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Trojan Horses by Bridget Mullen | Nazarian \ Curcio

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Date: 
Saturday, 8 June 2024
Opening: 
Saturday, 8 June 2024 - 6:00pm

Nazarian / Curcio is pleased to present Trojan Horses, a group of seven new paintings by New York-based Bridget Mullen. This will be the artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery and the first major body of work in which she has used oil, rather than Flashe or acrylic, as her primary medium. 

 

In a text written specifically about these new works Mullen states:

 

The paintings in Trojan Horses expand on my proclivity for pitting figuration against abstraction and take formal clarity to new degrees. Like previous bodies of work, these paintings maintain a position of bipolarity: figures’ moods waver between exhausted and exalted, nefarious and playful, caged and protected, aimless and directed, clenched and hugged, and self-forgetting and sharing. Unlike previous bodies of work, figures appear less abstract and noticeably distinct from their grounds, reflexively signaling narrative cues. This legibility is a ruse. Instead of delivering clear meaning, the paintings in Trojan Horses summon a quality of entanglement—they speak to the way things can be inextricably connected despite appearing otherwise. 

 

I use painting like a foil or a Rorschach, I treat it like a moving cloud—not sketching figures at the start but finding imagery through the repurposing of initial abstractions. Painting is less a transcript of an idea and more a loop of mutation, with the impetus that started a painting changing over the course of its becoming. For me, the whole point of painting is to be in the mud with ideas previously uncoupled. Painting as instigator, infiltrator, revelator—equal parts randomness with its necessary constraints and equal parts intentionality. Via this free-associative process, I ‘Trojan horse’ ideas and feelings into a painting, and in turn the painting becomes a Trojan horse for things that can’t be fully grasped by language alone. 

 

Mullen’s newest paintings pursue a sense of indeterminacy. In Builder’s Arms, for example, the figure emerges from a magenta abyss behind the grid or scaffold we assume they have built. Spent by the effort or taking a pause, the figure slumps forward, held by a large spider web that weaves in and out of the structure, immobilizing them. Neither caught nor complicit, the figure’s arm ends in a willful fist, an apt metaphor for the way that art consumes the artist even as it offers a means for realization. Mullen’s work is a recognition of the double-sided character of desire—of the anxious hope, painful pleasure, and inextricable entanglement that it holds in tension—a Trojan horse of Trojan horses. 

 

 

 

Artist ( Description ): 

Bridget Mullen holds an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and a BAE from Drake University. She has been awarded residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Headlands Center for the Arts, The Jan Van Eyck Academie, The Lighthouse Works, Roswell Artist-In-Residence Program, The Fine Arts Work Center, MacDowell, and Yaddo. Her recent solo exhibitions include Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, CA; Nathalie Karg, New York, NY; Helena Anrather, New York, NY; and Annet Gelink, Amsterdam, Netherlands; and recent group exhibitions include Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND; Bradley Ertaskiran, Montréal, Canada; Fabian Lang, Zürich, Switzerland; Wild Palms, Düsseldorf, Germany; Hesse Flatow, New York, NY; Venus Over Manhattan, New York, NY; Fahrenheit Madrid, Madrid, Spain; and L21, Mallorca, Spain. She is the 2022 recipient of the Chiaro Award from Headlands Center for the Arts, a 2021 recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Painting Fellowship, and a 2017–2018 recipient of a studio from the Sharpe-Walentas Studio ProgramMullen’s work has been featured in Artforum, The Brooklyn Rail, Juxtapoz, Maake Magazine, Hyperallergic, and ArtMaze. Her work is in the collections of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art in Roswell, NM, and the Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum, Long Beach, CA.
 

In 2023, Mullen released Birthday, a 120-page monograph co-published by Nazarian / Curcio and  Brussels and Mexico City-based ZOLO Press, featuring the ongoing series of the same name and including a conversation between Mullen and fellow artist Lucas Blalock.

Venue ( Address ): 

616 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90036. 

Nazarian / Curcio , Los Angeles

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