May 22 – July 11, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, May 22, 7–10 pm
Waiting Room is pleased to announce RetroVertigo, an exhibition which gathers five painters who depict the dizzying effects of simultaneous histories - personal, collective, and art historical - using styles or fashions of past art movements and traditional genres, which collide with current pop and cultural references.
Together this collection of paintings visually concur that Western Art History was neither linear, nor chronological, but rather partial and fractal, like a Tarantino film, capable of bouncing between Post-Impressionism, digital art, Surrealism, turning back to Roman sculpture, shifting to Dutch vanitas, then speeding us up to Post-Modernism and fast-forward to Laura Hoptman’s The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World; the inbound and outbound visual ‘clicks’ all networked and metaphorically hot within poly-stylized canvases.
In Mathew Zefeldt’s large-scale acrylic paintings, an expanding arsenal of personal ‘characters’ – from video games to art history, to emoji, and studio detritus - float in patterned and gradient-swathed environments. Using repeating figures to invert foreground and background relationships, and analog collage techniques that rival Photoshop, Zefeldt often breeds his motifs and compositions, creating genetic spawns, off-shoots and new branches of compositional family trees.
Oakley Tapola solidly demonstrates comfort with figuration and the mutation thereof; in her work the figure functions as a personal and historical stand-in, who we find active in a distorted landscape, or making their way through a portal to an alternative narrative. Tapola grew up with artists as parents, and, from that personal history, she produces honest forms alongside patterns and poetic texts to place, and animate, her ideas on artistic and feminine identities.
Garrett Perry’s pastel canvases exhibit an expert ease with paint and Easter egg layers of experiments lived out in the studio. He looks to art history books, contemporary art blogs, and other artists’ Tumblr sites for fodder which he quotes in his own paintings, borrowing from meme culture as easily as Matisse, Tal R, Peter Doig, or Flash Gordon. If Perry’s paintings look charming and inviting - and contrary to the myth of the tormented artist - they appear that way because Perry is in fact having fun making them.
Classically trained as French atelier painter, Clea Felien produces technical cartwheels which integrate tight, highly-rendered environments in which machismo, gaudy, clunky impastoed subjects are placed. Felien often incorporates personal souvenirs in her work: shoes she’s never owned, the deer her car hit, imagery from dreams, and fictional mementos collected and hidden in the hulls and cargo containers on ships.
Jonathan DeDedecker’s discusses his paintings as echoing chambers and frames-framing-frames for tombstones, negations, video games, music, found imagery, and contemporary and historical art references. A previous student of fellow exhibiting artist Zefeldt, this micro-historical connection might be exemplary of a modern day master-apprentice painting production, though only in the context of this moment perhaps - DeDecker is well on his way to carving out his own niche, spamming his own paintings with a buffet of new subjects and visual samples.
Curated by Jehra Patrick - and admittedly ironic in it’s efforts to historicize or catalog current artistic activities - this exhibition details artists working to reactivate painted picture planes as dioramas; theoretical spatial environments, connected by wormholes, loud with historical cacophony, in which multiple styles, movements and narratives can coexist.
About Jonathan DeDecker
Born in Tucson, Arizona, JonathanDeDecker currently lives and works in Minneapolis, MN, where he is a Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate at the University of Minnesota. DeDecker has shown throughout the Twin Cities metro area including the Coffman Art Gallery, the Quarter Gallery, Flow Art Space, Stevens Square Center for the Arts and the Abstracted Gallery. He is also a member of the Forming and Performing Arts collective.
About Clea Felien
Clea Felien has exhibited locally at TuckUnder Gallery, Minnesota Museum of American Art, Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Speedboat Gallery, Katherine Nash Gallery and Franklin Art Works. She has exhibited at New York galleries Flux Factory, New York Studio Gallery, Museum of Modern Art, Artist Space and A.I.R. Gallery, as well as MassMoCA. Felien has trained in and taught French academic painting; has produced multiple curatorial projects; is a long-time arts professor in both Minnesota and Iowa; and is a founder of The Studio School of the Twin Cities, a technical painting school.
About Garrett Perry
Garrett Perry is an emerging artist currently based in Minneapolis, MN. He has exhibited in Minneapolis including SooVac, Burnet Gallery, and Rosalux Gallery. He has also exhibited nationally including The DeVos Art Museum of Art (Michigan), Swanson Contemporary (Kentucky), and University ofWisconsin La Crosse Art Gallery. He attended the College of Visual arts in St. Paul and currently works out of his studio in St. Paul MN.
About Oakley Tapola
Oakley Tapola is a multidisciplinary artist who lives in Minneapolis, MN.Tapola has shown at Soo Visual Art Center, Rochester Art Center, and various pop-up projects. She has participated at Elsewhere residency in Greensboro, NC and co-founded and publishes WOPOZI, a quarterly arts magazine. Tapola also curated Equinox Series, an exhibition program at SooLocal, a Minneapolis gallery. Tapola is also a performing musician in the collaborative, The Beat Detectives.
About Mathew Zefeldt
MathewZefeldt is an Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Minnesota. He has had solo shows at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Good Weather in Little Rock, Hap Gallery in Portland, Skinner Howard Gallery in Sacramento, Micheal Rosenthal Gallery in San Francisco, and Hatch Gallery in Oakland. He has had group exhibitions at Lisa Cooley in New York, MOHS exhibit in Copenhagen, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco, and Pro Arts in Oakland. His work has been featured at Daily Serving, Fecal Face Dot Com, Beautiful Decay, Mn Artists, Installation Mag, The San Francisco Chronicle, SF Arts Quarterly and SF Art Enthusiast.
About curator Jehra Patrick
Also an artist, Jehra Patrick has exhibited internationally, including The Minnesota Museum of American Art, Rochester Art Center, The DeVos Museum of Art (Michigan), and Harcourt House Artist Run Centre (Alberta). Patrick has been a recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, McKnight Next Step Fund, and a Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists. She is a frequent lecturer, visiting critic, writer, and program organizer, on topics relevant to practices of visual artists.