Menu

  • Art
  • Lifestyle
  • Fashion
  • Design
  • Sustainability
  • Homepage
  • Whitewall Presents
  • Whitewaller
  • Insiders

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe to the Magazine
TOD_S ARIA D_ITALIA_BOOK COVER

Presents

TOD_S ARIA D_ITALIA_BOOK COVER
Wolfgang Tillmans

San Francisco

FOG Design+Art 2023
Wolfgang Tillmans
Maria SharapovaMaria Sharapova

Newsletter

Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.

Ok
Richard AldrichRichard Aldrich
Richard Aldrich, "Untitled," 2020-2021, Oil, fabric, wood, and brass on linen, 82 x 62 inches; courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery.
Richard AldrichRichard Aldrich
Richard Aldrich, "Untitled," 2021-2022, Oil and wax on linen, 82 x 53 inches; courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery.
Richard AldrichRichard Aldrich
Richard Aldrich, installation view, "Shadowrun" at Gladstone Gallery, courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery.
Richard AldrichRichard Aldrich
Richard Aldrich, "Ephereal Gesture," 2021-2022, Oil and wax on linen, 82 x 53 inches; courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery.
Richard AldrichRichard Aldrich
Richard Aldrich, "Untitled, 2019-2021, Acrylic, enamel, fabric, wood and linen on muslin, 82 x 53 x 2.5 inches; courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery.
Richard AldrichRichard Aldrich
Richard Aldrich, installation view, "Shadowrun" at Gladstone Gallery, courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery.
Richard AldrichRichard Aldrich
Richard Aldrich, "Untitled," 2020-2021, Oil, fabric, wood, and brass on linen, 82 x 62 inches; courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery.
Art

Richard Aldrich Plays with Abstraction and Figuration in Shadow Run

By Andrew Huff

December 19, 2022

If fall proved one thing, it’s that a lot of people are painting right now, and some of it is quite good. Richard Aldrich’s exhibition at Gladstone Gallery’s flagship Chelsea space, which recently underwent a seismic renovation to its galleries, stands out in my mind. 

The show "Shadow Run" (on view through January 14, 2023) is made up of 11 paintings that, at a first glance, do not immediately cohere as a discernible group or series. However, there is clearly a rhythm and deliberateness inherent to this selection of works. On the surface, elements of abstraction and figuration appear and disappear, and artwork titles seem almost like traps, set up by the artist to distract the viewer from the actual subject of each artwork. Tactile paintings made with an array of cool, warm, and muddy colors and exacting brushstrokes commingle with fairly singular compositions, some with discernable figures or attributes, and others that are wholly unrecognizable.

Open Gallery

Richard AldrichRichard Aldrich
Richard Aldrich, "Untitled," 2021-2022, Oil and wax on linen, 82 x 53 inches; courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery.

Unlike most of Aldrich’s prior shows, this presentation comprises only recent paintings on canvas hung on walls. His installations almost always incorporate a carefully considered selection of works (paintings, sculptures, works on paper, found objects) sourced from moments throughout his practice and life, strategically assembled throughout a gallery space.

In much more subtle ways, there are elements assembled by the artist that are inserted into the context of this show. For instance, the artist has cut up scraps from clothes he wears in his studio and elements from a quilt made by his partner, which he has turned into materials for his paintings. There are also paint-dotted wooden elements that flank canvas sides, lay on top of canvases, or poke out from behind surfaces. These elements, which appear to have come from his workspace and home in works dated from the earliest moments of the COVID-19 pandemic to the present, are perhaps a meditation on the artist’s resourcefulness and appreciation for immediately accessible materials with sentimental and practical significance.

Open Gallery

Richard AldrichRichard Aldrich
Richard Aldrich, "Ephereal Gesture," 2021-2022, Oil and wax on linen, 82 x 53 inches; courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery.

What struck me about this exhibition is its resistance. Resistance to categorization, resistance to progression, resistance to clarity. The ambiguity of narrative flow is such a refreshing break from art that requires an explanation to enjoy or understand the physical object in front of the viewer It is clear that the artist, who is known for his exacting abilities in exhibition curation and mark-making, had a strong hand in the careful assembly of works on view, where they were placed, and how they interact with each other within this space.

There is so much discussion around trends in art, and more specifically in painting: figuration is on its way out and abstraction is making a comeback. Who decides this? Artists are still going to make new things, regardless of market requirements or predictions. Through his exacting approach to exhibition assembly, Aldrich has once again proved that certain artmaking procedures cannot be comfortably confined into a singular box or art historical methodology. His decisive actions make me wonder if this show is even about painting, or if it is pushing towards some other form of understanding art that he is trying to nudge us to see and understand.

Open Gallery

Richard AldrichRichard Aldrich
Richard Aldrich, "Untitled, 2019-2021, Acrylic, enamel, fabric, wood and linen on muslin, 82 x 53 x 2.5 inches; courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery.
ExhibitionsGladstone GalleryRichard Aldrich

Recommended

Our ValuesContactAdvertiseTerms
© Whitewall 2020

Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.

Subscribe to the Newsletter