James Gilroy, information paintings

Nov 6th – Dec 10th 1999

‘Information Paintings,’ an exhibit by James Gilroy also featuring “Don’t Let Go”, a digital documentary with James Gilroy & Larry Clark directed by Neil Grayson
and edited by Chris Schwerin.

Art is born at “the edge of order and chaos,” to borrow Christopher Langton’s phrase, where novel patterns are related to their predecessors, emerging from while transforming convention. According to Langton, who is a central figure in the field of evolution theory, life is only possible within a special equilibrium of order and disorder. The same is easily said for the evolution of art. Science has recently done much to inform the arts. Specialists in the phenomenon of self-organization–who would include Langton as well as Margaret Boden, Murray Gell-Mann, Stuart Kaufman, and lIya Prigogine–have increased popular understanding of how, overtime, order inevitably emerges out of disorderly chance events. Continue reading “James Gilroy, information paintings”

Stephanie Rose, paintings

March 6 – April 10, 1999

This marks the first exhibition of portraits by an artist whose reputation was established as an abstract painter. Six portraits will be shown along with a large abstract painting to provide a context. Portrait subjects include: Poet John Ashbery, who, among numerous other distinctions, has received the MacArthur Prize Fellowship and the Pulitzer Prize, and has twice been named a Guggenheim Fellow; he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a chancellor of the American Academy of Poets. Novelist Ted Mooney, Senior Editor of Art in America, who has received awards from both the Guggenheim Foundation and the Ingram-Merrill Foundation. Actress,Melissa Errico, who is known for her achievements on the Broadway stage. Poet, author and art critic, John Ash. Poet and art critic, Tom Bridenbach. Yannis Dellatolas, 20th century music expert and photographer. Elizabeth Schub, filmmaker. Continue reading “Stephanie Rose, paintings”

Judy Glantzman, one painting and drawings

Sept 17 – Oct 31 1998

A collection of self-portraits (one painting and drawings) by Judy Glantzman, curated by Neil Grayson.

The Dactyl Foundation is proud to open the 1998 fall season with an exceptional exhibition of one painting and twelve drawings by Judy Glantzman. Her work has received a number of prestigious awards, and her reputation has been thoroughly established in national art publications over the past fifteen years. In the early 80s the talk was about her precedents (i.e. Francis Bacon, Willem de Kooning or Edvard Munch), but, now that the force of her influence on contemporary artists is becoming more and more obvious, recent discussion has been engaged in finding a definition for her own unique style. Continue reading “Judy Glantzman, one painting and drawings”

Neil Grayson, press

June 1998

From Art in America

Neil Grayson at Dactyl Foundation –

In a group of new oil portraits and figure studies, 29-year-old Neil Grayson looks to the past, especially Rembrandt and Goya, for inspiration. Grayson is fixated on the contemporary individual going about his or her solipsistic, contemplative business. His figures, lost to the world, have the air of secular, 21st century saints.

Obscurities abound. In Ghost of a Man Thinking, a scumbly figure seated at a table emerges from the Rembrandtesque ground even as he retreats into it. His pose is ominously meditative, arms on the table, head in had; he is a Hamlet for our unthinking times. Brooding Figure features the same chiaroscuro around a man who rests his head directly on the table; a small paint can and brush are placed before him, on top of a barely discernible American flag. If this last tends to read as social commentary, well, it is and it isn’t; Grayson painted this canvas as a reaction to current events, but the flag also functions purely as a still-life element. While there are still traces of social commentary in Melancholia, the work is more poetic in effect, as the artist lovingly and bravely inspects an emaciated female figure for visible signs of life.

In his earlier work, Grayson presented the viewer with more overtly symbolic fables–a young girl gesticulating with a grotesquely elongated arm at a funeral pyre, a boy trying to keep his father from deploying a syringe raised above his track-ravaged arm. Today, Grayson is more interested in effecting a synthesis between the figurative and the abstract, to which end he is playing down inflammatory narrative and toning up his painterly technique.

But the real sea change in his new work is manifested in two completely different yet related paintings. The twice-life-sized Final Figure is a subtly frenzied rendering of an ambiguous, off-putting form that has deep iconological import for Grayson. A yellowy white, pod-like “thing” hangs in midair in the darkly luminous canvas, its “head” tilted to the left, its “body” ending in a spiraling tail. The form is reminiscent of the “Hanged Man” Tarot card as well as death-by-lynching. The artist commits himself to no single reading. In the mid-sized Light Triptych, a dim yellow glow shines through deep brown mist at the center of each panel-the fabled light at the end of the tunnel, perhaps, or the dawning of a new millennium? Grayson is a late-century illuminator of the confusions that surround not only our art but our lives.

–Gerrit Henry

James Gilroy, Paintings

May 2 – 31 1998

A selection of paintings and works on paper by James Gilroy.

Two works in particular, Untitled 2, 1997 (33 x 25″ oilstick on paper) and Untitled 3, 1997 (33 x 25″ oilstick on paper), represent figures that could be falling or dancing. In a body of work painted a year later, there are figures that are clearly falling, for example, Boxers, 1999 (48 x 38″ oil on linen) and V, 1998 (48 x 32″, oil on linen). Continue reading “James Gilroy, Paintings”

Audrey Code, paintings

September 1997

The inaugural exhibition at the Dactyl Foundation for the Arts & Humanities featured New York artist Audrey Code. PBS Television (channel 21 in New York).

PBS Television (channel 21 in New York)
MetroGuide August 27, 1997
Interview with Audrey Code and Neil Grayson.

“I’m very much interested in classical drawing, classical painting. . . but updated. I place the canvas on the floor and do a lot of splattering and pouring of paint, not randomly. It’s controlled. I call my technique a kind of learned intuition.

“Oftentimes I see representational painting that impresses me on a technical level but doesn’t move me or get me excited. I oftentimes see abstract painting that is so detached from the form that I can’t relate to it in any real way. I can’t recognize it. What I think every great artist is always searching for is a way to express the ineffable and still hold on to something tangible that the viewer can relate to as well. Audrey manages to get these two qualities in a single image. It moves you.”