Vanessa Prager STATIC – Opening Feb. 20 at Diane Rosenstein Gallery
Diane Rosenstein Gallery is pleased to announce, STATIC, Vanessa Prager’s solo exhibition—a first with the gallery—opening February 20 and running through April 10, 2021. The forthcoming series of new oil paintings by Prager, a self-taught artist based in Los Angeles, continues her exploration of sculptural impasto techniques and revisits 19th-century post-Impressionism in the 21st century.
“We are thrilled by Vanessa Prager’s new paintings and astonished by their sensory and emotional impact,” Diane Rosenstein says. “Prager redefines perception in a high-def world. Her impasto pieces resist the quick take and allow us to discover the hidden treasure of the work itself. More is more.”
In this time of pandemic, when the digital reigns supreme as a means to work, play, connect and exist, Prager is the analog compass directing us back to the tangible. With big, heavy, drippy canvases and what can only be referred to as extreme painting, she rejects artificial crispness and reminds us how an abstract work can help us locate feelings so precisely.
The subtle variations in pigment found in Prager’s three dimensional works remind us of the muted light of a Georges Seurat tableau—or of Lee Krasner’s bold colors and altered surfaces. Her range is vocalized in this way, and nods to an entire history of painting embedded within each of her paintings; Prager subverts traditional techniques to re-present familiar subjects—nudes, still lifes, and portraits—all of which she offers as veiled and distant, palpable and present, and undefined by gender. The faces she paints, and the expressions they portray, subtly reveal an often-overlooked, ordinary effect we all quietly share with the world.
Throughout 2020, Prager created in her art what many struggle to see in their daily lives: commonplace moments of warmth, delight, levity and brightness. Her faint outlines of recognizable figures, contrasted with her radiant palette, allude to the elusive nature of joy, and an optimism for the future. She hopes others will discover in these works a warm, enveloping sensation, which may be both felt and understood in the way the paint encases its subjects—that others will endeavor towards what feels right, until they too can see its fuzzy shape before them.
Vanessa Prager is an artist born and raised in Los Angeles.
A self-taught artist, she is known for her elaborate impasto technique that creates layered and sculptural surfaces. Her figurative works engage the oil paint itself as a participant in the image. Prager explores themes of identity, self-reflection, voyeurism and the human condition in the 21st century. Reflecting on a world remotely observed via screens, her three-dimensional work is a direct reaction to that two-dimensional plane.
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