Michael Reafsnyder: Aqualala / New Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture / 2007

February 17 – March 17, 2007 Opening reception for the artist Saturday February 17th 5-8pm

Western Project is proud to present the first Los Angeles solo exhibition by Michael Reafsnyder in four years. Aqua La La is the artist’s most accomplished body of work to date, comprised of large scale paintings, drawings and sculpture. His work is unveiled, immediate, preposterous, inventive and magnificent. While many painters are technically proficient, Reafsnyder possesses the additional quality of being a great artist (not all painters are good artists, but that is another discussion). What is stunning is his audacity– how did you think of this – how dare you be so unedited - how dare you be so fucking happy, ie at peace? Who do you think you are? While some might find this trivial, it is deeply philosophical.

Every painting is produced in one session – each square inch is considered - an ocean of wet paint structured and clearly composed – without seeming so, into a mass of wonder. Miasma into magnificence; into waves of beauty – chopped, swept and spread. And in the footsteps of Asger Jorn, Guston and Dubuffet, he stands singular – the whiff of history is but a footnote. Whether it is acrylic paint or ceramic clay or ink, Reafsnyder commands his own language. His sculptural mermaids are without question, ridiculous and brilliant. Perhaps it is his unapologetic sense of visual pleasure that is disturbing; while most dwell in the sorrows of the world, his vision, and the seeming effortlessness, is daunting. Reafsnyder’s work is an antidote in our age of digital graphic glibness; to make work that is unmasked, in the moment, and harmonic, is Promethean. His insistence to visually declare over and over and over, authentically intense and shrill: indeed, witness, this world is amazing, is truly mind bending.

Reafsnyder recently had a solo exhibition at the Las Vegas Art Museum and has shown at Galeria Marta Cervera, Madrid, Portland Art Museum, Otis College of Art and Design, Black Dragon Society, Blum & Poe, Mark Moore Gallery in Los Angeles, and many other institutions and galleries. A full color catalogue will accompany this exhibition.