My Small Adventures features a suite of new oil on panel paintings by Chuck Webster. Though firmly rooted in the tradition of abstract painting, the works allude to themes concrete and intangible from love to landscapes; open waters and circus parades. Many contain a central portal acting as either an emotional release or a formal reentry. With both seriousness of purpose and delicate sensibility, the artist spends 6-8 months on each painting, working simultaneously on batches of polished panels. In his essay on Webster in his book, Painting Abstraction (New York: Phaidon, 2009), curator Bob Nickas describes the artist’s paintings as follows:

They have translucent, biomorphic, and geometric forms — abstraction as sign, symbol, emblem. Their waxy, almost sculptural feeling, along with the vibrant color, gives the sense that they can actually be held in the palm of one’s hand... Webster’s forms can be seen as either new or newly unearthed bits of jewel-like pottery. Their carved, object-like quality is based on his handling, the lack of gesture, a highly sanded surface, and his favored support, birch plywood panel. By isolating his object/forms on a solid, smooth ground, Webster also imparts a greater degree of inscription, and his imagery, although painted in oil, has both weight and a lightness of touch, while the sanded, rubbed surface also suggests the presence of time. Webster’s geometry… is always realized without tape or rulers, giving his work personality, humor, and warmth. As Webster has said of his references to organic forms, he is drawn to “the just-off symmetry of things” in nature. His paintings are handmade and handheld.

Webster had a fall 2010 solo exhibition at ACME Gallery in Los Angeles and has been seen in group shows at P.S.1 Contemporary, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, San Diego Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, and Berkshire Museum. His work is in the permanent collections of several museums and foundations including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the MFA, Houston. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Installation View: Chuck Webster, My Small Adventures, ZieherSmith

Installation View: Chuck Webster, My Small Adventures, ZieherSmith

Installation View: Chuck Webster, My Small Adventures, ZieherSmith

Installation View: Chuck Webster, My Small Adventures, ZieherSmith

Installation View: Chuck Webster, My Small Adventures, ZieherSmith


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