Caleb Hahne Quintana, Elmer Guevara, Taha Heydari, and Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson Exhibition

Lyles & King (21 Catherine St.)

poster for Caleb Hahne Quintana, Elmer Guevara, Taha Heydari, and Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson Exhibition
[Image: Elmer Guevara "Pensive on the Layers Underneath" (2022) Oil on linen, 72 x 60 in.]

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Lyles & King presents an exhibition of new paintings by Caleb Hahne Quintana, Elmer Guevara, Taha Heydari, and Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson.

Caleb Hahne Quintana conceives of ‘home’ as a place of origin and growth – where the seeds of memories and relationships are planted and tended. In his paintings, the familiar is imbued with reverence and wonder. Rendered in flashe and oil paint, the ultra-matte colors of the flashe are dense and magnetic, while the sheen of the oil is, in contrast, luminous and ethereal. Dawn and dusk shower his subjects with radiant pastel hues, flesh feels delicate and tender, and light pierces the eye. The physical spaces in Hahne Quintana’s work, themselves, possess emotion. Each site holds a personal connection to the artist’s family and the Mexican-American immigrant community within Colorado at large. Casemiros Return depicts a vaquero triumphantly sitting atop a glowing, rearing horse. This work is part of an ongoing series about his immigrant ancestors. The glowing horse evokes the presence of a guide or guardian angel; infusing each vignette with the divine.

Elmer Guevara’s autobiographical paintings chart trans-generational growth, movement, trauma, and resilience through the layering of his familial histories and immigrant community. The idea of trace is central to his work: memory becomes embedded within architecture and bodies alike as he plays with how the intangible inhabits the tangible. Buildings, sidewalks, landscapes, and figures become containers for multigenerational memories, records of history, and incarnations of ancestors. In Pensive on the Layers Underneath, a young Guevara overlooks the glowing Dodger Stadium from Elysian Park, formerly known as the Chavez Ravine, a Mexican-American community that was displaced from the area when it underwent physical erasure with the construction of the stadium. Hot Hand in a Dice Game depicts the aftermath of a gamble that led to a physical altercation, painted from the perspective of a child observing the scene. The action happens outside of the pictorial plane, leaving the viewers with the shadows of the men cast upon a white picket fence. Guevara’s use of multiple depictive modes yields a compression of time and place, speaking to the complex personal psychology of families and collective inheritance.

Taha Heydari makes paintings that engage with the ways in which ideology manifests in lived experience. A member of the generation that emerged following the 1978 Islamic Revolution, Heydari deploys various modes of mark-making as a way to reveal and deconstruct the binaries which shaped his identity: East and West, body and soul, past and future. Troubling the stability of the systems which produce and uphold these oppositions, his large-scale paintings are composed of a chaotic dance between machine-like grids and bodily gestures. Drawing from Iranian history and modern pop culture, his extensive digital archive serves as a point of departure for Heydari’s imaginative environments in which contradictory forces collide. Heydari has closely observed the correlation of everyday mundanities and more palpably oppressive forces in the omnipresence of ideological order on both sides of the globe. As a way to perform a kind of autopsy on his own place within those systems, and on the larger social fabric itself, Heydari engages with the representation of rupture and conflict.

Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson fastidiously generates fabled paintings from an illusionary past. The work always begins with an enchanting question: is this fictitious past the basis of our real memories? Furnished with souvenirs and signets, alternate realities emerge full of rhythmic animals and lyrical oddities; skittering images floating downstream. Wilson directs cultural cues, plucked out of the American pastoral; Bob Dylan’s indecipherable visions of skeleton keys, orange hues settling over the Appalachians, and tonal notes of the string band are mythical convergences that are both sought after and lived contemporaneously in his practice. The banjo lay next to the brush. One finds a patchwork of folkloric elements: upside down rainbows, a floating fox leg, an elephant-keyboard. These collaged objects make a poetic world unending. The paintings pulsate with an energy, a fiery and hopeless quest to reach both a painterly and imaginative ideal. His brushwork is raw, unbridled, and gestural, experimental in its origins. Through a series of non-sequential and timeless subjects, fictions inspire Wilson’s reality as well as elemental principles of painting such as form, composition, mark-making, color, and narrative drama. The works are glimpses into epic, polymorphic fables and yet at the same time archives of a distant reality ever-present in Wilson’s pursuit of the ordinary and astounding.

Caleb Hahne Quintana (b. 1993, Denver, CO) received a BFA in Fine Arts from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. His work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions at Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, CA; Lyles & King, New York, NY; albertz benda, Los Angeles, CA; Alexander Berggruen, New York, NY; 1969 Gallery, New York, NY; Carlye Packer, Palm Springs, CA; Kunstraum Potsdam, Germany; PM/AM, London, UK; and The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY. His is in the permanent collections of Denver Art Museum, High Museum of Art, and the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami. Hahne Quintana lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Elmer Guevara (b. 1990, Los Angeles, CA) received a BFA in Drawing and Painting from California State University, Long Beach and an MFA in Painting at Hunter College. His work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions at the Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA; M+B, Los Angeles, CA; F2T Gallery, Milan, IT; Lyles & King, New York, NY; PM/AM, London, UK; and Anna Zorina Gallery, New York, NY. Guevara lives and works in Los Angeles.

Taha Heydari (b. 1986 Tehran, Iran) received a BFA in Painting from the Art University of Tehran and an MFA from LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; Gavlak Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, Baltimore, MD; Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York, NY; Ab-Anbar Gallery, Tehran, Iran; and Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC. His work is in the permanent collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Heydari lives and works in Baltimore.

Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson (b. 1999, Los Angeles, CA) received a BFA in Art History and Environmental Design from New York University. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at Derek Eller Gallery, New York, NY; Taiwan Gallery, London, UK; Fergus McCaffrey, St. Barth and Tokyo; Asia Art Center, Taipei, Taiwan; and Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA. Wilson lives and works in Brooklyn.



from January 13, 2023 to February 18, 2023

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