Luhring Augustine is pleased to announce the opening of Paint and Styrofoam, an exhibition of new work by American artist Tom Friedman. This will be Friedman’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, his first at Luhring Augustine Bushwick. Friedman is known for his meticulously crafted sculptures and works on paper that inhabit the intersections between the ordinary and the monstrous, the infinitesimal and the infinite, the rational and the uncanny. His work skews perception and is often deceptive, its handmade intricacy masked by a seemingly mass-produced or prefabricated appearance. Friedman’s deadpan presentation implies content and form are seamless; expectations are overturned as the viewer slowly perceives that chasm between illusion and reality.
This exhibition will be comprised of new work, both wall and floor sculptures made completely of paint and Styrofoam, that imply, personify, and navigate silence – most literally in the trio of guitar, microphone, and stool, Moot, 2014. Presenting the audience with a guitar lacking strings and a microphone with no electrical cord, Friedman gives physical form to the idea that the artist is a performer whose tools hinder, rather than enhance, his ability to communicate.
Friedman refers to his wall works as “sculptures of paintings” – three-dimensional, monochrome renderings of a wide variety of painting genres, including landscape, seascape, portraiture, still life, and abstraction. Some of these “paintings” have been carved by Friedman to appear as if they are framed; others expose the folded canvas corners of unframed stretchers. Hung together, the works create a ghostly hall of art history, providing the viewer with a hushed, contemplative environment, the “paintings” almost appearing as projections of their original sources.
Tom Friedman was born in St. Louis, MO in 1965; he lives and works in Massachusetts. He has had numerous solo exhibitions in the United States and abroad, most notably at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall; the Fondazione Prada, Milan; and the South London Gallery. In 2015, Friedman will debut a new large-scale stainless steel sculpture, Looking Up, at The Contemporary Austin, his most challenging scale to date.