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Press Releases - Martha Otero Gallery

Martha Otero Gallery is pleased to present New York based artist Eric White's exhibition All Of This Has Not Occurred.

"I think that movies are a conspiracy. They set you up to believe in ideals and strength and good guys and romance - and, of course, love. But there's no Charles Boyer in my life. I never even met a Charles Boyer. I never met Clark Gable or Humphrey Bogart. They don't exist-that's the truth."
-Gena Rowlands in John Cassavetes' Minnie And Moskowitz (1971)

"In the early 20th Century . . . elites began experimenting with mass propaganda in the form of advertising and public relations . . . which amounted to nothing less than the regimentation of the human imagination, according to the demands of the industrial system."
-Richard Heinberg, Peak Everything

Inspired structurally and conceptually by John Martin's apocalyptic paintings, White generates a world seen through the eyes of a quintessential watchman: anxious, hyper-alert, and secretly powerful. He becomes determined to push aside the thick veil of American media's technology of psychological manipulation by inhabiting the psyche of a brilliant, creative, and disturbed conspiracy theorist.

White's practice is centered around masterfully executed figurative painting, penetrated by tremors of traditional Surrealism. He has worked with film imagery for over two decades; not merely appropriating stills, he moves beyond the enchanting visual stratum to a new metaphysical level, employing a kind of schizophrenic dream logic. His paintings are derived from disrupted cinematic moments where actors tread the dangerously thin line between character immersion and audience interaction.

White describes this work as Paranoid Social Realism. It is a window into an alternate Hollywood, an invented multidimensional world in which accepted notions of linear time are denied. Nonexistent films are populated by actors and directors from staggered eras, new histories are woven into existing ones, and impossible scenarios develop which acknowledge reality and open new avenues of experience. The work is an expression of our culture of infotainment overwhelm and mass-media hypnosis, ultimately confronting us with the cataclysmic possibilities of our voracious appetite for more.

Eric White was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1990. He has served as adjunct professor at The School of Visual Arts in New York City since 2006. In 2010, White received a Painting Fellowship from The New York Foundation for the Arts. He has participated in group exhibitions at El Museo De La Cuidad De Mexico, the Laguna Art Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MACRO) in Rome, and the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.

Martha Otero Gallery is pleased to present Chris Beas' second exhibition with the gallery, And Now For Something Completely Different – Here’s One I Made Earlier.

“And now for something completely different” is a phrase used in television broadcasting to signal a transition between segments. The phrase is credited to Christopher Trace, the first presenter of Blue Peter, a British children’s television program that has aired continuously since 1958. The show is known for its demonstrations on how to construct useful objects among other things. These demonstrations gave rise to another popular expression, “Here’s one I made earlier”, also credited to Trace, at which point the presenter brings out the perfected and completed version of the object being made.

And Now For Something Completely – For his show at Martha Otero Gallery Chris Beas has made a transition from the mediums and processes of his previous exhibitions that typically brought together varied sources of information and materials to create projects in the form of paintings, drawings, video, sculpture and performance to create networks of ideas that operate both individually and collectively. For his current exhibition, Chris has chosen to construct only objects produced from a singular material while continuing his praxis of examining the territories of constructed reality, fiction, memory and history.

Here’s One I Made Earlier – Chris Beas’ life away from making art for the past several years has involved working in a wood shop where he often gives demonstrations in woodworking. During his time in the shop, in addition to making furniture and objects he has also collected the remnants, sawdust and wood chips left over from the building processes. For this exhibition, he presents perfected and completed objects and castings that began as a result of these woodworking endeavors and demonstrations.

Chris Beas lives and works in Los Angeles. He previously exhibited at the Prague Biennale 3, Prague, Czech Rep.; Parc Saint Leger Centre D’Art Contemporain, Pougues-les-Eaux, France; The Beautiful Game: Art and Fútbol, curated by Franklin Sirmans and Trevor Schoonmaker, New York, NY; Casey Kaplan, New York, NY.

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