Wayne Gonzales

New Works On Paper

April 20 - May 26, 2001
521 W 21st., NY

NEW YORK – A selection of new works on paper by Wayne Gonzales will be on view at Paula Cooper Gallery, 521 West 21st Street, from 20 April through 26 May, 2001.

In this selection of works, Gonzales continues to transform found visual material into vibrant, emotionally resonant images. Using laser prints of various photographic sources and archival documents as a point of departure, Gonzales creates brightly colored, graphic paintings that often seem like abstract color fields from which a figure emerges.

The majority of works in this exhibition are based on images relating to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy: portraits of Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald, advertisements for Jack Ruby’s night club, diagrams used by the Warren commission, and so on. Filtered through a self-conscious Pop Art sensibility, this diverse array of modulated cityscapes, portraits, gridded façades and administrative documents forms a wry critical perspective on America’s cultural and sexual politics in the 1960s.

Subject matter, however, tends to recede behind the artist’s treatment of the pictorial space. “Using,” in his own words, “factual elements to find subjective links to abstraction,” Gonzales transforms his source material into flat, hard-edge compositions often gesturing towards nonobjective art and the monochrome. At once ebullient and austere, these works captivate by their constant negotiation between surface and depth.

Wayne Gonzales was born in New Orleans in 1957. His work was recently featured in the Aldrich Museum’s exhibition “Glee: Painting Now,” and has been widely exhibited in the United States and abroad. This show, which marks the artist’s first one-person exhibition at Paula Cooper Gallery, will be followed this fall by an exhibition of new paintings, from 19 October through 24 November, 2001.

Artist Pages: Wayne Gonzales