NEW YORK, NY.- Marlborough Gallery
presents an exhibition of recent work by Doug Wada, titled Americana,which will continue through February 11, 2012 at Marlborough Gallery. This exhibition, the artists first solo show with Marlborough Gallery, is comprised of oil paintings depicting his characteristic quotidian, mass-produced objects.
Wada extracts elements from the everyday and presents hyper-real, full-scale painting interpretations. He selects banal objects such as coolers, barber poles, and turnstiles, and suspends them on a white background, providing the opportunity to contemplate the true meaning of these familiar and often ignored elements of our lives. While these paintings create a nearly trompe loeil effect at first glance, when examined closely the lustrous, velvety brushstrokes create a surprisingly sensuous surface. This sumptuousness is apparent in the painting Unleaded, in which Wada bestows upon a fuel pump a richly mottled exterior with ripples of indigoes, purples, and golden yellows.
Working from the digital images hes both shot and edited, Wada paints many of the objects in his works life-size. The canvases are hung at the height of the object in real life, and he applies the corresponding perspective to the object. For example, the work Normandie, featured in the exhibition, depicts a row of four American-made vintage hair dryers. To provide an authentic appearance, a separate canvas is devoted to each hair dryer, which is painted to scale at 17 inches tall and 14 inches wide, and each hair dryer is hung 14 inches apart, as they would be in a hair salon.
Wada explains the origins of this exhibition:
Never really searching for material with a specific meaning, I collected and filed away images of these seven objects over the course of several years, with equivocal focus on the changing nature of the cultural landscape from old to new, and the notion of a postwar Americana.
It was in the context of current political events that I began to notice particular relationships between images. Casual discussion, in the diner or barber shop, or while pumping gas, was and still seems to be more productive than absorbing a nonstop news cycle wrapped in social media. It seems to me that meaningful dialogue in regards to politics, local or national, is often found through face to face conversation, not unlike the experience of art.
Wada lives and works in New York, and is the recipient of several awards and grants, including the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Grant, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and the Edward F. Albee Foundation Fellowship.
Wada has exhibited at museums and institutions such as the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY; MoMA P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, NY; Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA; and White Columns, New York, NY, among others.