Works On Paper: Wayne Gonzales at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

Stephen Friedman Gallery presents a solo exhibition of works on paper by American painter Wayne Gonzales. This is the first time that the artist’s unique gouaches have been the focus of a show in London and offers unparalleled new insights into Gonzales’ practice. Conceived as finished works, they explore the artist’s trademark language working across the spectrum of the figurative and the abstract.

Gonzales’ characteristic painterly style is often associated with large abstract swathes of paint which, on viewing at a distance, depict intricate scenes ranging from crowds of people to topographical landscapes and architectural scenes. Exploring a similarly wide range of subject matter in the exhibition, the gouaches on paper reveal the intricate layering process inherent in the artist’s work. Far smaller in scale, these detailed scenes are painted in beautiful and delicate precision.

By isolating and suspending moments in time, Gonzales’ work blurs the lines of power between the individual subject and the collective mass. This is most apparent in his ‘crowd’ scenes, where washes of paint simultaneously define and yet compete with the lines of the people. Through Gonzales’ exploitation of photographs, he creates a potent and timely commentary on our digital age as we are reminded of the abundance of images in our daily lives, and their everyday manipulations. The Works On Paper therefore act as windows in to a particular scene, transformed by the artist’s unique and contemporary lens.

Throughout the exhibition we tap not only deeper into the artist’s technique but further into his myriad of influences. Every work speaks its own language and ignites a different reaction. At every turn, the gouaches on paper surprise and delight. Contemplative, evocative and mysterious, these delicate and yet potent works on paper are an integral and standalone part of the artist’s practice. Allowing us to pause, consider, and reflect, they are an intimate reminder of the diversity of our everyday lives.

Works On Paper, Wayne Gonzales, 1st until 29 September, Stephen Friedman Gallery, 25-28 Old Burlington Street, London, W1S 3AN. www.stephenfriedman.com


1. Wayne Gonzales, Untitled 2011, Copyright Wayne Gonzales. Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery
2.  Wayne Gonzales, Untitled 2011,  Copyright Wayne Gonzales. Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery
3. Wayne Gonzales, Untitled 2012,  Copyright Wayne Gonzales. Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery

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