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Rico Gatson Represented by Miles McEnery Gallery

Untitled (Young Mystics), 2020, Acrylic paint on wood, 36 x 80 inches, 91.4 x 203.2 cm

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MILES McENERY GALLERY is delighted to announce its representation of Rico Gatson.

Rico Gatson is a Brooklyn based mixed media artist working across abstraction and figuration. With a multifaceted practice that spans painting, video, sculpture and installation, Gatson considers himself an object-maker inspired by Conceptualism, Afro-Futurism and spirituality. 

For the past twenty years, Gatson’s body of work has been recognized for its powerful political discourse often rooted in significant moments in Black history. He presents the viewer with a myriad of images related to pivotal moments that include the Watts Riots, the presidential election of Barack Obama and the formation of the Black Panthers. 

Gatson’s striking, graphic visual language combines African textile-inspired colors and bold patterns with stark black and white line work. These vibrational elements take shape both on canvas and paper, as well as on towering totems, three dimensional sculptures, video, and mural mosaics. His recent series “Beacons” comprises permanent, large-scale tile murals that are on view at the 167th Street Subway in the Bronx. 

The artist’s compositions also recall the geometric layouts of Constructivist propaganda posters and reference religious icon painting, jazz rhythms, and the kineticism of Piet Mondrian’s proto-Op art of the 1940s. The experience of Gatson’s work is a combination of dynamic movement embedded with layers of social commentary that is often conveyed emotionally and physiologically rather than explicitly defined. He often combines thoughtfully placed images of significant cultural figures from the twentieth century to present day.

An upcoming solo exhibition of Gatson’s paintings and drawings will open on 19 November at Miles McEnery Gallery, New York.

RICO GATSON (b. 1966 in Augusta, GA) received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Bethel College in 1989 and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale School of Art in 1991. He also completed his artist residency in 1998 at Franconia Sculpture Park, Taylor Falls, MN and in 2013 was the Ginsberg Artist in Residence at the Wright Museum of Art, Beloit College, Beloit, WI.

Recent solo exhibitions include “Rico Gatson: 2007-2017,” The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; “My Eyes Have Seen,” Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York, NY; “Power Lines,” Samsøñ Projects, Boston, MA; “Rico Gatson: When She Speaks,” Studio 10, Brooklyn, NY; “ The Promise of Light,” Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY; “Dufresne & Gatson,” Barbara Walters Art Gallery at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY; “RICO GATSON: Three Trips Around the Block,” Exit Art, New York, NY and “History Lessons,” Usdan Gallery, Bennington College, Bennington, VT.

Recent group exhibitions include “New Symphony of Time,” Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS; “Historicity,” Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York, NY; “Art + Activism: Drawing the Line,” Children’s Museum of Art, New York, NY; “Jazz and Love,” La Viellie Chartie, Marseille, France; “Identity Document,” Bergen Community College, Paramus, NJ; “We the People,” Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul, MN; “1967: Parallels in Black Art and Rebellion,” Charles Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, MI; “Art on the Front Lines,” Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY; “Phantom,” OSMOS, New York, NY; “Accumulation: 5000 Years of Objects, Fictions, and Conversations,” Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA; “Every Five Minutes,” Columbus State University, Columbus, GA; “Language Product,” Boston Arts Academy, Boston, MA; “When Artists Speak Truth...,” The 8th Floor, New York, NY and “Magic Objects” (curated by Rico Gatson), 99 Cent Plus Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

His work is included in the permanent collections of The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN; Bethel College, St. Paul, MN; The Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, TN; Denver, Art Museum, Denver CO; The Kempner Museum, Kansas City, MO; Malcolm X Institute at Wabash College, Crawfordsville, IN; Mead Art Museum, Amherst, MA; Norton Family Foundation, Los Angeles, CA and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award for Visual Artists; Prized Pieces Video Award from the National Black Programming Consortium; Oil Bar Ltd. Award for Excellence in Sculpture from Yale School of Art and the Pew Charitable Trust Graduate Fellowship.

Rico Gatson lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.