Reena Spaulings

Later Seascapes

We came across Reena Spaulings’ work a while back when visiting a group show at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles, and became instantly fascinated by a towering marble surfboard.
Reena Spaulings emerged in 2004 from the daily operation of Reena Spaulings Fine Art in New York, a gallery founded by John Kelsey & Emily Sundblad and named after Bernadette Corporation’s novel of the same name.

While exploring the ambiguities of her double identity as both artist and gallerist, Reena Spaulings presents itself as a kind of commodity. Appearing in various contexts and media, Reena Spaulings is a brand name that plays on the market value and the social function of identity. In Reena Spaulings’ fourth solo exhibition with Campoli Presti Gallery, “Later Seascapes” will feature a new series of paintings. The show will run in London from 15 October – 16 November 2014.

Reena Spaulings often presents a provisional alternative to the role of the artist presented by the market and to the traditional notion of authenticity. In order to introduce a different authority to the concept of authorship the artist has frequently adopted the practice of commissioning a third party or entity to execute their work.

In their Michael paintings from 2011, Michael Sanchez, a Ph.D student and critic, was used as a living brush, evoking Yves Klein’s pinceau vivant technique from 1960. In the Holzweg series, a faux wood grain was obtained through applying a pattern, referencing John Knight’s work, décor painting, and do-it-yourself techniques.

The works in “Later Seascapes” were made with the help of a floor-mopping robot. Its spinning brush covers the surface of the canvas and leaves painted traces of every change of direction. Klein’s human brush is replaced by an automated mop that leaves an erratic and mechanical stroke. The colour range of the works was inspired by JMW Turner’s stormy skies and his effects of darkness, as a way to evoke a palette of conventionally British subdued tones.

Reena Spaulings’ work is part of the permanent collection of MoMA, New York and the French Government Collection FRAC. Past exhibitions include Dystopia at Museé d’art Contemporain de Bordeaux (2011); Pop Life at Tate Modern, London (2009) and How to Cook a Wolf, a solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich (2007).

The artist’s work is featured in the most recent edition of Art Since 1900 edited by Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois and Benjamin Buchloh.

Berlin, Bears and Refugees