Bridget Mullen: Birthday | Intersecting Selves 👀

616 N. La Brea Los Angeles, CA 90036
Jul 10, 4 PM - 8 PM — ends Aug 28, 2021
Bridget Mullen: Birthday (pictured)
July 10 - August 28, 2021

Shulamit Nazarian is pleased to present Birthday, a new series of paintings by New York-based artist Bridget Mullen. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.

The paintings in Birthday utilize two distinct parameters to guide the creation of 32 iterative works: a vertical orientation at an intimate scale of 12 x 9 inches and a visualization of perhaps the ultimate creative act—the moment of birth. Through this consistent scale and thematic hyper focus, the artist employs endless formal variations in composition, color, and paint application. The result is a series of paintings that share a common structure yet champion individuality.

Contrasting colors provoke a visible tension, one that is at times compressed and, in other moments, elastic. Suddenly, abstract shapes come into focus as human anatomies, capable of expressing emotion. Undulating lines of various thicknesses and layered colors squeeze together, revealing peculiar faces and gestures that emerge from a central point. The repetition of thin lines creates a visual stutter of pigment, alluding to the passage of time or rapid movement. As noted by the New York-based painter Michael Stamm in a recent essay on Mullen’s Birthday series, "The paintings are always one absurdist step away from becoming something — an exasperated mom, a monkey shading his eyes with his hands, an art deco dog’s butt. To understand one of Bridget’s paintings is to delight in completing the exquisite corpse of a narrative it has passed one’s way. Her play begets yours."

Stamm continues, “Bridget embraces a more contemporary idea of the body as a near-totally unstable and immaterial signifier. Having a gendered body is probably a political condition, Bridget’s paintings suggest, but it is definitely a weird one.” Stamm is both a friend of Mullen and a represented artist at Shulamit Nazarian. His full essay can be found here.

The works in Birthday build on Mullen’s practice, combining color, decisive mark-making, intuition, and experimentation to conjure psychedelic configurations. Sculptural dimensionality and flatness, representation and abstraction, and solidity and fluidity, serve not as dichotomies within these works, but as two complementary halves of a whole. Together, the forms and figures in Birthday are imbued with a sense of life, pregnant with agency and potential.

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Intersecting Selves: Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., Maria A. Guzmán Capron, Amir H. Fallah, Wendell Glads
July 10 - August 28, 2021

Shulamit Nazarian is pleased to present Intersecting Selves, a group exhibition featuring Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., Maria A. Guzmán Capron, Amir H. Fallah, Wendell Gladstone, Julie Henson, Ellen Lesperance, Ebony G. Patterson, and Tori Wrånes.

Each of the artists in Intersecting Selves considers the body as a barrier between the mind and the outside world. Recognizing our competing desire for privacy and awareness, and the often thin boundary that intersects our public and private selves, these artists dictate what gets revealed, to whom, and on what terms. From the quietly personal to the urgently political, each artist engages with depictions of the body while withholding crucial information and context. In doing so, they maintain a position of power and restraint over the viewer and, simultaneously, beckon for a closer engagement.

The exhibiting artists of Intersecting Selves—which takes its name from one of Gladstone’s paintings in the exhibition—evoke various strategies of representation. These artists utilize self-portraiture, employ avatars, and appropriate archival imagery to trouble the distance between the viewer and their subject. Bodies become draped in fabrics, lost in costume, and abstracted through the various mediums exhibited, including photography, collage, painting, and fibers.