NEW YORK.-Americas Society will open a major exhibition on Melvin Charney, one of Canada 's foremost contemporary artists. Between Observation and Intervention: The Painted Photographs of Melvin Charney, organized in collaboration with the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, continues the Americas Society's tradition of presenting timely and compelling exhibitions of contemporary artists from across the hemisphere to the New York public. This exhibition marks Melvin Charney's first solo show in a New York cultural institution since his P.S.1 installation in 1979.
According to guest curator, Gwendolyn Owens: "Artist/architect Melvin Charney has focused his eye upon the city. The art resulting from his careful study includes photographs, sculpture, installations, monuments, and urban plans; among the most arresting works are his painted photographs in which bold images in pastel and paint are overlaid on printed mass media images." These large-scale layered works, which challenge our understanding of cities and their components, will be the focus of the exhibition at Americas Society.
First begun in 1989, the painted photographs grew out of an ongoing project, Un Dictionnaire, for which the artist has, since 1970, been collecting images of buildings reproduced in newspapers, and then painting over them with semi-transparent gray wash and mounting them together to create a ever-expanding work of individual panels that focus on buildings and the ways in our society sees and uses them.