“Pat Phillips Opener” Exhibition

Catinca Tabacaru

poster for “Pat Phillips Opener” Exhibition
[Image: Carl Joe Williams "I was by Danky and Nem" (2017) mixed media on wood doors, 80 x 67.5 in.]

This event has ended.

Preceding Pat Phillips’s first solo exhibition opening at Catinca Tabacaru New York on February 15, 2019, we’ve invited four artists who helped shape Phillips into the artist he is today to give us a glimpse into the roots of the Louisiana-based painter.

Casey Bolding, Devin Reynolds, Freed Vorder-Bruegge, and Carl Joe Williams tackle family, graffiti, pop culture, place and race in America. The dialogues and concepts they open help us to better understand the context within which most Americans live, and within which Phillips has been making work for the past decade.

Our initial intent has led to discovering four critical artistic practices that offer us a window not often opened in our New York community.

Carl Joe Williams creates paintings and painted sculpture from found objects, references to pop culture, and rhythmic patterns inspired by geometric forms found in nature. These are all elements in a narrative continuum that addresses societal and historical concerns. Symphonies of colors offer a powerful visual experience as the eye finds relief sculpture softly blended into the picture. Williams’s visual interpretations are enhanced by his treatment of art and music as extensions of one another, and he often incorporates musical compositions into his video and installation works.

Williams’s work was recently included in exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Center New Orleans, Prospect 3+, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the George Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, Mississippi (solo), and at McKenna Museum of African American Art. He is one of the founders of Blights Out, a Creative Capital supported project, and in 2013 he was a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Center NOLA Studio Artist Residence Program. His work is included in the Cristal Bridges Collection.

“Beyond the beauty of visible mark-making in hand-painted signage and pre-computer-generated advertising, my work is strongly influenced by a trans-disciplinary look at techniques used to translate ideas by way of color, scale, and composition. My current works are often a satire on personal experience, pop culture, and historical subject matter as I continue to dissect the makeup of my identity.”

Reynolds offers us Untitled, the largest work in the show standing at 8 x 20 feet. “We wear, listen and view the world through lenses shaped and conditioned by history, pop culture and personal experience.” The ideas in this painting explore questions Reynolds asks in reference to the influencers who shape his life. The words and images are motifs that we consume through popular cultural everyday, so he asks: who am I, what am I, am I worthy?


“For the better part of my life, I’ve run around train yards, waterways, and castaway city infrastructure to find space to paint graffiti, or something like it. As I grow out of this culture, I retain a deep desire for spaces where creative freedom is granted with no intentional objective; where the work remains hidden, where critique dissolves in favor of independent purpose. More recently, in my studio work, I am trying to describe the condition of a thing in relation to the physical and emotional space it derives from.”

Freed digs into the history of arid post-industrial landscapes of developing cities in the South and Midwest, continuing to evolve his personal and artistic relationship with the place he was born and chooses to stay. He studies superfund sites and landfills of former industrial manufacturers in Missouri, which have not been responsibly abandoned, making drawings by building layers of note-taking and surface treatment, and drawing directly from the tactile qualities of the place. The works attempt to raise questions about how these actions infringe upon and affect the local communities upon which they are built.


“I work to acknowledge, examine, stretch, and destroy archetypal boundaries put into place by an ineffective and outdated hand-me-down narrative. Using painting as a form of research, I expand language and understanding through trial and error. It is an effort to rid the barriers of time, space, religion, race, gender, and a myriad of blockades put into place outside ourselves and largely, in opposition to ourselves. I am interested in shedding these constructs to exemplify the existence of the individual, as an individual, within the whole.”

Bolding’s work traverses a wide range of styles maintaining a lowbrow approach to a fine art façade. With a deep-rooted background in spray painting, he continues to use the medium in combination with his studio practice to explore new potential.



from January 11, 2019 to February 10, 2019

Opening Reception on 2019-01-11 from 18:00 to 21:00

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