Almine Rech Gallery is pleased to present the second solo exhibition by Justin Adian with the gallery.
For the past few years Justin Adian has been busy refining his practice. He works painting by painting, moving from one to the next based on the aesthetic implications he intuits in the most recent ones. Deeply engrossed in the physical labor of making each of them, ideas arise for Adian as a side-effect of his engagement with every aspect of their execution.
Despite the playfulness inherent to Adian’s vocabulary of plush organic forms and bright pastel colors, and even the inclusion of glitter in some paintings, he is always concerned with getting his work to operate successfully as abstract painting, which is to say, in relation to the formal issues that abstract painters have grappled with over the past century or so.
There is a bodily relationship to such hand-made lines, which—when combined with the pliability of his panels—means that we relate to them in terms of our own bodies, considering the way that one panel touches another as akin to how one person exists in proximity another.
This is not the first time that Adian has made use of stacked panels in his work, but it is his most emphatic. For Adian this is a way to evoke the compression of information that has long been a concern of his work, and also of contemporary society and culture more broadly. To layer is to both conceal and condense information, but it is also to nuance it and render it more complex. For these new accentuating panels are both physical and illusory, an actual object with a certain profile, and something that we read as a two-dimensional plane of color. The kind of information that Adian wants to deliver is, of course, painterly in nature—formal and pictorial, as his work remains fundamentally a juxtaposition of particular colors and shapes in space, delivered via his signature eccentric supports, with their soft materiality.
- Alex Bacon