NOW THROUGH NOVEMBER 1, 2014
Mulherin + Pollard is pleased to present Sailor's Diary, a new exhibition of paintings and drawings by Brian Novatny.
Novatny's artworks explore the tempestuous storm-tossed seas of historical tumult and of war and disasters both private and public in a manner that simultaneously reflects the full sweep and powerful grandeur of their subject matter as well as reveals the astonishingly intricate and painstakingly rendered gradations of his stark palette, mostly comprised of a rich tonal fluctuation of black, white, and quiet grays, as well as muted earth tones.
His figures are like fragments of the past and present struggling to remain whole against the devouring waves and foreboding atmospheres exploding forth at the compositional centers of his pictures, themselves surrounded by the uncertainty of a blank white void. His solemn portraits of human fragility at times recall the spectral disquiet and mystery of 19th century photography or the peace and profound silence of an undisturbed sea torn asunder in paroxysms of exploded, and explosive, catharsis. His pictures depict a floating, gravitation-less fictive space where his subjects exist as lost, dislocated figures caught in forgotten human dramas at once distant yet universal and hauntingly familiar- a place where the fervent echoes and shadows of time resound over the immensity and vast stretches of a dark and mute sea.
Novatny was born in Wadsworth, OH in 1964. He earned his BFA at the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, OH in 1987 and his MFA at the Yale University School of Art in New Haven, CT in 1990. His work has appeared widely in solo and group shows in galleries and museums from New York, New Orleans, Atlanta, Los Angeles to Berlin and Beijing. His work is in numerous museum collections including the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the Knoxville Museum of Arts, and the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.