The gallery is pleased to announce Agreement and Subjectivity, it's third exhibition of the work of Mike Cloud. The exhibition will feature new series of paintings and collages. Cloud’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in museums and other institutions across the United States, including Special Project: Mike Cloud at P.S.1, Frequency at the Studio Museum, and Mike Cloud: Systems at the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery. In 2009 he will be featured in Bob Nickas’s Painting Abstraction, forthcoming from Phaidon Press. Agreement and Subjectivity demonstrates Cloud’s continuing involvement with system painting, whose concerns have provided points of both intersection and counterpoint thus far in his career. A new body of work, Quilt paintings, will be on view in the exhibition. The Quilt paintings are in fact two kinds of paintings: stuffed quilts made from children’s clothes stitched together with canvas, which serve as supports for oil paint; and screens, stretched pieces of plastic on which Cloud has painted images that are then printed onto the stuffed quilts. Cloud describes their connection to system painting as follows: The thing that attracts me to systematic painting is the metaphor of agreement: we can disagree about the subject of ‘Guernica’ but not the subject of a subway map. This allows me to have an agreed upon understanding of my paintings with everyone else. I try to stay on the right side of authorship by proposing subjects that are as close to form as possible. Sometimes I use the skin of the painting itself as subject. In The Quilt paintings I want to propose a kind of closeness between subject and image. I still try to maintain the agreement, but this time the language is something like common sense, or familiarity. My construction of the object is, I think, more strictly conceptual than my selection, arrangement and treatment of images. The making of the canvases has a reversible logic; clothes are shaped a certain way, they are sewn together and create a given edge. I think of the images as having form as well; ‘Fairy’ is something inside the form of Tinker Bell, and Tinker Bell allows me to think about fairies without having to imagine them. Two kinds of basic printing go into the making of the Quilt paintings. The first takes place when Cloud presses the image painted on the plastic screen onto the sewn quilt. The second occurs when he folds the quilt onto itself, creating a Rorschach-like effect with the paint. Printing is present in these works from the beginning, as Cloud has chosen to apply paint to children’s clothes that are themselves already printed with images of cartoon characters, animals, cars, and flowers. Also on view in the exhibition will be new photo collages and photo cut-outs. These works are part of an ongoing series in which Cloud reworks images from well-known female photographers. In this case, collages using reproductions of photographs by Annie Leibovitz will be exhibited alongside the pages from which the reproductions were cut; however, Cloud has created a new binding for these pages, forming them them into a new book of his own making.
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