steven harvey fine art projects @ gallery schlesinger
steven harvey fine art projects presents its first exhibition by Gideon Bok entitled
Re: Stacks at Gallery Schlesinger. The exhibition will be a select installation of
one major large scale painting, along with one small painting. The major work
takes its title from the last song on Bon Iver’s For For Emma, Forever Ago.
Gideon Bok was born in 1966. He lives and works in Maine. He received his
master’s degree from Yale University and his B.A. from Hampshire College.
Since graduating from Yale in the mid-1990s Bok has become known for
painterly images of the different studio spaces he has occupied and the stuff
they contain. His paintings relate to the extreme paint handling of Frank
Auerbach and the personal inventiveness of contemporary painters such as
Re: Stacks describes his cavernous studio, a former ballroom in Rockland,
Maine. New York Times critic Martha Schwendener wrote, “The Rockland
studio is a painter's vision of heaven, with a high, beamed ceiling, multiple walls
of windows and acres of space. Guitars, amplifiers and LP covers litter the
In re: stacks the elaborate ceiling sits like a crown over a necklace of windows
glowing red brick in late afternoon sun. Below is the work area of primary
colored couches and all the tools and toys of Bok’s practice. Bok’s work of the
last decade depicts his studio spaces and is characterized by complex,
disorienting spatial arrangements, the result of working from perception on a
large scale, which we find in this recent painting as well. The cathedral ceiling
overwhelms the majority of the canvas and the perspective of the room is
bowed while still conveying the feeling of the space.
However, in this painting, unlike the earlier work, figures are not present. The
studio is filled, but with garlic scapes, furniture of primary colors, beer bottles, a
drum kit, lamps, a computer, and amplifiers. However, the lack of young people
lounging here seems to signify a shift - this space is a sanctuary more than a
commune. Like the Bon Iver song from which he takes the painting’s title, the
painting is about solitary epiphany and self-trust. It is bathed in light and the
loose, drip, paint aesthetic gives it an overall aura and drama. It is both intimist
and monumental, both subtly evocative and overwhelming.
Bok appropriates the title, but the work also bears an aesthetic and feeling
related to Bon Iver’s music. Bok is also a musician, and uses the distinct
reminders of depicted musical objects to remind of us of the connections
between painting and music. In this association he picks up a thread
exemplified in the work of Basquiat and Capt. Beefheart/Don Van Vliet.
He is the recipient of a 2004 John Simon Guggenheim award. In 2005 he
received the Hassam, Speicher, Betts, and Symons Fund Purchase Award
through The American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2005 his work was
surveyed in an exhibition at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport,
ME titled Guardrailing.
Gallery Schlesinger is located at 24 east 73rd Street, 2nd flr. Gallery hours are
Tuesday- Friday 11-6, Saturday 11-5. Please call 917-861-7312 or 212-734-
3600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and photographs.