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JOHN SONSINI

511 West 22nd Street

9 December - 29 January 2022

Duo, Will & Francisco, 2019, Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 182.9 x 152.4 cm

Duo, Will & Francisco, 2019, Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 182.9 x 152.4 cm

Apt. 206, 2019, Oil on canvas, 45 x 36 inches, 114.3 x 91.4 cm

Apt. 206, 2019, Oil on canvas, 45 x 36 inches, 114.3 x 91.4 cm

Francisco, 2020, Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, 121.9 x 91.4 cm

Francisco, 2020, Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, 121.9 x 91.4 cm

Gabriel & Francisco, 2020, Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 182.9 x 152.4 cm

Gabriel & Francisco, 2020, Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 182.9 x 152.4 cm

Guillermo, 2020, Oil on canvas, 45 x 36 inches, 114.3 x 91.4 cm

Guillermo, 2020, Oil on canvas, 45 x 36 inches, 114.3 x 91.4 cm

Apt. 210, 2021, Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, 121.9 x 91.4 cm

Apt. 210, 2021, Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, 121.9 x 91.4 cm

Enrique, 2021, Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, 121.9 x 91.4 cm

Enrique, 2021, Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, 121.9 x 91.4 cm

Gabriel, 2021, Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 50.8 x 40.6 cm

Gabriel, 2021, Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 50.8 x 40.6 cm

Gabriel, 2021, Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 50.8 x 40.6 cm

Gabriel, 2021, Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 50.8 x 40.6 cm

Gabriel, 2021, Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 50.8 x 40.6 cm

Gabriel, 2021, Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 50.8 x 40.6 cm

Gabriel, 2021, Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 182.9 x 152.4 cm

Gabriel, 2021, Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 182.9 x 152.4 cm

Gabriel, 2021, Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 182.9 x 152.4 cm

Gabriel, 2021, Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 182.9 x 152.4 cm

Gabriel, 2021, Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 182.9 x 152.4 cm

Gabriel, 2021, Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 182.9 x 152.4 cm

Josef, 2021, Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, 121.9 x 91.4 cm

Josef, 2021, Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, 121.9 x 91.4 cm

Raul, 2021, Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches, 152.4 x 121.9 cm

Raul, 2021, Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches, 152.4 x 121.9 cm

Press Release

 NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MILES McENERY GALLERY is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by John Sonsini. The artist’s third solo exhibition at the gallery will open on 9 December at 511 West 22nd Street and remain on view through 29 January 2021. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication featuring an essay by David Pagel.

Empathy is Sonsini’s great subject. The bedrock of everything he does as an painter resides in his exploration of how an individual’s emotional involvement with another person shapes both perception and knowledge, often transforming one’s relationship to everything — including one’s self. His portraits of Gabriel, his partner of twenty five years, capture essential aspects of individuality while simultaneously revealing essential things about the world in which we live. Sonsini is most concerned with putting the psychological and emotional dynamic between himself and his sitters at the forefront. 

Sonsini’s gestural oil paintings are composed of single and double figures painted against richly colored grounds of pale blues, yellows, and pinks. In addition to his intimate portraits of Gabriel, he introduces the subject of street performers, known as malabaristas, in this recent body of paintings. The interaction between artist and sitter is the overall theme of Sonsini’s work and the current paintings invite the viewer to contemplate and participate in that action.

The result of that back-and-forth, between painter and sitter, is a painting whose subject is not just the person depicted, but the dynamic interaction that takes place as Sonsini goes outside of himself to convey in paint the otherness that attracted him in the first place. Pagel writes, “That interaction cannot be conveyed abstractly or symbolically; knowing about it is far different from experiencing it for oneself. And that’s what Sonsini’s portraits do for viewers: They translate his desire-driven engagements with others into a form that invites us to experience similar identity-confounding engagements—imaginatively and contemplatively, of course, but they are no less resonant for their introspective, soul-searching nature.” 

JOHN SONSINI (b. 1950, Rome, NY) received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from California State University, Northridge in Northridge, CA.

Recent solo exhibitions include Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY (forthcoming); “Cowboy Stories & New Paintings,” Vielmetter Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; “A Day’s Labor: Portraits by John Sonsini,” Art, Design & Architecture Museum, University of California Santa Barbara, CA; “Daywork: Portraits,” Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA; Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, New York, NY; Patrick Painter Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; “John Sonsini: New Paintings,” Bentley Gallery, Phoenix, AZ; “John Sonsini: Paintings,” Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA; “John Sonsini: New Paintings,” Inman Gallery, Houston, TX; “Los Vaqueros,” James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM; “John Sonsini: Men,” Emerson Gallery, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY; “Broad Reminders: The Paintings of John Sonsini,” ACME., Los Angeles, CA; “Portraits from Los Angeles,” Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University, Logan, UT; “New Paintings,” ACME., Los Angeles, CA; “John Sonsini: Paintings and Drawings,” Atkinson Gallery, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, CA; Cheim & Read, New York, NY, and “New Paintings,” ACME., Los Angeles, CA. 

Recent group exhibitions include “Art and Hope at the End of the Tunnel” (curated by Edward Goldman), Fischer Museum, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA; “Really.” (curated by Inka Essenhigh & Ryan McGinness), Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; “20 Years,” Vielmetter Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; “The Warmth of Other Suns: Stories of Global Displacement,” The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; “Collecting on the Edge,” Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University, Logan, UT; “Belief in Giants,” Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; “Modern and Contemporary,” Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; “The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers,” National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; “Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; “Us is Them,” Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; “Human Touch: Selections from the RBC Wealth Management Collection,” Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY; “The Triumph of Love: Beth Rudin DeWoody Collects,” Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL, and “Concrete Infinity, Selections from the Permanent Collection,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA.

His work is in numerous public collections including the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA; Art, Design & Architecture Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL; The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica, CA; Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, NY; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Fundación AMMA, Mexico City, Mexico; Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles, CA; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE; Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; The McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; Mulvane Art Museum, Washburn University, Topeka, KS; Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA; Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, C A; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D. C. ; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, N Y; Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, N Y; Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

Sonsini lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.