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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Four Projects at Haunch of Venison

After getting all of my personal errands done yesterday, I schlepped over to Four Projects for a group exhibition at Haunch of Venison at 1230 Avenue of the Americas, across the street from NewsCorp. Contemporary artists Doug Argue, Bill Fontana, Alexandra Grant, and Les Rogers were featured in self-contained installations at the gallery's 17,000 sq ft space. One floor above, on the rooftop, was a kicking summer party in full-swing, including the seriously awesome Paula Froelich and the always interesting Richard Johnson of Page Six renoun.

(behind the scene shot from Les via artruby)

The works of Les Rogers, whom I have been admiring more and more of late, stood out from among the other works, which were also quite impressive. Les's latest work is Tangled Up In, a series of close-up nudes. His work has been described as "large, mostly gestural abstract paintings with interwoven bits of realism." That realism, on display at Haunch of Venison (meat, flesh), is clearly about skin. As Rogers himself has written on the subject: "It is hot in the city, very hot. So I imagine lots of skin at the Haunch of Venison opening tonight, which is perfect because my paintings are all skin." Rogers' palette, restrained, features blushy pinks and shadowy browns and "varying hues of purple." His chosen pieces were largely self-limited to the colors of the flesh in light and in obscure.

I am particularly fond of this abstract (above). The lack of photo-realism or even Rogers' signature "collection of glimpses" style makes it an interesting departure from the other pieces in the show.

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