Modern Art is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by Richard Aldrich at its Bury Street gallery. This is Aldrich’s second solo exhibition with Modern Art.
Working between painting, sculpture, installation, and drawing, Richard Aldrich’s works are complex psychic environments that, like most minds, are in multiple worlds at once. Occupied with the minutiae of an idiosyncratic personal existence — a self-contained system of meaning — they are at the same time facing outwards, presenting communication and exchange. As such, an exhibition by Aldrich hones in on the shifting states from one work to the next. Like fluctuating frames of mind, each work presents a different set of propositions made up of textures, words, gestures, colours or forms — offering manifold registers of experience, each work acting to simultaneously clarify and confound the other works. Within these contextual shifts, Aldrich’s work reflects on how intelligence is attributed to objects in the act of interpreting them. As a whole, Aldrich’s exhibitions are constellations of interrelated, but heterogeneous parts that reflect on each other to create different levels of potential understanding.
Aldrich’s exhibition at Modern Art includes a group of paintings made with oil, wax and felt on linen or board, as well as a felt hanging piece and several sculptural works. In these paintings, Aldrich’s sensibility plays out in material explorations: wax is built up on linen or board, parts of surfaces are cut away, and paint is composited to make eccentric and compelling forms, figures, symbols and arrangements that extend and loop back through the development of his singular visual language. Most of the paintings were completed between 2020 and 2021, but, as is characteristic of Aldrich, many also have links to previous times in the artist’s life and work; a lens shared by the objects on display. A conductor’s baton owned by the artist’s grandfather is presented here not as a sculpture but an object, as are the open pages of a group show exhibition catalogue in which an essay serves as a voice within the gallery proposing an interpretation of the artwork. In addition to this text is a work from the late ‘90s presented as an aphorism attributed to Abraham Lincoln, as well as a painting that replicates a text written and shown by the artist in 2007. Importantly, the three different voices embodied by these objects both serve to explain the installation, while and at the same time exist as parts of it. These elements come together create a kaleidoscope of seemingly contradictory reference points, all the while eschewing an aesthetics of contemporary conceptualism.
Richard Aldrich was born in 1975 in Hampton, VA, and lives and works in New York, NY. Solo exhibitions of Aldrich’s work have taken place at such institutions as Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium (2017); the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA (2011), and the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, USA (2011). His work has been included in group exhibitions at museums including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Dallas Museum of Art; The Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, and the Smithsonian.
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