gallery neptune & brown is pleased to present a group exhibition of prints and drawings by Jennifer Bartlett, Jenny Holzer, R.B. Kitaj, David X Levine, Elizabeth Murray, Adam Pendleton, Ed Ruscha, and Paul Villinski. The works included use text as a central theme and draw inspiration from literature, poetry, advertising, and the built environment.
Over the last sixty years text as imagery and text with associated imagery has expanded the artist’s ability to communicate with the viewer. These eight artists represent a cross-section of the creativity that has been brought to this medium.
Jennifer Losch Bartlett (b. 1941, American) is best known for her large-scale installations. Rhapsody, her breakthrough installation at Paula Cooper gallery in 1976, introduced the world to her process of using steel enamel plates of fixed dimensions to create expansive narrative themes. In her large installations she uses systems and repetition across multiple plates to create a narrative. In Conversations the system is contained to one plate from which the text must be teased out from the grid and the variation in colors.
Jenny Holzer (b. 1950, American) is a political artist whose work explores language as a tool to communicate and as a means of misleading the public. AKA is a portfolio of 5 etchings using redacted pages from the FBI’s investigation into Eric Arthur Blair aka George Orwell. Holzer includes her own commentary on the redacted pages to point out the irony of the Bureau’s paranoid activities regarding Orwell.
R.B. Kitaj (1932 – 2007, American) was a painter and a printmaker. Although born in Ohio he became more closely associated with British painting after moving to London in 1959 where he was involved with the beginnings of the pop art movement. In Our Time is comprised of 50 screenprints of book covers from his personal library. He was inspired by Unpacking my Library, an essay by Walter Benjamin about the physicality of books and the memories that spring forth. The titles chosen reflect the cultural moment of Kitaj’s post-war environment.
David X Levine (b. 1952 American) has created a distinct visual vocabulary. He uses colored pencils in powerful hues to create images steeped in references to art history, popular culture, and prose. How Many Minimalists… is a self-made joke. It is the meticulous process of making it that imbues the work with a subtlety that transcends the joke itself.
Elizabeth Murray (1940 – 2007, American) was a painter with a unique perspective. Her canvases seem to take shape around her figurative abstractions, bringing together household objects and the human figure. In addition to painting, Murray had a long and distinguished printmaking career. Her Story is a collaborative portfolio of poems by Anne Waldman and photolithographs and etchings by Murray. Like much of Murray’s work, the portfolio concerns feminist ideas of her time – for example, interiority versus exteriority and the complexity of the female experience.
Adam Pendleton (b. 1984, American) is a conceptual artist. Using text and appropriated imagery, his work explores the recontextualization of history. The Refusal Work pays homage to a forebearer of conceptual art, Robert Barry. Both artists explore language as symbol and form. The mirror acts as tribute to Barry and the reverence Pendleton has for conceptual artists that came before him.
Ed Ruscha (b. 1937, American) came to be associated with the pop art movement in the United States. His body of work focuses on text and symbols drawn from advertising and pop culture. His visual vocabulary has become indelibly linked to Los Angeles and the American West during the second half of the 20th Century. Pico, Flower, Figueroa is one such piece that takes direct inspiration from the geography and vernacular language of Los Angeles.
Paul Villinski (b. 1960, American) is a sculptor who creates large-scale installations. He is most recognized for his butterfly installations wherein he uses recycled aluminum cut into butterflies painted Yves Klein blue. For the artist the butterfly speaks of hope, flight, and the preciousness of life. Yes in particular, his first etching with aquatint, uses language to explore optimism and openness.
txt me will be on view at the gallery February 5th through March 5th, 2022. For further information please contact Robert Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.986.1200. Please note that masks will be required in the gallery for the duration of the event as per the indoor mask mandate.
- Wednesday – Saturday: 12 to 7 pm
- and by appointment
gallery neptune & brown is located at 1530 14th Street NW.