Stephen Truax

An exhibition with Josh Azzarella, Rob Hickman, and Esther Ruiz, curated by Rebecca Chipkin, Elizabeth Johnson, and Annelie McGavin, at Muhlenburg College, Allentown, PA (forthcoming in 2015).

Stephen Truax, Studio Shots (Apartment Studio 2009), 2013


Stephen Truax, Studio Shots (Apartment Studio 2009), 2013

Stephen Truax, Studio Shots (Apartment Studio 2013), 2013
Archival inkjet print, 30 x 46 in / 76.2 x 116.84 cm, Edition 1/3 + 1 AP



Thanks, an artwork that is a group show stolen by Adam Parker Smith at Denny Gallery, New York (forthcoming in December 2014).

Sunday Painter

Stephen Truax, Untitled (Sunday Painter), 2013, Gouache, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 in / 76.2 x 116.84 cm



Texts on Lois Dodd, Tamara Gonzales, Ronnie Landfield, and John Walker, commissioned for the online catalog Come Together: Surviving Sandy, edited by Thyrza Goodeve, published by The Brooklyn Rail (November 2014).

Ronnie Lanfield

Ronnie Landfield, The Deluge, 1998. Acrylic on canvas, 108 x 120″. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Brian Buckley.



Interview on contemporary painting strategies in New York with Ariel Dill, Lauren Portada, and Marco Antonini, with illustrations of paintings, for The Golden Age: Perspectives on Abstract Painting Today, edited by Marco Antonini and Christopher K. Ho, published by NURTUREart, New York (October, 2014).

The Golden Age

The Golden Age, edited by Marco Antonini and Christopher K. Ho (NURTUREart, New York: October 2014)


Sunday Painter


Sunday Painter

Stephen Truax, Untitled (Sunday Painter), 2013, Gouache, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 in / 76.2 x 116.84 cm



Half Drop, organized by Meredith Nemirov, at Telluride Arts 81435 Gallery, with Vince Contarino, Gabrielle D’Angelo, Christopher K. Ho, Benny Merris, Meghan Petras, and Craig Taylor (September 2014).















Stephen Truax, Postcards from Berlin, 2014, Gouache and pen on postcard, 4.2 x 5.9 in / 10.6 x 15 cm

[CATALOG]



“What Happens at the Spa,” a second-person narrative text on gay sauna culture in Berlin, compared to anonymous hookups in New York, published in Adult magazine, New York (May 5, 2014).




Interview on painting, comedy, and friendship, with Jonathan Chapline on his blog, #FFFFFF Walls (March 6, 2014).















Photographs courtesy Jonathan Chapline.




Legends Anew, a group show organized by Paul D’Agostino at Centotto, New York (June 2014).

Sunday Painter

Stephen Truax, Untitled (Sunday Painter), 2013, Gouache, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 in / 76.2 x 116.84 cm



Harthaus, a group show organized by Jessica and Oliver Ralli in their home for Bushwick Open Studios in New York (June 2014).

Sunday Painter


Sunday Painter

Stephen Truax, Untitled (Sunday Painter), 2013, Gouache, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 in / 76.2 x 116.84 cm



Shrink It, Pink It, a group show on the color pink, organized by Irena Jurek at Cathouse Funeral, New York (January 2014).



Install shot

Sunday Painter

Stephen Truax, Untitled (Sunday Painter), 2013, Gouache, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 in / 76.2 x 116.84 cm



Studio Party, 2014, a participatory action in studio, invited friends to dance in front of new paintings. (January 2014, December 2013).






Install shots




Stephen Truax, Studio Party Invite, 2014







Stephen Truax, Studio Party, 2014, Archival inkjet print, dimensions variable



Harthaus, a group show organized by Jessica and Oliver Ralli in their home for Bushwick Open Studios in New York (June 2013).





Install shots



Thanks, a group show stolen by Adam Parker Smith at Lu Magnus, New York (May 2013).



Install shot



Stephen Truax, Untitled (The Xena Series), 2012, Gouache, pencil on stretched paper, 12 x 9 in / 30.5 x 22.9 cm



“Shock of the View,” a text on the cultural experience and misadventure of the 54th Venice Biennale, modeled after David Foster Wallace’s “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again,” published in Hyperallergic (June 6, 2013).






Stephen Truax, Photographs of Venice, 2013



IRL, curated by Mikkel Carl, at Point B Worklodge, New York, included Dora Budor, Nanna Debois Buhl & Liz Linden, Mikkel Carl, Richard Ewans, Marc Ganzglass, Luc Fuller, Parker Ito, Mamiko Otsubo, Kasper Sonne, Brad Troemel, and James Viscardi (April 2013).



