William Villalongo: Mind, Body & Soul
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Susan Inglett Gallery is pleased to present “Mind, Body & Soul,” an exhibition of recent work by gallery artist William Villalongo. A reception for the artist will be held Thursday evening, 10 September from 6 to 8 PM.
William Villalongo invites the viewer to return to his magical Otherworld, offering us edgy, multifaceted vignettes framed and softened by floral and velvet flocked borders. The artist layers his canvas with figures and narratives that allow for multiple paths of entry.
“Villalongo’s paintings are ultimately visions of modernity’s possibilities. His allusions to African masks, and Renaissance perspective, suggests a world of mythological and pedagogical continuities. These continuities between culture-based perceptions of art, pedagogy, vision and ritual, link his characters to the evolution of modern art as both subjects and protagonists. And as with religious texts, Villalongo’s paintings bring together themes of love, empathy, and renewal. In this exhibition’s Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall (2015) the artist moves from an examination of communal interiors to a bodily one. These paintings represent an excavation of the body’s psychic forces (as seen in their irreverent color). It is also a way for Villalongo to speculate on the possible connections between these forces and larger cosmic bodies, as well as those possibly between black matter and black bodies. In Fall and Winter, the figures that were a vibrant presence in Summer are now the personification of the black body as darker matter wandering, haunting the earth through arabesque frames of decaying foliage. But the foliage turns with the laws of terrestrial seasons these dark bodies do not recognize, are not held or subject to. The figures are otherworldly, do not turn away or hide from the viewer and the resulting tension is undeniably present, confrontational, worth considering. They are monolithic personifications standing as unclothed as Eve in their stark visitation from elsewhere. Posed in dominant stances like deities, they are unashamed as the centers of their own mythologies, their own gravities, and the speculative universes they personify. In all, William Villalongo’s recent work offers a meaningful inversion of reality as an intervention into the storied and often troublesome histories at the roots of modernism, modern painting, and the race and gender based assumptions therein.”
Excerpt from William Villalongo: Bodies, Histories and Inversions by LeRonn Brooks published by the Gallery on the occasion of the exhibition Mind, Body & Soul.
WILLIAM VILLALONGO was born in 1975 in Hollywood, FL. He received his B.F.A. from The Cooper Union School and his M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Villalongo has exhibited extensively with recent appearances in the Seattle Art Museum’s “Disguise: Masks and Global African Art” traveling to the Brooklyn Museum and “Affinity Atlas” at the Tang Museum, NY. Work has also been in included in recent shows at the Baltimore Museum of Art; the National Academy, NYC; the Aspen Institute and the Studio Museum Harlem. Reviews have appeared in Artforum, ARTnews, The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail and The Village Voice among others.
The exhibition will be on view at the gallery located at 522 West 24 Street Tuesday to Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM. For additional information please contact Susan Inglett Gallery at 212/647- 9111, fax 212/647-9333 or firstname.lastname@example.org