Michael Reafsnyder: Put It There / New Paintings and Ceramics / 2010

Michael Reafsnyder, 2010 For immediate release:

Michael Reafsnyder Put It There: New Paintings and Ceramics February 27 – April 3, 2010  /  Opening reception Saturday February 27th 5-8pm

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Western Project is proud to present new works by Michael Reafsnyder. A native of Southern California and graduate of Art Center College of Design, Reafsnyder paints like no one else. The new paintings and ceramics reveal a single-mindedness about making art; brash, dramatic and insistent. Each work is a monument to a maelstrom of process and ideas. The paintings are produced in one long session while the ceramics are slowly built over weeks; both maintaining an immediacy and sense of wonder. This body of work is composed of relentless waves and arcs of paint. It is an ocean surface of thoughts; one setting off the next across the canvas in a dense and highly constructed, colorful mass. His images are the knife’s edge; a shrill harmony, and intelligent precision. While referencing Dubuffet or Asger Jorn, Reafsnyder mines the territory of pleasure and joy. The ceramics are dense configurations built and squeezed into existence. Much like the paintings, they are mysteriously constructed and challenge the notion of high and low art; wholly playful and simultaneously undeniable. Relentlessly, the artist has continued to explore the sensations of what it is to be alive and to live boldly. The work does not pander to art history clichés of the artist’s drama; it is about the moment of now and the exuberance of life itself.

Reafsnyder has recently exhibited at the Blaffer Museum and CTRL Gallery in Houston, and has shown at University of Las Vegas, 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. He is in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, Creative Artist’s Agency, Laguna Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, among others.

Western Project - The First Six Years / Group Show / 2009

November 7 – December 30, 2009 Opening reception Saturday November 7th 5-8pm.

Jason Adkins, Oliver Arms, Ron Athey, Tanya Batura, Heimir Björgúlfsson, Daniel Brice, Thomas Burke, Carole Caroompas, Cole Case, Exene Cervenka, Kris Chatterson, Justin Dahlberg, Michael Dee, Tom of Finland, Eric Freeman, Sush Machida Gaikotsu, Martin Gunsaullus, Ellina Kevorkian, Patrick Lee, Bob Mizer, Michael Reafsnyder, Nancy Riegelman, Chad Robertson, Joe Schmelzer, Aaron Sheppard, Arne Svneson, Vincent Valdez, Mark Dean Veca, Wayne White, Eve Wood, Yek

Western Project is pleased to present, The First Six Years, an anniversary exhibition of the gallery and its artists. Thirty one artists are included with new or recent works. The exhibition is also a celebration of the founding of the arts community in Culver City; Western Project being the third gallery to open its doors in November of 2003.

Sculpture: Part II / Group Show / 2008

August 9 – 30th, 2008 Opening reception: Saturday August 9th, 5-8pm

Michael Dee Heimir Björgúlfsson David Kiddie Michael Reafsnyder Wayne White

Western Project is proud to present the second installment of SCULPTURE. This section features five distinct sensibilities: Michael Dee with his large star sculptures made from heated plastic cups; David Kiddie collaborating with Michael Reafsnyder creating ceramic platters, and Reafsnyder alone, crafting mermaid goddesses out of clay; Heimir Björgúlfsson sees nature and culture as inseparable in his enigmatic found object works; and Wayne White continues to confound us with his unique brand of humor and skill in new ceramic work (PORKGREASE) and painted wood sculptures.

Michael Dee has recently completed a solo exhibition at Shaheen Modern and Contemporary Art in Cleveland and was included in Super Thing: NY Goes Devo at 3rd Ward in New York, Michael Reafsnyder is currently exhibiting at the Rebecca Ibel Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, and in Las Vegas Collects, at the Las Vegas Art Museum. Heimer Björgúlfsson was recently in Six From LA at Seiler and Mosseri-Marlio Galerie in Zurich, and Wayne White was included in Build-Up at the Ottawa Art Gallery in Canada.  A monograph of Wayne White's work published by Ammo Books and edited by Todd Oldham is to be released in March of 2009.

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.