August Evening Walk Out
May 1-June 8, 2003
The Greene Naftali Gallery is pleased to present August Evening Walk Out an exhibition of new paintings by Blake Rayne, which explores the theme of summer for this installation in the series Three of Four Seasons. As in previous exhibitions, Autumn Drive (1997) and The Winter Line (2000) Rayne uses the seasons as an aesthetic lens for paintings that address the logic of contemporary perception. Diverse genres such as landscape and color field are reference points for paintings, which seek to update a modern tradition in which painting can function as a perceptual and analytic model.
The hazy and intense light of summer drenches these paintings in over-saturated color. Ranging in scale from small to very large, Rayne’s canvases present a complex set of images and compositions rather than a single stylistic mode or theme. One series shows beach landscapes melting and shifting along unfixed horizon lines. Faint layers of imagery such as pine trees, the curb of a street and New York’s skyline collide with roving surface gestures and smears of pigment. Overall, the works produce a kind of mobilized perspective that drifts and realigns from one vantage to the next. Complementing these are canvasses in which lines of brightly colored pennants snap against a background of piercing blue and pink skies. Prismatic and seductive, each flag seems to blow from a different breeze, creating an irreconcilable picture. A third group of paintings depict the luminous electric glow of a car stereo seen obliquely in the dark.
Without relying on simple expressivity or a postmodern deployment of obsolete stylistic categories, Rayne’s work maintains a stake for painting in responding to the complex—and increasingly abstracted field of contemporary image making. Against the collapse of discursive frames for painting in the present moment, his works manifest a desire for critical and intellectual engagement within a wide scope of visual culture.
This is Rayne’s fourth solo exhibition at Greene Naftali. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe, with solo shows at Johnen + Schottle, Cologne, Germany (2000) and Newsantandrea arte contemporarnea, Savona, Italy (1997) and group exhibitions at the Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley, MA; Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York; Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Belgium; and Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Rayne (b. 1969, Lewes, Deleware) is currently on the faculty of the MFA painting program at Bard College and lives and works in New York.