12/10 2020-1/21 2021
Opening Reception: 12/10/20
Cleo the Gallery is pleased to present ‘Breeze Block’ with work by artists Lou Breininger and Tom Henry. This exhibition is a congruent mapping of the soft inflections present in both visions of interior and exterior spaces. Whether constructing a scene or extracting from it, both artists elevate the mundane to tether the world of fabulism, a tool especially desired for this moment in history.
Present in Lou's acrylic airbrushed carpet works there is a dreamy insignia of trees, flowers, oranges, symbols of the outside to decorate the interior moment. It is with pattern and symmetry that this decoration is affirmed and it’s association with memory, comfort and the feminine is ignited. These pieces invite the domestic into fine art spaces in order to define its relevance in informing broad concepts and ways of making. They also raise discourse concerning the origins of decoration, popularized by women artisans and the craft of decoration as a marginalized art form from the canon of art history.
In the shift to Tom’s explorations of New York city landscapes there are the formal compositions to harken back to that canon of art history. However, it deviates from this path with the use of eccentric contrasting colors and softening of borders between objects to elevate these works from the conventional to the enchanted. It is here that romance is formed, idealized city scapes that begin to trace a memoried moment within the exterior scene, filled with complex emotive quality. In all there is present a statement of precious dialogue between maker and scene.
Throughout the works of both artists the audience is witness to the glory of sentimental design as a means to comfort. In the shadow of their redefining exterior and interior spaces to encompass that sentimentality and then the sympathy attached we are given tools to form new perspectives considering repetitive viewings of the banal in our everyday lives.
Lou Breininger (b. Hagerstown, MD) received a BFA in Painting from Arcadia University (Glenside, PA) and an MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI). They currently live and work in Los Angeles, California.
Tom Henry (b. Wellington, NZ) received a Bachelor of Design from Massey University (Wellington) and a MFA from Elam art school (Auckland). He lives and works in Queens, New York.
Photos by Jacob Edenfield