The Pontone Gallery is delighted to present new works by acclaimed American artist Alyssa Monks. This an exclusive opportunity to view her striking paintings at our distinctive, new exhibition space in Chelsea.
Alyssa Monks is an American artist with an impressive curriculum vitae of prestigious exhibitions. She has had many solo shows at distinguished New York and Californian galleries and features in numerous international collections. Since graduating with an MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2001, her work has enjoyed widespread exposure and critical acclaim.
Alyssa Monks paints the body, specifically her own, as an unblinking study of self. What she is most well known for is a long cycle of paintings of the figure in a bathroom, viewed through the glass of a shower screen, the vinyl of the shower curtain, or immersed in the bath. The resultant images show the body compressed against the picture plane, sluiced and distorted by the steamy, vaporous and foaming medium. To begin with, these paintings are executed in a classical, almost photo-realistic, style. This gradually gives way to a more expressive and painterly handling, which alludes to, and articulates, the perceptual distortions of the hazy, erotically charged atmosphere.
In a recent development images of trees and a wooded landscape are superimposed onto the naked form, augmenting and fragmenting it. Her method becomes more concerned with the abstractions and expressive possibilities of the painted surface, whilst still retaining the particularity of representation.
These new paintings, in a return to the bathroom motif, deploy this energetic and dextrous handling to powerful effect. The paint becomes thicker, more clotted and the mark more gestural and agitated. The female image is held in a viscous liquidity of paint that suggests a protean and fertile space. Both the subject and the painting process refer to the possibilities of transformation: the body floats within an amniotic fluid. In this world of flux, perhaps we are witnessing the birth of a modern Ophelia.