More Days, Brian Calvin’s new exhibition at Almine Rech Gallery’s Matignon space, presents ten new paintings made especially for the occasion over recent pandemic months. The title inevitably alludes––or so it feels––to the period of forced seclusion we have collectively endured worldwide, a seemingly endless amorphous repetition of sameness in a physical and mental universe that shrank more and more as time went by.
Yet More Days also refers to the cumulative experience that constitutes Calvin’s practice, where every day brings new discoveries and renewed ways of applying paint to canvas, of envisioning compositions and arranging colors in a lifelong quest to create each new work with a fresh perspective. The title also harkens back to Days, one of Calvin’s first major solo shows at the now-defunct Marc Foxx gallery in Los Angeles in 2000, and with it an assessment of the time that has passed in a career that now spans decades and an oeuvre that has necessarily evolved in the process.
Overall, the ten paintings in this exhibition underline the wide range of pictorial developments Calvin has been exploring. They vary in size, with the two smaller paintings on linen (Bobbi and Bonny) showing an (almost) classic motif of a face in profile detached on a colored, empty background, which is also the case for Twilight Glow, while on the contrary larger pictures such as Close Quarters, Big Scene and Face Paint would present a near boxed-in effect as the entire surface of the canvas is entirely taken by giant faces. Calvin’s paintings have often been described as the epitome of cool or even hipness, when in reality the overall general effect is rather uncanny, a mix of seductive strangeness and humble radicalism in which vibrant, bright colors and schematic giant faces collide to pull the viewer in. To arrive at this brilliant moment in his career, day after day after day Calvin moves painting forward. Let us only hope, in the immortal words of seminal German band Can, that future days will look ever so bright and bring us even more of Calvin’s painting:
I don’t have to say no more
You know what I’m aiming for Don’t care if I break a law
I want more and more and more.
Almine Rech opened its doors on April 1, 1997 in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. Focusing on Californian Minimal Art, Perceptual Art and Conceptual Art, the gallery represents artists such as James Turrell, John McCracken and Joseph Kosuth. In addition to its internationally renowned artists, both established and emerging, the gallery has always been committed to supporting new artists to join the gallery's exhibition program, with a particular focus on painters.
In 2006, the gallery moved to a larger two-story space in the Marais, and in 2008 inaugurated a second exhibition space of 1000 m2 in Brussels. In March 2013, Almine Rech moved to 64, rue de Turenne. After London, she also opened her first exhibition space in the United States in 2016. In 2019, Almine Rech will set up shop in Shanghai. In January 2021, Almine Rech opens a second Parisian space in the 8th arrondissement, avenue Matignon.
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The estate of Karel Appel • John M Armleder • Farah Atassi • Miquel Barceló • Jean-Baptiste Bernadet • Matthias Bitzer • Brian Calvin • Ha Chong-Hyun • Johan Creten • Genieve Figgis • Sylvie Fleury • Günther Förg • Gregor Hildebrandt • Ryoji Ikeda • Alex Israel • Allen Jones • Ewa Juszkiewicz • Leelee Kimmel • Jeff Koons • Wes Lang • Sam McKinniss • Richard Prince • Nathaniel Mary Quinn • Peter Saul • Taryn Simon • Tamuna Sirbiladze • Vaughn Spann • Vivian Springford • Claire Tabouret • Thu Van Tran • Kim Tschang-Yeul • James Turrell • Tursic & Mille • De Wain Valentine • The estate of Tom Wesselmann • Chloe Wise • Alexandre Lenoir