Jingze Du: Magic Kingdom | Gabby Rosenberg: Icons | Marcus Leslie Singleton: I Was Tempted To Throw My Phone In The River

6830 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038
Oct 17, 11 AM - 6 PM — ends Nov 14, 2020
Steve Turner is pleased to present Magic Kingdom, a solo exhibition featuring new works by Dublin-based Jingze Du that relate to American popular culture and celebrity as perceived by Du, someone who spent the first thirteen years of his life in Yantai, China and most of the next twelve in Dublin, Ireland. Du’s vantage point is an interesting one, for though he has yet to visit the United States, he has intensely admired and studied its culture from afar. During the lockdown of Dublin in between late March and early July, he read books and made drawings. Among the books was former Disney Chairman Bob Iger’s “The Ride of a Lifetime” and the first painting he created when he was able to return to his studio was Mickey. Two other Mickeys followed as did characters from Star Wars (a Disney property) and portraits of pop stars, rappers, actors and a king.

Of the twenty-five paintings in the show, all but four are painted with thinned down oil in shades of black, grey and white, in a manner similar to the paintings in In Between, Du’s first solo exhibition at Steve Turner which took place just six months ago. Of these, the subjects are mostly of the human variety except for two Mickeys and a Darth Vader. For titles, each bears the first name of their subject–Brad, Snoop, Martha, Keanu, Kanye, Marshall, Seth and Charlize. The compositions for all but one are close-ups of the subject’s face that nearly fill the canvas. There is some intentional distortion of each as though a mug shot was created by capturing a fun house mirror image. The one exception is the painting of LeBron James which shows him from the waist up. While all of the other oil paintings have a sinister quality, this one is purely heroic. LeBron looks as though he could hold the weight of the world on his massive shoulders.

The remaining four paintings were sprayed with acrylic paint, a new process for Du. Two depict villains from Star Wars with a bit of color added, one is of Batman and the other is of Mickey. With this new series, Du portrays the characters in a chaotically abstract manner that makes villainy and virtue less “black and white.”

Jingze Du (born 1995, Yantai, China) moved to Dublin when he was thirteen years old. He later earned his BA at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin (2017) and his MA from the Royal College of Art, London (2019). He had a solo exhibition at Steve Turner, Los Angeles (May 2020); Sol Art Gallery, Dublin (2019) and has presented work in group exhibitions in London and Dublin since 2016. This is his second solo exhibition at Steve Turner. A new monograph on Du is being published by Steve Turner and is due out in February 2021.

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Steve Turner is pleased to present Icons, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based Gabby Rosenberg that consists of colorful, abstracted, figurative paintings. Created in a corner of her living room during a statewide stay-at-home order, Rosenberg’s new works depict figures in action that are confined underneath an archway. They are comprised of a mix of colorful rounded forms with their limbs, torsos and heads outlined with a contrasting band of color. Borne of imagination, introspection and frustration, the paintings obliquely convey aspects of our troubled time. However, they also convey Rosenberg’s delight in painting. In that way, her spirited effort is the essence of the work.

Gabby Rosenberg (born Chicago, 1992) earned a BA from Hampshire College (2014) and an MFA from CalArts (2018). Her work was shown in Show Me as I Want to Be Seen at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco (2019). This is Rosenberg’s second solo exhibition at Steve Turner.

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Steve Turner is pleased to present I Was Tempted To Throw My Phone In The River, a solo exhibition by New York-based Marcus Leslie Singleton that features paintings which depict life’s routine moments–fishing, driving a car, having a conversation, smoking a cigarette or just hanging out. As a group, they represent Singleton’s appreciation of and longing for the return of face to face interactions. His painting style, refined through trial and error over the last decade, has congealed into a recognizable visual language of simplified figures and forms in contrasting colors painted with lively brushstrokes. He conveys his life, his inner spirit, his imagination, his longings and his fears.

According to Singleton, with these works he aims to convey the preciousness of life by celebrating Black life, culture, music, folklore, religion and tradition. “I have tried to produce a language that captures our deepest essence, one that for a large part of our history has been misunderstood. As a Black man in this country, I feel obligated to say that we are real people and that the souls of Black folks must be better recognized, by us and by others. I hope that my paintings can contribute in a way so that people from all walks of life will connect and empathize, not driven by guilt or shame, but by truthfulness and honesty.”

Marcus Leslie Singleton (born 1990, Seattle) is a self-taught artist who moved from Seattle to New York in 2013 to develop his studio practice. He has had solo exhibitions at Medium Tings, Brooklyn (2018); Turn Gallery, New York (2019) and Journal Gallery, New York (2020). This is his first exhibition with Steve Turner, Los Angeles.