In a new solo exhibition at Miles McEnery Gallery, Brian Alfred pays homage to New York.
Running from 5 September to 5 October, High Rises and Double Vision: Images of New York presents a series of new paintings by Alfred which celebrate the everyday in the City that Never Sleeps.
W. 4th St., 2018-19
In doing so, the works celebrate a city in constant flux, where even the most permanent and monumental structures are continually active, shifting, bustling and eroding. Alfred’s paintings capture a city’s evolution in motion, seeing inklings of future versions of that city before any of its inhabitants can know what the future holds. The temporary and the permanent collide, producing an energy unique to the city.
New Museum, 2018
The paintings are in part an expression of Alfred’s interest in the ambiguity of iconic structures, whose social, cultural, political and practical functions change over time. The Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty ate at once emblems of power and oppression. Alfred also captures the incongruous and the whimsical in the city, using his observational skills to great effect. Small buildings and intimate settings often have more energy and transformative power than monuments carved in stone.
Coney Island, 2019
The artist’s use of space and colour adds emphasis to the scalar and social collisions contained in the paintings. Blocks of colour, sharp lines and tight framing create the sense that one is looking at New York through a window or camera lens. This gives a frame-by-frame effect which portrays the city in its complexity without reducing it to common tropes or stereotypes.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated publication with an essay by Pac Pobric.
Top image: Liberty, 2019
High Rises and Double Vision: Images of New York is on display at Miles McEnery Gallery, 525 West 22nd Street, New York from 5 September to 5 October.