A painter working with figuration and abstraction, deploying graphic strategies rooted in photography and print media, Wayne Gonzales’s complex artistic practice has spanned over twenty-five years.
Though they are visually inviting, his paintings remain open and elusive, characterised by layered subject matter and a sharp worldview, with political themes lurking beneath their meticulous surfaces.
Crowd, a new series of five copperplate etchings, expresses Gonzales’s ongoing fascination with the theme of our culture’s indeterminate mass. These prints show a group of houses (inspired by a Walker Evans photograph from the 1936 series American Photographs), a group of people bathing, parked cars, groups of people sitting and standing at the edge of a forest, perhaps waiting for a concert, a meeting, or a picnic. As with Gonzales’s large scale paintings, these images leave the viewer with more questions than answers. Technically, they are a series of landscapes, however these pictures seem to have been jarringly pried loose from genre and their original contexts—less appropriated than re-authored. In their detached state of beauty, this work suggests a burnished and weary reportage on our collective state of being. For this series of etchings—the artist’s first in over XX years, he applied scratches and cross-hatching directly to the copper plates to provide a diffused sense of light and dark, which paradoxically seems to add detail to the images. The portfolio’s five works take on a surprising and dynamic unity, despite the disparate content seen in each individual “frame.”
Wayne Gonzales was born in New Orleans, and lives and works in New York City. His work has been exhibited in numerous one-person and group shows internationally, and is in the collections of The Whitney Museum NY, the MFA Boston, the Guggenheim Museum NY, and the Hirschhorn Museum Washington.
A portfolio of five copper plate etchings printed on Hahnemühle 300 gsm, in a linen box.
SHEET: 18 x 14 IN (45,70 x 35,55 cm).
IMAGE: 8 x 8 IN (20,30 x 20,30 cm).
Printed by Greg Burnet, New York.
Published in 2014.
Edition: 40 copies (+ 10 A.P.'s)
Signed and numbered 1/40 to 40/40.