|TORRI is pleased to present American People, the first exhibition of The Estate of Joel Mesler in Europe. Taking as their subjects failed sports figures, these eight new paintings expand the artist-dealer's exploration of doubt and acceptance. Featuring reoccurring motifs in his work-fatherhood, the sea, wordplay-the works of American People find Mesler engaging the cult of athletic worship, finding poignant grace in those men who fell short.
Though known foremost as a gallerist, Joel Mesler was trained as an artist and has created work throughout his career, often at home after his children go to bed. These periods of productivity
are often marked by fervent output, and are followed by periods of creative dormancy, during which the pressures of career, family life, or artistic doubt make creation impossible. Tracing the contours of his career, one can identify several pronounced periods of art-making, each with a clear end and beginning. Since each painting could be his last, the work is most clearly seen as something in a semi-final condition. It is an estate-a term normally reserved for the work of a deceased artist.
These new paintings mimic the precarious existence of the entire oeuvre. Painted with spare brushwork on raw linen, they are both incomplete and beyond the fact, hopeful and forlorn.
They are certain of their existence of being unsure of themselves. Here, Mesler focuses on failed sports heroes-a paradoxical group who have succeeded by failing, who are remembered by being forgettable. Treating the memory of these athletes with empathy, and perhaps linking their plight to his feelings about his own artistic successes and shortcomings, American People presents Mesler's most poignant work to date-a humane, yet unflinching look at those who came so close to what they wanted.
Organized by Carlos Cardenas in collaboration with Cultural Counsel
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|Date:||Thursday, October 20, 2016|