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Elise Ansel | Galerie Magazine

Cloud, 2023, Oil on linen, 60 x 48 inches, 152.4 x 121.9 cm

From New York to Los Angeles, 6 Not-to-Be-Missed Solo Gallery Shows in August

By Paul Laster | 7 August 2023

Featuring Robert Arneson’s influential ceramic and bronze self-portraits at George Adams Gallery and Hank Willis Thomas's Pace Gallery debut in Los Angeles

Seeking the most interesting solo gallery shows in America each month, Galerie journeyed from New York, where George Adams Gallery is presenting Robert Arneson’s influential ceramic and bronze self-portraits and Elise Ansel has gestural abstractions referencing Old Master paintings at Miles McEnery Gallery, to Los Angeles, where Hank Willis Thomas is making his Pace Gallery debut with referential imagery that changes before our eyes when flashed with a smart phone. These are the must-see shows in August.

3. Elise Ansel at Miles McEnery Gallery, New York

Best known for her gestural transformations of Old Master paintings by celebrated male artists, who have represented women in either an idealized or sexually objectified way, Elise Ansel uses the pictorial language of abstraction to communicate an equivalent point of view with a bit of a feminist twist. Having exhibited her improvisational interpretations of alluring works by such revered masters as Rembrandt, Rubens and Vermeer at galleries across the United States and Europe, the American artist is now having her first solo show, which is her 35th one-person exhibition worldwide, with a new series of abstractions at the gallery.

In the exhibition Sea Change, Ansel creates painterly conversations with classical canvases by Bellini, Tiepolo, Titian, Veronese and other celebrated Old Masters. Starting with small studies, she makes multiple renewals of the revered works, which become the points of departure for her larger expressive paintings that capture the figures and drama through bold, velvety brushwork. She turns Paolo Veronese’s The Allegory of Virtue and Vice into two different paintings filled with swaths of color that abstractly conjure the theatrics of the 1565 masterpiece, while flipping the script on Titian’s 1511 Christ and the Adulteress by highlighting the scorned woman’s right to pleasure through a flurry of vibrant brushstrokes in her joyful Fire Fangled Feathers painting.

Through August 31

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