Andrew Brischler "Storms"

Gavlak Los Angeles

May 29 – July 18, 2015

Gavlak Los Angeles proudly presents Storms, a solo exhibition of new paintings and drawings by New York-based artist Andrew Brischler, and the artist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. This ambitious body of work is anchored by five large-scale mixed media paintings, which employ Brischler’s signature process of laboriously drawing on wood panel using colored pencil, oil stick, and acrylic. The large works are accompanied by a suite of colored pencil and graphite drawings on paper entitled “Punk & Faggotry.” This dialog that conflates high and low cultural registers spawn a visual web as the viewer traces marks and splashes, lines and colors, words and slogans, from one work to the next. A highly calculated imprecision is imbued in each waxy, frenetic surface, precise and intentionally flawed all in one gesture. 
Brischler’s works are as fresh in mood and of the moment as they are grounded in art history; formally seductive and saturated with contemporary concerns about queer identity and theory. The show’s title,Storms, is taken from Fleetwood Mac’s 1979 torch song of the same name, with lyrics that signify a deep inner turmoil. The exhibition as a whole points to the symbolic realm of homosexual representation in connection to the horror film genre, linking queer identity with the vampire, the monster, and the other. Brischler’s exploration of Pop color and form, amorphous line, and alluring text—is especially interesting for it’s critical position on American pop cultural representation and the brand of conservative American politics that raged through the 80s and 90s. Abstract Painting as such, with its history of hetero-normative clarity and cool exterior, is disturbed in bits and pieces by idiosyncrasy and the indeterminacy of both hand and word. 

Text is often synonymous with image in Brischler’s work. Even when text is not an image, it remains a crucial component, interjecting psychological dimensions such as confusion, disorientation, and humor-inflected trauma. It’s seen in lilac targets, disarmingly innocent fonts, rainbow swirls, wet splashes, and the ever-newness of a consumer high. It is embedded in what the artist describes as a “shamelessly millennial” likeability that is disrupted, upended, and unsettled by smears, tears, scribbles, and textual suggestions such as “Terror,” “Heresy,” “Nightmare,” and “Sin.”  The pleasure of the image is experienced as a loaded, intentionally tattered vanitas in a culture where a term like Conversion Therapy is a weapon and the monster is an abstraction that has the potential to exist in each of us.
Andrew Brischler was born in Long Island, NY in 1987 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.  He earned his BFA in Painting and Drawing at SUNY New Paltz in 2009 and his MFA at The School of Visual Arts in 2012. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe with recent highlights that include: Re(a)d, curated by Ryan Steadman, Nathalie Karg Gallery, New York, 2015; The Arts Club, London, 2014; Painting: A Love Story, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, 2014; 39 Great Jones, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich, 2013; and I Made It Through the Wilderness, Gavlak, Palm Beach, 2013. The artist’s work has also been featured at prominent art fairs including Art Basel Miami Beach, The Armory Show, and NADA New York. His work is in the collection of The Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL. In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious Rema Hort Mann Foundation Visual Arts Grant. Brischler has been featured in numerous publications, including 100 Painters of Tomorrow (Thames & Hudson, 2014), Modern Painters, and New American Paintings.
-Lisa Jaye Young, Ph.D.
Gavlak is located at 1034 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038. Gallery hours are Tuesdaythrough Saturday from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. For more information concerning the exhibition, please contact Tabor Story at, or (323) 467-5700