Nov 19, 2021 to December 19, 2021
Opening Reception: November 19, 2021, 12pm-6pm
DUMBO’s First Thursday Art Walk: TBD
A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce Secrets, an exhibition of mixed media paintings by Gloria Garfinkel. Curated by Mara Williams, Chief Curator of the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, this is Garfinkel’s first solo exhibition in New York City since 2016.
Secrets presents six large-scale works created by the artist in 2004. The artworks on display appear uniform and two-dimensional upon first glance—large red canvases marked by two small geometric forms boldly painted with bright stripes. The word “secret” is meticulously stenciled over-and-over on the entirety of the red surface. Closer inspection, however, reveals the paintings’ striped shapes to be hinged doors, fitted to the canvas, hiding assemblage shadow boxes beneath the surface of the painting.
Intended to be opened by the viewer, each door reveals a distinct cubby of curiosities containing complex arrangements of found objects that relate thematically to the artworks’ subtitles— Plan C, Religion, Brain, Beauty, Vice, and Government. Lined with handwritten texts and composed of treasures ranging from birth control and hypodermic needles to deity trinkets and family photos, the cubbies incorporate biographical information with didactic arrangements to create cleverly curated narratives for the viewer to decipher.
Their intricacy produces in the viewer a strong desire to learn about the subjectivity of the artist, but Garfinkel has made allusivity part of the allure. Instead, we’re left with a sense of connectivity with previous generations and a mutual appreciation for the things we mask. By mixing formal painting techniques and color theory with the anti-aestheticism of assemblage, Garfinkel has engendered her own original style incorporating cast-off and discarded artifacts to explore a playful, complicated, and elusive past.