(April 20th - June 3, 2017)
Gregory Coates: understated --- is a continuum of Coates' reflections on material and placement. Coates has long been a virtuoso with unorthodox material such as sheet metal, wooden shipping pallets, glass sheets and pillow goose feathers and bicycle inner tubes.
In understated, he is presenting a series of small bicycle inner tubes cut and glued into small square pieces, affectionately called smooches . This series started as an homage (and marking of time) to then presidential candidate Barack Obama as YES, we can. This is the first time this work is shown in a solo exhibition in New York. The rubber is coated with iron powder, metallic paint or pigment, providing a range of possible assumptions.
The main body of the exhibition is a large scale installation of bicycle tires in their original shape, gilded, adorned with feathers, attached to each other defining space casually but distinctively. This work is a gathering or an exercise in placement. While Coates' work is informed by a painter's sensibility, this work is sculptural but can as easily be considered drawing. The title of the work is OE800. It celebrates "hanging out with a friend and a 40".
A 3-minute video loop projected on the outside of the building, entitled Self-less underscores Coates' direct approach to aesthetics, as he likes to say, "putting it out there". Or as he said in his one-sentence artist statement for this show:" I raise more questions than provide answers. "
All of Coates' work presents a stylistic difference; they are a marking of time, a nod to a past, an aspiration for the future. Without imposing one way of looking at the work - the work is personal and formal, minimal and complex; it broadly reflects on inclusion, love of humanity and the human condition.