Kevin Appel Presents an Exhibition of New Paintings in New York

The Miles McEnery Gallery in New York City will present a solo exhibition of new paintings by Kevin Appel, professor of art and chair in the Department of Art at the UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated digital catalogue featuring text by Molly Warnock. The show opens on March 16 and will be on view through April 22, 2023.

Over the past decade, Appel’s work has explored the interplay of photography, printmaking, and paint. While earlier works veiled appropriated and original photographs with abstract forms, the present series abandons the demarcation of media for a synthesis of imagery.

Beginning with photographs of architectural fragments, Appel takes the images through various stages of manipulation – scaled, cropped, translated to halftone – to arrive at a series of photo silkscreens that comprise the works’ constitutional vocabulary. Rejecting, however, the precision that printmaking typically provides, the artist utilizes denser acrylic and oil paints through the fine mesh, creating opportunities for material unpredictability and textural variation.

“The images in these paintings interrupt themselves; they get in their own way. That Appel is very often working wet-into-wet, or at any rate wet-into-humid, is also to the point: the process is both additive and subtractive in one and the same gesture, the matrix pulling up paint as well as laying it down,” writes Molly Warnock.

The resultant works reverberate with texture, pattern, and depth born of accumulation. Through built up layers originating in photography, the paintings return to the gestalt of their architectural genesis as aggregate compositions, resting just shy enough of total abstraction. Time and close inspection reward the viewer with insights into the works’ constituent parts.

Kevin Appel (b. 1967, Los Angeles, CA) has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City, CA; ACME., Los Angeles, CA; The Suburban, Chicago, IL; Two Rooms Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand; Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY; and Wilkinson Gallery, London, United Kingdom. His work has been included in group exhibitions at numerous institutions, including the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California, Berkeley, CA; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA; Kunstmuseum Brandts, Odense, Denmark; Museum of Contemporary Art Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, CA; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, among others.

Appel’s work is held in the public collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The New York Public Library, New York, NY; Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and the Saatchi Collection, London, United Kingdom.

Appel received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design in New York. He is a Professor of Art and currently serves as Department of Art Chair at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine.

Appel lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

Images, left: Aggregate 7 (autumn), 2023, Oil and acylic on canvas over panel, 70  x 60 inches, 177.8 x 152.4 cm, MMG#35022. Right: Kevin Appel in his studio in Los Angeles.
Posted Date: 
March 09, 2023
Link to News Story: