I recently wrote an exhibition review/essay for my dear Heige’s gallery Roos Arts and the show wittily titled The Bug, The Spider, & The Butterfly: Gerben Mulder, Xavier Noiret-Thome, and Janaina Tschape. The exhibition started with a preview at Janaina’s studio in Brooklyn, then made it’s way up to the gallery in Rosendale, New York. Here’s my essay:
Painting embraces a multitudinous identity, allowing its history, process and value to be scrutinized and manipulated. It cannot be categorized, historicized or defined without neglecting an inherently elusive alternative.
Three artists in this exhibition explore this medium with both scrupulous and uninhibited intentions, accumulating and subtracting layers of it’s material and history, it’s conceptual and philosophical ruminations. Here, the distance between a painting and its maker is measured with varying perspective; calling upon Painting as an omnipotent, albeit vulnerable and impressionable, force to be reckoned with. While one artist builds a painting with layers of cultural and personal flair, another discovers a merging of self and nature within a canvas. The finished work is both a rhetoric and representation of itself, both commentary and living reflection of Painting and its surrounding audience.
Xavier Noiret-Thome utilizes an unhindered vocabulary to build paintings that are as much about Painting as they are about the world at large. This practice of metapainting opens more doors than can be entered at once, addressing the viewer with a cascade of references on a single painting: Ranging from his personal life, art history, pop culture, animation, and abstract geometric forms, each shape and layer are coalesced in fragmented and playful harmony.