Artist Rico Gatson (Instagram: @rico_gatson) joins us for New Social Environment #119, hosted by painter and Rail Editor-at-Large Tom McGlynn (Instagram: @tom_mcglynn), for a discussion on Gatson's work, subjective abstraction, transcendental jazz, the use of geometry, rhythm, color, among other subversive political and social underpinnings, and so on leading to his upcoming show of paintings Miles McEnery Gallery (opening November 19th, 2020). Poet Don Yorty (Instagram: @donyorty) closes the event with a reading from his poetry postcards.
Over the course of almost two decades, Rico Gatson has become celebrated for his confrontational and politically opinionated artworks, often based on significant moments in black history. Images of riots, fires, and confinement pervade his works, which have touched on a range of subjects like the Watts Riots, the presidential election of Barack Obama, and the formation of the Black Panthers. As Gatson once said: “I’m always interested in seducing the viewer and then hitting them on the way out, allowing a delayed response to powerfully charged content.” Even though he uses painting, video, sculpture and installation, Gatson prefers not to be defined by any single medium, rather thinking of himself as an object maker inspired by Conceptualism and Performance Art.
Tom McGlynn is an artist, writer, and independent curator based in the NYC area. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum of the Smithsonian. He is the director of Beautiful Fields, an organization dedicated to socially-engaged curatorial projects, and is also currently a visiting lecturer at Parsons/the New School. Tom is a contributor to the Brooklyn Rail.
Don Yorty is a poet, educator, and garden activist. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, and is included in Out of This World, An Anthology of the Poetry of the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, 1966–1991. His collected early poems will be published in 2021.