Martin Maloney: From Park Drive to Riverside Walk
Stephen Dean: Angle of Bending
 
16 February – 12 March 2007
Opening reception Friday, February 16, 6-8 pm

The Baldwin Gallery is proud to present the first solo exhibition in the United States of America by Martin Maloney. Maloney's influence has been crucial to the rise over the past few years of a new generation in British art. His highly-colored, expressive paintings have reintroduced a sense of the romantic into contemporary art.

The urban landscape of London artist Martin Maloney is one that is colorful and matter-of-fact, not grey and grim. One could almost say defiantly cheerful. Maloney is an instinctive painter whose works display vibrancy through much use of patterning and decoration. Painting versions of people he's seen on the street, in his neighborhood, in his grocery store, Maloney places them in delightful pastoral situations which both mirror and lovingly mock en vogue circumstance and fancy. His messy painting style is comically accurate, his figures are all too familiar, each one with an imagined personality and history completely unique to them. In a catalogue essay, Matthew Collings says "broadness, looseness, wetness, crudeness, rawness and speed-speed of execution-all these define the Maloney look." Through his expressionistic style, bold colors, and sensitively humorous subject matter, Maloney's paintings record everyday experiences and moments of awkward intimacy. Maloney's paintings render images of contemporary lifestyle within a linear framework of high culture tradition. He sees his work as a celebration of "the ordinariness of people."

Martin Maloney, 38, is one of the new breed of artists who writes, curates and talks about art. Graduating in 1993 from Goldsmiths College, Maloney identified a newly emerging group of diverse artists, organizing a series of group exhibitions in his Brixton home-cum-gallery, Lost in Space and later in two West End shows, Die Yuppie Scum at Karsten Schubert Gallery and Die Young Stay Pretty at the ICA in 1998 - exhibitions which have been recognized as important landmarks in the rise of the contemporary British art scene. Maloney's work was shown at Sensation, for which he contributed a catalogue essay. This show has also traveled to Berlin and New York. Maloney recently featured in the Saatchi Gallery's exhibition Neurotic Realism in 1999, where he exhibited the large-scale Sex Club paintings. Martin Maloney lives and works in London.

Also showing at the Baldwin Gallery, will be its first exhibition by New York artist Stephen Dean. Dean is known for engaging color, perhaps the central theme of his work. For a number of years, he has extracted colors from familiar objects and scrambled their formal relationships, using watercolors to turn want ads into Delaunay-like color grids, cutting and sewing flags into mural-sized De Stijl-style banners. Similarly, he transformed through video a range of public celebrations, from Brazilian soccer matches, Hindu rituals to American demolition derbies. Either extracted from their basic formal structures or the culture they come from, his subjects depart from everyday systems of organizations. Here, simple gestures propose a construction of experience and meaning where neither idea or physical manifestations are subordinate to the other. Within this cumulative approach to color and it's various states from claustrophobic to psychedelic, fluid to flamboyant, the idea of painting precedes each realization.

At Baldwin gallery, Dean exhibits works on paper and sculptures. He presents a body of work called Target, a series of paper dartboards that have been altered. Dean uncoils the 500 yards of tightly rolled paper upon which the geometric patterns of the target have been originally painted. By modifying the structure of the object, Dean dislocates the order of colors and animates the motifs, shifts the focus from the bull's eye to hypnotic patterns which grow and stretch from within the piece. The illusion of speed in a still object is part of the appeal with this series. These pieces are especially stimulating for their rhythmic interplay of color. Target summons souvenirs and references such as Picabia, Johns, Riley, and Tex Avery cartoons.

Dean also presents Black Ladders a new body of sculptures comprised of matte black aluminum ladders and dichroic glass. Depending upon the position of the viewer, the angle of the glass, and the quality of the light, the transmissive or reflexive quality of the colored glass magnifies an unsettling experience of space. In these works, the simplicity of a ladder structure frames an unstable and fluid manifestation of color.

Whether it be his Targets or Black Ladders, this work underlines the restless, inquisitive nature of Dean's imagination.

Stephen Dean was born in 1968. He currently lives and works in New York. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will exhibit his work in fall 2007, in a two-person show titled Double Vision. In 2006 he exhibited at the Site Santa Fe Biennial, and the Miami Art Museum. His work was included in the 51st Venice Biennial (2005.) In 2004 he was awarded the Franco-Spanish Prix Altadis. His work is held in many private, corporate, and public collections, including: the Guggenheim Museum; the Whitney Museum; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Yale University Art Gallery; Israel Museum, Tel Aviv; the Fonds National d'Art Contemporain; La Caixa, Barcelona;  and the Progressive Corporation.
 
The public is invited to an opening reception for the artists on Friday, February 16th from 6 to 8 pm. 
 
Since 1994, the Baldwin Gallery has been presenting new work by established and emerging artists. It has earned an international reputation as an important venue for contemporary art, with a particular focus on American artists. 
 
Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm, and Sunday from Noon to 5 pm. 
The Baldwin Gallery is located at 209 South Galena Street in Aspen, Colorado. 
 
Images are available upon request. Please call 970.920.9797 for further information.