Juxtapoz Magazine – Nightshade: Celeste Rapone @ Marianne Boesky, NYC


Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to present Nightshade, Celeste Rapone’s very first solo present with the gallery. For this exhibition, the artist will debut a group of 9 paintings. In her latest body of get the job done, Rapone carries on to take a look at the prospective of painting through the human form. Drawing inspiration from her indigenous New Jersey, Rapone seeks to communicate equally individual and collective thoughts of stress and anxiety, longing, and nostalgia expert in modern day daily life. Nightshade will be the artist’s to start with solo exhibition in New York and is on look at May possibly 4 – June 11, 2022, at the gallery’s 507 West 24 Street site.

Rapone’s works focus on the determine, generally centering on gals protagonists whose bodies impossibly contort and twist up to the confines that Rapone results in within just the portray, or at other periods capturing a tender exchange in between a pair of figures. Rapone generates her performs without having preliminary drawings, little by little developing the compositions of her paintings through a dynamic interaction involving scale, coloration, sample, and the styles of the human sort.

In the configurations of her paintings, the artist populates the place with an array of allusions, pulling from artwork history, pop tradition, autobiographical resources, and drawing affect from the stylized figuration launched by the Chicago Imagists. Her debut New York solo show Nightshade brings Rapone back again into proximity to her hometown in New JerseyA difficult sensation of nostalgia for her suburban upbringing influenced Rapone to infuse these functions with subtle references to that placing: the patterns of New Jersey Transit bus seats, the Cutco knives that her more mature brother’s prom day bought when Rapone was growing up, and the rustic color palettes of her Italian Catholic house. These nods to her upbringing, however, only provide the backdrop for far more advanced exams of the anxieties and disconnect brought about by societal anticipations. For occasion, in Rapone’s painting Purist, a figure is revealed hunched about a terrazzo desk, transfixed by the act of slicing garlic with a razor blade. On the figure’s left shoulder are markings of cupping remedy, a self-applied treatment the artist has used for her shoulder pain. To Rapone, these indicators of precision mirror her studio observe, which is rooted in an intensity towards the official aspects of portray. 

Ranging in scale, just about every perform in the display is distinctive and multifaceted in its growth. At instances, Rapone has a narrative in thoughts from which a thematic surroundings evolves for her figures to navigate. In others, the onset of a do the job is pushed by formalist worries, in which the artist begins with a special shade configuration or an summary composition of designs that then influence the development of a painting’s scene. The ensuing types of her figures, whose bodies defy the policies of proportions and scale, are both undeniably present and susceptible within just the canvases.

“I visualize these paintings as a synthesis of my every day knowledge as a painter in Chicago and projected realities of women of all ages interacting inside of their individual sets of conditions, in a lot of instances educated by my nostalgia for and removing from suburban New Jersey. I became genuinely intrigued in negotiating these overlays as a stage of entry to this operate. Posing these preliminary narrative concerns gave me something new and unpredictable to answer to in the studio,” stated Celeste Rapone. 

Amid the varied shows of characters and narratives in Nightshade, Rapone probes via a multi-layered technique the roles of topic, artist, and the viewer. Her figures dominate the scenes of her paintings, and nonetheless, in the way that their bodies are squeezed and cropped into the canvas’s body, they remain uncovered. To this extent, the is effective become self-referential allusions to Rapone’s artistic approach as she navigates the complex complications identified although creating her paintings. On a broader scale, the perceived tensions of her protagonists who confront, or at periods are unsuccessful to confront, the pressures of up to date adult daily life turn into a typical thread through the will work, allowing for for a delicate interchange of humor, anxiety, and introspection. 


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