TURN Gallery is pleased to present TOWN AND COUNTRY bringing together painters Alberto Casais and Andrew Pope. In this exhibition the two artists depict urban and rural landscapes as the impetus for exploration. From shuttered store fronts and abandoned city streets, to quiet country roads and lone houses, Casais and Pope take us on a journey of transitioning moments that are ripe with discovery. Both artists works are small in scale but create big storytelling pictures that are as much about the subject as what is missing. Cinematic in feel, the artists lure the viewer to enter their landscapes as if one stepped onto an old Hollywood lot, asking who is the narrator here?
Growing up as a kid in Yonkers in the late 70’s/80’s, Alberto Casais spent his youth playing in the open streets of the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and lower Manhattan. At the time, the city’s landscape was barren with an air of the forbidden. “My cousin used to carry his Polaroid camera with him wherever we went. He took photos of the garbage and abandoned buildings. We used to laugh at him; none of us could understand why anyone would want photos of trash. One day, after leaving my art studies behind, I was painting and listening to the band Suicide. It brought back memories of those broken neighborhoods that once were our playground (and my cousin’s photos). I realized that there was a beauty to be found in that war-torn landscape that was New York. I’ve tried ever since to capture that damaged beauty in my painting.” In his new body of work Casais brings the past into the present, examining absence and change which creates possibilities for the future. Behind a closed shop, an empty building, and city streets are love songs to what was, along with a glimmer of hope of what could be.
Andrew Pope’s paintings are deceptively restrained. With straightforward lines and a simple color palette, he presents innocuous, if off-kilter, country landscapes with a deadpan impartial delivery. The simple geometry of empty roads or channels disappearing into the horizon may convey uncomplicated ease, but when an unsettling object – a figure, a house, a tree -- is introduced, the solace and simplicity is disrupted. It is in this tense landscape that Pope feels most at home. In his current body of work Pope presents possible places we can dream about, but also stand in for facets of real life. Hovering between the peace of privacy and clouds of isolation, Pope's open blue skies entice our senses suggesting a tranquil birdsong, the hopeful smell of new grass, and comfort of warm sun on your shoulders.
Andrew Pope is a self-taught artist born in Atlanta, GA in 1971. He graduated from the University of Georgia. His recent solo exhibitions include Fortnight Institute, New York, NY, Ampersand, Portland, OR. Group exhibitions include Rebecca Camacho Presents, San Francisco, CA;TURN Gallery, New York, NY; Half Gallery, New York, NY; Galerie Sebastian Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland. Pope currently lives and works in NYC.
Alberto Casais was born in Bayonne, New Jersey in 1970. His recent solo exhibitions include Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Boreal Throne, Washington; Fortnight Institute, New York, NY. Group exhibitions include Harper’s, East Hampton, NY; artBangall, Bangall, NY; Condo Mexico City, Howards Athens/Galeria Mascota, Mexico City. Casais currently lives and works in Bayonne, New Jersey.