Van Doren Waxter is delighted to present a two-person exhibition of recent paintings by American artists Andrea Marie Breiling and Spencer Lewis, on view from October 28 – December 23, 2021, at 23 East 73rd Street, 3rd floor. Andrea Marie Breiling | Spencer Lewis is a complimentary presentation to Hedda Sterne: Architecture of the Mind, in the gallery’s 2nd floor exhibition spaces. This focused project, organized by Augusto Arbizo, continues the gallery’s serial effort to contextualize and contemporize a singular historical artist alongside new work by living artists whose formal and conceptual affinities underscore his or her influence and pertinence. Past exhibitions have included Moira Dryer Project (2014) and Alan Shields Project (2018).
Hedda Sterne’s (1910 – 2011) place in the history American post-war painting is undergoing a meaningful reconsideration, with recent permanent collection reinstallations at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, alongside works by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, and Franz Kline, among others. Sterne’s diverse and expansive oeuvre defied classification and her independence from the Abstract Expressionists showed in the continuous evolution and exploration of her work, which spanned from 1940s to the early 2000s. Her outlier status is recognized by today’s emerging painters, who acknowledge, and are inspired by her visionary paintings and genuinely independent voice.
Sterne’s self-determining, experimental spirit can be seen and felt in the unbounded solo painting practices of Andrea Marie Breiling and Spencer Lewis – two of the most inventive abstract painters working today. In their respective, emerging bravura voices are echoes of the older artists prescient desire for an ‘architecture of the mind’: a way for painting to remind us how elemental constructions and vistas can form a structure for us to richly experience the fundamental visual properties of color, line, space, and movement. Andrea Marie Breiling, in her use of sprayed paint, makes a specific and direct connection to Sterne’s highly innovative and iconic paintings of the 1950s, which refer to the open roads and bridges zipping to, in, and out of Manhattan, conveyed through an adventurous practice of brushwork, spray paint, and scraping. Deliberately loose, painterly, and atmospheric, Breiling’s contemporary works have a lightness and musicality that rises to envelope the viewer. The idea of going in and out of picture, and back of forth across the surface of a painting, is central to the jute works of Spencer Lewis. Bold and brash, his physically demanding works contain slashes, and thickly applied gestures and marks, which convene centrally to a woven mass or form. Like Sterne, in her series of architecturally and metaphysically inclined works that explore perspectival space and light (seen in the gallery’s second floor), Lewis potently dramatizes the tenuous properties of shuffled lines and shifting perspectives. In the pieces they’ve chosen for this special project exhibition, Breiling and Lewis push their respective works and paintings to thresholds of physical and chromatic nirvana.
Andrea Marie Breiling was born in Phoenix, AZ, educated at Claremont Graduate School (MFA, 2014) and UC Irvine (BFA, 2008); she currently lives and works between Los Angeles and New York City. Breiling’s solo exhibitions include: Almine Rech, London (forthcoming, 2021); Broadway Gallery, New York (2021); Night Gallery, Los Angeles (2018 and 2020); Achenbach Hagemeier, Dusseldorf, Germany (2018); and Peggy Phelps Gallery, Claremont (2014). She has been featured in recent group exhibitions at VSF Various Small Fires, Seoul, Korea (2021); Carl Kostyál, Stockholm, Sweden (2021); Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2020); Harper’s Books, East Hampton (2020); and Wilding Cran Gallery, Los Angeles (2019), among many others.
Spencer Lewis was born in Hartford, CT (b. 1979), educated at UCLA (MFA, 2008) and Rhode Island School of Design (BFA, 2001), and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions by Lewis include: Vito Schnabel Gallery, St. Moritz (2021); Vito Schnabel Gallery, New York (2021); Harper’s Chelsea, New York (2021); Harper’s Apartment, New York (2017 and 2019); and Nino Meier Gallery, Los Angeles (2016), among others. Lewis’s recent group exhibitions include: Kathryn Brennan Gallery, New York (2020); Over the Influence, Los Angeles (2020); The Pit, Glendale (2018); Brennan & Griffin, New York (2018); Harper’s Books, East Hampton (2018); and Edward Cella, Los Angeles (2015), among many others.