Baert Gallery is pleased to participate to UNTITLED, ART Miami Beach OVR 2020 with a presentation of new works by Melinda Braathen, Reuben Gordon and Sophie Wahlquist.
When painting the figure, Melinda Braathen (b. 1985) is often met with the impulse to paint into or directly over it. After several passes, what remains is an interpretation of internal psychology and physiology, in an effort to render visible everyday rhythms and sensations arising inside the body, as well as external forces exerted onto it. In a new series, Braathen leans further into this abstract visual language to more directly explore interpersonal dynamics. She engages with this most readily within the space of conversation. The rhythm, tone, pressures and content held within the human voice and body physiologically affect us all differently. They help give shape to the evanescent structures we are continuously building as a means to understand each other and ultimately transgress the space between us. Braathen relies on drawing to initially capture or hold onto fleeting memories or impressions. The abstract language allows her to go past the representational triggers and reflect more specifically on the emerging sensations, thoughts, and innovative actions within the space of conversation that have the power to shift us slightly or even irreversibly. While Braathen mostly draws from lived experience, she also pulls from passages of books and interviews between innovative thinkers from a variety of fields to explore the inexhaustible architecture of conversation and human encounter.
Reuben Gordon (b. 1996) was born and raised in the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York City. With both his parents being abstract painters, Gordon has been surrounded by paintings, even before he possessed language, which gave him a deep understanding of the visual. The landscape of the Lower East Side, the East Village, and Brooklyn, and the fun loving people he grew up with there, formed his internal architecture. As does the special kind of melancholy that exists in the desire for a colorful life. In 2018, Reuben Gordon moved to Los Angeles. Since, Gordon developed an appreciation for the unique nature of California, and for road trips, both of which became a theme in his work. However, despite being apart from it, New York City remains central to the artist’s work.
Sophie Wahlquist’s (b. 1983) work explore themes of growth and reproduction. She is aiming for an image of the psychological states of humans, raising questions about their role in this world. Social anxieties in an increasingly individualized society are reoccurring concepts which inform the shapes and figures in her work. Wahlquist’s paintings depart from a state of mind rather than from a narrative. Playing with different genres of painting and medium, new gestures and perspectives reverse existing ideas. She like to negotiate the level to which absence can be replaced by clarity of something intangible or how the depiction of something recognizable can become a trigger for imagination.