM

John Tallman’s first solo exhibition at Gray Contemporary is a collection of sculptural objects dating from 2007-2015. The title “Not For Pleasure Alone” refers to the text that appears at the beginning of Ingmar Bergman’s lush masterpiece 1982 “Fanny and Alexander.” “I’ve always wanted to use that for the title for a show,” he says. “It seems to capture perfectly this art enterprise we’re engaged in. We want our viewer to enjoy what they see and find it beautiful, but that’s not all we want. We want a deeper experience.”

The artist works with pigmented urethane casting resins that are poured into molds or over pieces of wood. Sometimes the molds are made from models and sometimes makeshift cavities are used. For the resins to set, two parts are mixed together and a chemical reaction must take place that is subject to various atmospheric conditions. Therefore, there is always an element of chance involved, where the liquid seeks its own level and then it cures. “With this stuff, you can achieve look you want. I want objects that assert their visceral materiality, yet don’t refer directly to a recognizable thing,” he explains. John is interested in exploring the effects of light and space on a variety of colors, surfaces and objects and whether the viewer experience can point to meaningful realizations.

About the Artist:

John Tallman’s artistic activities additionally include painting and drawing, as well as curation and writing. His solo exhibitions include the OK Harris Gallery, New York, NY; The Clough-Hanson Gallery of Rhodes College, Memphis, TN; The Abington Art Center, Abington, PA; The Oel Gallery, Jeonju, South Korea. Group exhibitions include galleries and museums in Sydney, Australia; Paris, France; Berlin, Germany; Athens, Greece; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; The Drawing Center in New York, NY; Seton Hall University, NJ; The University of Tennessee; Murray State University, KY, The University of Dayton, OH; The Bellevue Museum, Bellevue, WA. Awards include a materials and transportation grant from the Yaddo Art Colony for a three week residency. Born in York, PA, John grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He holds a B.F.A. in painting from The Tyler School of Art of Temple University and an M.F.A. in painting from the University of Washington. He currently lives and works in Nashville, TN. 

Deb Covell's practice is concerned with bringing a form into being by exploring the material and conceptual potential of paint . She uses an extremely reductive methodology which attempts to bring her paintings into a quiet, contemplative arena, free from visual noise, mimicry and pictorial illusion and retain only what is absolute and essential. Covell’s formal vocabulary references high modernism with its cool, poised, elegant language but this is quickly differentiated by an autobiographical and an emotive reflex which runs through all of her work.

Behind the apparent visual simplicity of her work there is a lengthy and rigorous process involved which is characterized by scrutiny and alteration. Each piece reveals some of the physical and cerebral actions and decisions that have taken place throughout the making process and is made evident by the residual clues left behind. Throughout this process each step is constantly reconfigured and refined until the paintings reach an autonomous independence and operate solely on their own terms. 

Alongside paintings such as Blanket, 2011 and Unexpected Arrival, 2011 she has made a series of smaller scale works which have many of the qualities of the larger pieces but require a closer more intimate interaction to be fully realized such as Real Lines (1-5), 2011 or the Seven Day series also 2011 which are made from the waste products of the larger paintings.

Covell aims to make the viewer a fully active participant by disposing of the referential and pseudo in favour of a sentient engagement with Real forms in Real space and where the focus shifts primarily onto the formal, conceptual and sensual elements at play. Through the reductive processes deployed the paintings become temporally and materially invested objects that carry the weight and noise of life yet become still and silent vehicles for contemplation.

About the Artist:

Deb Covell (b.1966, Stockton on Tees) lives and works in Teesside. She received her BA in Fine Art from Liverpool Polytechnic (1989) and her MA in Fine Art from University of East London (2002). Recent exhibitions include:Real Painting, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (2015); We Insist, International Biennial of non-objective art, Pont de Claix, France (2015); Secret, Royal College of Art, London (2015) Fall of the Rebel Angels, Riva Dei Sette Martiri, 55th Venice Biennale,(2015); Sha Boogie Bop, Anonymous Gallery, New York (2014); From Nowt to Summat, MIMA, Middlesbrough (2014); Absolute Zero, PS2, MIMA, Middlesbrough (2014); Zero, Untitled Gallery, Manchester (2013); North South Divine, WW Gallery, London (2013). She was a finalist in the 2014 Aesthetica Art Prize and her works are held in private and public collections including the MIMA Collection, Middlesbrough, UK. 

Jan 16, 2016 to Feb 13, 2016
Exhibition Opening: Saturday, January 16th, 5:00-9:00PM Exhibition on view: January 16 - February 13, 2016 New Location: 3508 Lake Street, Houston, Texas 77098
5:00 pm
Monday Time & Price:
Tuesday Time & Price:
11:00 - 5:00 PM & FREE
Wednesday Time & Price:
11:00 - 5:00 PM & FREE
Thursday Time & Price:
11:00 - 5:00 PM & FREE
Friday Time & Price:
11:00 - 5:00 PM & FREE
Saturday Time & Price:
11:00 - 5:00 PM & FREE
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PO BOX 66494
Houston, TX 77266-6494


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