MAY 22 - AUGUST 31, 2008

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Bedroom Paintings, Frank Martinez, Untitled 3-3, The Lab, BelmarBedroom Paintings examines the freedom from history in the current decade of painting. The tradition of modern painting is often described as an attempt by one generation of artists to respond to and surpass the generation that preceded them. Art historian Michael Fried noted that Édouard Manet’s work in the 1860s marked the beginning of this tendency because it involved an ''active, explicit engagement with the art of the past.'' Is that propensity now gone? To what extent are painters in the first decade of the twenty-first century reacting to their forbearers? "Bedroom paintings", a term ascribed to the prominent abstract painter David Reed, refers to painting that aspires to immediate pleasurable effects. The idea that a painting is fit for the bedroom is a way of describing its ability to appear free from the burden of art history. You hang a painting in your bedroom because it pleases you to look at it. With varying degrees of interest in the past, the artists in this exhibition explore the potential for painting to provide immediate pleasure.

Bedroom Paintings was paired with the exhibition Silent Films. Silent Films presents films from a narrow historical period but highlights the aesthetic power of these films over their historical significance. Pairing bodies of work in two diverse mediums separated by almost a century, these exhibitions ask visitors to reflect on the extent to which history matters when looking at images.

Bedroom Paintings, curated by Executive Director Adam Lerner, presents paintings by Stephen Batura, Jeffrey Keith, Faris McReynolds, Amy Metier, Maggie Michael, Frank T. Martinez and David Reed.
Image: Frank Martinez, Untiled 3-3 (Acrilyc on canvas), 2007, courtesy of Plus Gallery, Denver, CO