Stephen Truax, Corporate Monster (Chicago Blackhawks Victory Parade), 2011, Digital photograph, dimensions variable.



Donut Muffin, curated by Jessica Duffett and Tamara Gonzales, at the Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, New York, explored the intersection of sculpture and painting, and was titled after the delectable Brooklyn pastry that is both a donut and a muffin. The show included Mike Amrhein, Sarah Braman, Ariel Dill, Joe Fyfe, EJ Hauser, Clinton King, Pam Lins, Lauren Luloff, Chris Martin, Nathlie Provosty, Robert Rhee, and Christian Sampson (January—March 2013).





Install shots

Stephen Truax, I never knew a man could tell so many lies, 2012
Gouache on stretched paper, plywood, C-clamps, steel
Dyptich: 96 x 48 in / 243.84 x 121.92 cm each, Paintings: 24 x 18 in / 60.96 x 45.72 cm each

Stephen Truax’s project-based work brings into conversation the history of painting and the personal experience of the artist in context. The intimate and the formal are put forth on the same plane, advocating for an art that can be at once conceptual and rigorous while simultaneously deeply emotional and personal.

In I never knew a man could tell so many lies, 2012, two thinly painted vibrant abstractions hang on plywood panels. The casual installation brings the presence of the studio into the gallery. Truax’s deft handling of materials in these paintings on paper stretched on traditional canvas stretcher bars pointedly reveals the paintings’ classic preparatory structure. What at a distance are bold gestural abstract paintings, at closer look are delicate arresting works that collapse perceived rankings of materials in painting and its display.

Furthermore, the title itself leaves room for interpretation. This appropriated Neil Young lyric could be just a riff on a common cultural icon. After all, the album On the Beach from which it is derived jives well with Truax’s breezy palette. At the same time, the darker implications of the text reverberate with the role of memory.

[CATALOG]

Duffett, Jessica, and Tamara Gonzales. “Donut Muffin” (Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, New York: January 2013)



The independent curatorial project, LOVE, presented by Joshua Abelow’s ART BLOG ART BLOG, at One River Gallery, Englewood, NJ, was an exhibition of twelve Brooklyn painters’ romantic, emotional attachment to painting, their critical distance from it, and their skepticism of it. The show included Ariel Dill, Tamara Gonzales, Marc Handelman, Christopher K. Ho, Clinton King, Chris Martin, Allie Pisarro-Grant, Christian Sampson, Joshua Smith, Chuck Webster, and Roger White (November 2013).



Install shot




Truax, Stephen. “LOVE: Conceptual Strategies in Abstract Painting” (ART BLOG ART BLOG: November 2012)



The escape from the banal everyday life into the world of the ideal, curated by painter Brooke Moyse, at NURTUREart, New York, with Jonathan Allmaier, Tamara Gonzales, EJ Hauser, and Maria Walker, questioned contemporary painters” relationship with mysticism, and was titled after a notebook entry by Charles Birchfield (November 2012).







Install shots


Reproduced Photograph


Reproduced Photograph


Reproduced Photograph


Reproduced Photograph

Stephen Truax, Reproduced Photographs (Study for Ss. Maria in Trastevere 2005), 2012
Archival inkjet print, framed: 36 x 25 in / 91.44 x 63.5 cm, Edition 1/3 + 1 AP

Three 24 x 36 inch framed photographs are images of three unique 4 x 6 inch photographic prints that have been around my studio as source material since they were taken and printed in Rome, Italy, in 2005. The prints were scanned at high resolution using a drum scanner and were professionally edited and printed by photographer Scott Tavitian in Los Angeles.

The images display in high resolution fingerprints, scratches, creases, dust, and other traditionally undesirable elements in photography are visible on the surface of the prints. These elements that link the objects back to the practice of painting. The originals were taken at Santa Maria in Trastevere, in Rome, Italy. All three snapshots were taken in quick succession of one another in order to capture a unique light phenomena where the late fall light poured through the cathedrals stained glass windows and shone as circular and oval shapes of light on colored marble columns.

The images take on the cliche of light streaming through cathedral windows. The images depict signifiers of true authenticity: marble columns, sunlight, taken on-site at an ancient cathedral, etc. The originals are blurred and out of focus, suggesting the haste of their making, a moment of authentic inspiration. They have a strong relationship to abstract painting with their all-over compositions, strong emphasis on color, and paint-like blurry elements that recall brush strokes.

