Joe Reihsen “About Face”

The Hole

poster for Joe Reihsen “About Face”

This event has ended.

The Hole presents the first New York solo exhibition by LA-based artist Joe Reihsen. “About Face” will use all galleries in our entire 3,800 sq. ft. space, with a range of works from three up to twenty feet.

Reihsen’s paintings are very important to see in person, hence our excitement about having them here for the first time in an extensive show. He makes abstract works in a new way, handmade paintings that are so eye dazzling and surreal as to look like fancy digital prints. This combo of traditional painting and a geeked-out digital aesthetic comes natural to the artist who grew up in the 80s, as digital imaging technology spread and shaped our way of composing images.

The paintings combine loose backgrounds, spray, and lifted brushstrokes that are painted on mylar, sprayed then peeled up and collaged onto the painting. These details quote painting as a genre, containing all the history of the brushstroke in a lifted note, transplanted into a strange new space for consideration. Brush strokes repeat, become transparent, are sliced and phase shifted, are drop-shadowed: the same way in the computer you might copy and paste, scale up or down, invert hue, blast saturation, push contrast and apply filters of texture to “painting”, Reihsen remixes these tropes across his analog panels.

With airbrush he can soften focus; with peeled up sheets he can make pachydermal paint “skins”, through angled spray he can pull out dramatic topography; Reihsen uses an assortment of these innovative paint moments to create panel paintings that feel deep and endless, holographic at times, and dynamically futuristic.

The newest works in the exhibition are so far out there they start to turn back in and resemble faces. In an abrupt “about face” the artist turns his attention to representation, backing away from the abyss of abstraction to look at each stroke as a representational element once more. We can now see his earlier pieces in a new way; if each brush stroke is both abstract (in form and idea) and representational (of a stroke, of “painting”), could there be a space of “pictorial abstraction” in which the duality can persist?

Joe Reihsen was born 1979 in Minnesota and lives and works in Los Angeles. Solo exhibitions at Praz-Delavallade in Paris and Brussels, Brand New Gallery in Milan, Anat Ebgi in Los Angeles; group shows at Arsenal in Montreal, with Lawrence Van Hagen in London and here at The Hole; art fairs around the world; all have established Reihsen as an important new voice in abstract painting. For more information email



from November 05, 2016 to December 18, 2016

Opening Reception on 2016-11-05 from 18:00 to 21:00


Joe Reihsen

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