Joe Fyfe

No Puppet Performance 

OPENING 18 MAY, 18:00 - 20:00

LOVAAS Projects is pleased to present recent work by the New York City-based artist Joe Fyfe. It is his first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The “found” title, NO PUPPET PERFORMANCE is from a photograph the artist took of an electric sign hovering over the site of a Wayang, reporting the schedule of ongoing program of orchestra and shadow puppets he saw in Indonesia this past March. (there were no performances on Sunday) According to the artist, utilizing an appropriated phrase for an exhibition title echoes his modus operandi of repurposing existing material “as found”. (in the case of the title, it additionally makes veiled reference to the shadowy political situation in the US at present.)

 

The exhibition provides examples of “alternative forms” of paintings made from flags, painted printed or reversed vinyl signs, rough fabrics, kites, etc. The work does not so much attempt to make a bridge between art and life says Fyfe, but more a bridge between “art and stuff”, that is by slightly raising our consciousness of our moment to moment existence with the quotidian objects and materials that surround us. Many of his more recent works have migrated towards sculpture, such as a bathtub placed in the gallery, that is meant to be both a picture, “stuff put inside a framed object’ and a gallery space, “Stuff put inside a delimited white-walled area”. Hybridizing the pictorial in ways that are both formalist and post-formalist, concerned as they are with direct but economized aesthetic decisions as well as with larger geo-political resonances.

 

The magnetism in Fyfe’s work lies in the undulation between haut-formalism and his quotidian palette. He establishes a lyricism in every work as a result of something like a secret recipe, carefully measured ingredients include: material plenitude, contemplative and decisive precision, and under-manipulated chance.  Fyfe’s cohesive yet expansive output originated in an early training in the fundamentals. In his own words, “I started as a painter of old, using oils, rabbit-skin-glued linen supports, bristle brushes of many varieties and I painted from life! Then from photographs, then with acrylic and gradually developed a diversity of means. I came to abstraction from a desire to work more directly with ideas and with the language of painting as I had begun to understand it. I often remind myself that my desire is to serve the materials, to attempt to keep the presence of the artist in check.”

 

Joe Fyfe was born in 1952 and lives and works in New York. He has shown internationally and has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions in locations such as Galerie Christian Lethert in Cologne, Germany; Ryllega Gallery in Hanoi, Vietnam; Galerie Ceysson-Benetiere in Geneva, Switzerland, White Columns in New York City and Nathalie Karg gallery in NYC