Miles McEnery Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of recent paintings by Michael Reafsnyder and Patrick Wilson, on view 6 September through 6 October at 520 West 21st Street. A public reception will be held for the artists on Thursday 6 September from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication, featuring an essay by Shana Nys Dambrot.
The seemingly disparate styles of Southern California artists Michael Reafsnyder and Patrick Wilson are brought together in this exhibition, creating an opportunity to rethink initial assumptions regarding the nature of their paintings, and allowing for an expanded conversation around their affinities, connections, and concerns. The pairing is strengthened by the artists’ longstanding friendship, which revolves around daily discussions about painting and life.
Both Reafsnyder and Wilson’s polychromatic works burst with vibrant, saturated color and dynamic compositions. Reafsnyder loads thick layers of acrylic paint across the surface of the canvas while lines, squiggles, and smiley faces—often squeezed directly from the tube—are layered across his variegated surfaces. Infused with a sense of joy, Reafsnyder’s paintings ask us to reconsider our assumptions about gestural abstract painting. Wilson layers intense geometric forms, setting the viewer adrift into a glorious realm of indeterminate space. Magnificent in their precision, Wilson’s paintings present a space of visual splendor. Not content with static compositional solutions, Wilson complicates what we have come to expect from geometric abstract painting.
Ultimately, the pairing of Reafsnyder and Wilson allows an opportunity for viewers to engage with the many pleasures abstract painting affords. Seeking to rethink what is possible in painting, Reafsnyder and Wilson make works that are liberated from broad generalizations and delve into the present moment where life unfolds.