NEW YORK.- V&A/Vicky Donner presents new paintings by Kelly McRaven. The exhibition opens on May 2nd, and runs through June 7th, 2008. Kelly McRaven paints loosely rendered representational paintings that both draw and deviate from the subject matter at hand. She refers to paintings as lies and creates an impression of what shed like to make her paintings be. Here, the rules of representation are relaxed to get at a painting that is to be experienced rather than deciphered; however, while her process does not begin with a pointed sensitivity to any current social, cultural or economic agenda, there is room for these contexts to set in. While using inspiration from contemporary abstract painters, McRaven mostly considers the process and vision of iconic artists and their impact on our collective unconscious, and often their senses of humor. Concisely put, theres no pretense here, yet these arent just pretty pictures.
Like music and comedy, the significance of this work is revealed at the moment of engagement. McRaven quickly applies thin layers of oil paint in broad strokes to lifesize canvases to create work that appears alive, physical, and immediate. An unrecognizable form of a small boat with oversized white sails floats on a tumultuous emerald green sea where a giant wave looms in the background. In another piece, a wispy red and blue sky hangs over a peculiar, gently shaped field where nothing grows. Ultimately, the mysterious, tense canvases of uncomplicated landscapes and absurd subjects - like sailboats and tents - conspire to moderate trends and academic gesture by appealing to and entertaining the viewer.
Kelly McRaven has exhibited in group shows in Philadelphia, New York, Tokyo and Los Angeles for the past 4 years, and was a resident of Skowhegan in 2006. She was born in 1977 in Ohio, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BFA from Ohio University and MFA from Tyler School of Art. This is her first solo exhibition in New York.
V&A is located on the Lower East Side in Chinatown at 98 Mott Street on the Second Floor.