They have been highly refined and run through multiple professional and technological processes to realize the work presented. A moment of romantic excitement about an instant of visual beauty is analyzed and reproduced to a degree that negates their original spontaneity and questions their authenticity.

The images of the photographic prints are presented as totemic objects, the light picked up on the edges of the prints making them seem larger, heavier, and more sculptural than the originals ever could be. They are a monument to a romantic and spiritual experience. They fetishize the objects’ importance in the studio. They funnel all activities in the studio back into artistic production. They qualify the minor action of taking a snapshot to a wall as source material as an artistic gesture.

[CATALOG]

Moyse, Brooke. The escape from the banal everyday life into the world of the ideal (NURTUREart, New York: November 2012)







Install shot
















Stephen Truax, Untitled (The Xena Series), 2012, Gouache, pencil on stretched paper, 20 x 16 in / 76.2 x 116.84 cm

The Xena Series proposes a paradox: contemporary painting can be simultaneously self-questioning and sincere. This recursive stance occupies two contradictory positions. One, painting’s acknowledgment of its own history and emotional meaning. And two, the impossibility that painting can be unselfconsciously meaningful in a contemporary context.

The paintings teeter on the edge of craft by referencing quilting and decorative arts, yet also recall classical spiritual or religious imagery. Although made with materials traditionally used in design and drawing (the hand-drawn pencil grid remains visible in the final image) these works are clearly paintings intended to test the boundaries of the medium.

By isolating common symbols and archetypes from historical, sacred sources and representing them in new, self-consciously-designed works, the artist connects motifs of ancient art and architecture with the practice of painting today. The Xena Series proposes a link between the belief-infused visual language of the past and self-conscious contemporary thought.



WE ARE: Chelsea Haines & Eriola Pira, an exhibition with Scott Lawrence and Anton Terziev, curated by Chelsea Haines and Eriola Pira, was a part of the WE ARE: series, organized by Marco Antonini at NURTUREart, New York, on humor, and its use today in contemporary practice, which also included a stand-up comedy open mic (August 2011).





Install shots



Stephen Truax, Stacked Canvases, 2008—2009, Gouache, acrylic on canvas
Three stacks: 12 x 12 x 16 in, 10 x 10 x 16 in, 8 x 8 x 16 in / 30.5 x 30.5 x 40.6 cm, 25.4 x 25.4 x 40.6, 20.3 x 20.3 x 40.6 cm




Stephen Truax, The Artist’s Shoes, 2004—2009
Photograph: 4 x 6 in / 10.16 x 15.24, shoes: approx. 12 x 3 x 5 in / 30.48 x 20.34 x 12.7 cm




“DIY Bushwick” and “Artists in Bushwick,” a two-part text, attempts to create a contemporary history of the artist-rich community of Bushwick, Brooklyn, analyze how the neighborhood has transformed from 1999—2011, and figure out what artists are doing there now, published in The Brooklyn Rail (June—July 2011).



Portal, an independent curatorial project co-organized with curator Janis Ferberg, was a series of video, digital media, and sound exhibitions, and two commissioned live social media performances, that connected audiences between Sydney, Beijing and New York (July—October 2011).

Portal is a cross-platform project inviting artists, writers, and audiences to engage in a series of exhibitions of time-based art—including video, new media, sound, and performance—that will survey the changing nature of performance in a moment of digital connectivity.

Portal asks how increased connection via technology is affecting the way artists’ approach artistic production, and how audiences are accessing, and experiencing this new work.

A program of events will be hosted IRL in Sydney, Beijing, and New York, and online, connecting globally dispersed audiences with new work, critical content, and directly to each other.



Project Present, 2010, a participatory performance that invited artists and collectors to trade individual artworks, or $100 in cash, in a White Elephant-style gift exchange game at a satellite commercial art fair during Art Basel Miami Beach. It was performed as a part of #Rank, organized by Jennifer Dalton and William Powhida at Winkleman Gallery during SEVEN, Miami (December 2010).











Stephen Truax, Project Present, 2010. Interactive performance, duration variable.

Project Present, 2010, is a contemporary art trading game intended to highlight the purest transaction in the art world: the Artist Trade. While in the context of the highly consumer- and career-driven environment of the Miami art fairs, artists still have the ultimate way of hedging their bets and maintaining sincerity.

How we assign value to works of art, both personally and financially, will become clear by the end of the game. Does this game sound familiar to you? Project Present’s close relationship with Secret Santa games is not unintentional. Lets not forget what the December art fairs are all about: holiday gifts!






[CV]

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stephen.f.truax [at] gmail.com