Gallery Y: Shay Kun “Feast and Famine”
Gallery X: Doug Fogelson “potpourri”
December 14 – February 2, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, December 14, 2012, from 6-9pm
As we make our way into the winter of 2012, feeling perhaps a heightened awareness of chaos and instability, Linda Warren Projects opens two shows that coax beauty out of complex notions of human survival, while they speak simultaneously to man’s exploitation of and love affair with the natural world. Marking for both artists their first solo exhibitions with the gallery, we proudly present in Gallery Y Israeli-born, New York-based painter Shay Kun’s “Feast and Famine” and in Gallery X, Chicago-based photographer Doug Fogelson’s “potpourri.” Lovers of color will feel gratifyingly satisfied, as both artists brazenly amplify its usage, providing the viewer a resplendent, albeit psychoactive sensory experience. Within their masterfully crafted works, these artists remind us of the ephemeral nature of all living experience and the potency of life itself.Shay Kun’s meticulous oil paintings are luminous landscapes full of spectacle and idyllic vistas that recall the romantic painters of 19th Century Hudson River School artists, like Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt, or 21st century Thomas Kinkade. Kun’s appropriation of this aesthetic is not with disdain or irony, but a respectful appreciation for the mass appeal of sentimental, syrupy mall art. Raised in Israel by parents who were both professional artists, his own mother made a living painting poppy fields and bucolic scenery. While therein lies the origin of Kun’s personal journey, his life experience and cultural influences have broadened and evolved. The hot air balloon is a personal signifier he has taken along for the ride — an emblem harkening back to his childhood and development as a painter, only now, on steroids.
Whether in scenes seemingly peaceful and majestic or dizzyingly crowded and claustrophobic, Kun’s hot air balloons take center stage, mesmerizing in their decadent array of pattern and color. Floating in foregrounds and backgrounds, passing through countrysides and cityscapes, this universally nostalgic mode of sightseeing brings many questions to mind. Where does fantasy begin and reality end? How much does memory shape and distort our recollections? With this loaded metaphor, Kun covers notions of hope and despair, mass production and handiwork, liberation and escape, and beginnings and endings. Is life more about the journey than the destination, or are they so inextricably linked that the future is an ever-looming, anxiety-producing present? Kun’s suggestion in “Feast and Famine,” is that perhaps life is a bit of both.The past, the present and the future are also ideas that resonate in real-time with Doug Fogelson’s exhibition “potpourri”: an immersive experience of both the visual and olfactory. Employing two- and three-dimensional media, Fogelson’s works stimulate a deeper consideration of the industrial, conceptual and spiritual correlations imbedded within the world of flowers, both culturally and art historically. Floral material in all the various stages of its ephemeral existence –alive and blooming, or broken, decaying and dead — are the underlying source material in the photographic work, and presented in actuality in a Plexiglas three-tiered fountain. This time-based piece will take center stage in the exhibit, exploding with fresh flowers that ultimately wilt and die throughout the duration of the show.
Along the walls, mysterious, jewel-toned abstractions intermix with representational still-lifes of genetically altered, candy-colored flowers that Fogelson further manipulates using bleach. The kaleidoscopic effect of these multilayered, alluring works — whether they are photographs, photograms, direct scans, or bleached imprints — is multi-purpose. Besides striving to provide the viewer an immediate visceral gratification, like a lover offering their partner a bouquet of flowers seeking a specific emotional reaction, Fogelson emphasizes that a flower, like emotion, is temporal. Flowers die, emotions pass. While “potpourri” presents a cycle of this life force, one that harkens back throughout time and history, the artist contemplates ideas of scarcity and waste, human exploitation of the natural world, and its uncertain future.
New York-based painter Shay Kun has been exhibiting his realist works for over two decades. Exhibitions of his paintings have been held internationally in such venues as the Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum, Benrimon Contemporary in New York, Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York, Hezi Cohen Gallery in Tel-Aviv, Alexander Ochs Galleries Berlin, Galerie Favardin & de Verneuil in Paris, LaMotagne Gallery in Boston, David Castillo Gallery in Miami, and London’s SEVENTEEN Gallery to name a few. Kun has been featured in numerous publications including New York Art Beat, The New York Observer, Dazed and Confused Magazine, Blackbook Magazine, Elephant Magazine, Huffington Post and The Boston Globe, amongst others. The artist received his BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem and his MFA from Goldsmiths College, London.
Doug Fogelson is a Chicago-based artist whose unique approach to photography and art-making has been exhibited in galleries throughout the country including the Chicago Cultural Center, Elmhurst Art Museum, Quintenz & Co. Gallery in Colorado, Walnut Ink Gallery in Indiana and Marlborough Gallery (Chelsea). Fogelson’s work has been featured in a number of public commissions, and has been acquired by such collections as the McCormick Place Convention Center, Walker Art Center, J. Paul Getty Museum and Elmhurst Art Museum. Fogelson is also the founder and director of Front Forty Press, and he currently holds a faculty position at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he received his BFA.