FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Zach Seeger and Amie Cunat, Field Days
September 13th – October 14th, 2018
Opening reception Thursday, September 13th, 7 – 9:30pm
Arts + Leisure is excited to announce Field Days, an exhibition of new work by Zach Seeger and Amie Cunat. Cunat’s paintings feature biomorphic forms and abstractions of natural subjects, while Seeger presents a group of paintings of houses and domestic interiors, along with two carved wood sculptures. Both artists turn an incisive eye towards considerations of perception and relationships of color and line, filtered through their unique approaches to painting. In addition to presenting their own work, the two artists produced a collaborative painted environment at the Arts+Leisure space, utilizing architectural elements including polychromed baseboards, moldings, trim, and a doorframe.
Simultaneously recalling the work of Surrealist and Color Field painters, Cunat’s paintings bear an enigmatic presence. Her use of compositional cues drawn from the natural world (particularly evident in her abstraction of a sunflower) along with her penchant for sophisticated and unpredictable color harmonies infuses her work with a subtle tension of familiarity and otherworldliness. As if responding to archetypal rhythms and forms, her paintings share underlying impulses that animate her tableaux of abstractions. Color takes on a central importance, with modulating harmonies inflecting atmospheric resonances and providing a sense of momentum within her compositions. Moreover, she often blurs the divide between line and color, using swaths of color to delineate forms rather than line. Cunat has previously worked with the mediums of sculpture and and installation, creating immersive environments that depict traditional Shaker meeting houses and American church architecture; her current paintings reflect a similar turn towards interactivity, embodying whimsical and playful qualities that beckon the viewer’s engagement.
Like Cunat, Zach Seeger paints with an astute awareness of the allusive and formal potential of color, though his subjects are often representational. Contrasts of light and darkness, interior and exterior, and privacy and voyeurism define his paintings of suburban homes and their inhabitants in Field Days, lending them an otherworldly “inside out” quality. Scenes of domestic life flow into the into the outside world and vice versa, as if separated by a mere membrane, and the solidity of things are undermined, rendering walls and other structural elements as precarious, indeterminate forms. Seeger’s brushwork is extremely fluid, with patches of light and color dancing around his loose, open ended compositions, seldom allowing them to resolve in a moment of stillness. Abstract forms recalling Cunat’s biomorphic imagery appear throughout Seeger’s canvases, and he similarly uses color in place of line.
The whimsical character of the paintings somewhat obscures their undertones of voyeurism and surveillance; the houses are seen from various angles, including aerial perspectives, and the inhabitants seem wholly unaware of the presence of an outside observer. Seeger captures the messiness of life in his work, and his technique functions as a sort of physical analogue of its constant flux. The barriers between the household and the outside world are dissolved, with each spilling
into the other, a statement on the impossibility of compartmentalizing the roaring stream of life. His scultpures, “Mother” and “Drunk Pikachu”, diverge from the domestic subjects of the paintings, instead focusing on cultural tropes and symbols. “Mother” recalls prehistoric representations of the female form, while “Drunk Pikachu” distorts the popular character into an absurd oddity.
Zach Seeger is a painter and sculptor working in Brooklyn and upstate New York. He received his BFA from Binghamton University and MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has exhibited in the stARTup Fair LA, Artspace Tetra in Fukoka, Japan and Life on Mars Gallery, Brooklyn. He has taught 3D Design, sculpture, painting, drawing and graphic design at Brown University, Berkeley College and Binghamton University. He was the director of This Friday or Next Friday gallery in DUMBO, Brooklyn from 2013-2017.
Amie Cunat (b. 1986, McHenry, IL) is a Japanese-American artist, whose paintings and installations utilize biomorphic forms and vibrant hues to present parallels between abstraction and perception. She received her MFA from Cornell University, a Post-Baccalaureate in Painting and Drawing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her BA in Visual Arts and Art History from Fordham University. Cunat has had solo exhibitions in New York and abroad at Victori + Mo, The Knockdown Center, Sunroom Project Space at Wave Hill, The Cooper Union, AIRY Gallery, among others. Recent group exhibitions include C+C: Kat Chamberlin and Amie Cunat at Spring Break Art Show in New York, NY, Western Decoy at No Place Gallery in Columbus, OH and Sine Gallery: Berlin at tête, Berlin, Germany. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, ARTnews, Artsy, Artnet News, Two Coats of Paint, Bedford+Bowery and Hyperallergic. Cunat lives and works in New York, NY.