Frieze London, Focus
October 13 - 17 2015
Bureau is pleased to present a solo project by Jaya Howey for Frieze London 2015. The booth features
a series of new Narrative paintings, as well as a reintroduction of his densely silhouetted Respite work. Several structural devices buttress the work including cast ceramic frames and a meteorologically themed, London-specific vinyl wall covering.
Howey’s Narrative paintings read like pictographic drawings inviting the viewer to interpret a cast of widely varying symbols. Sardonic in their content, and economical in their material, the paintings give a wry, skeptical view of the conditions of participation – artistic or otherwise. The humorous, self-deprecating narratives are dense with signifiers, provoking one to decipher the artist’s complex message.
Howey implements hand-made ceramic frames to surround and highlight one or another of his Narrative paintings. These constructions point formally to the potential vulnerability of the narratives contained within. Howey also acknowledges the sometimes cryptic arrangement of signs within his Narratives by providing a rest for the exhausted eye. His Respite works create a dense shuffle of shadowy shapes, allowing the viewer to rest and relax on an imaginative formal rhythm. Howey’s latest Respites reflect their titular purpose as well, depicting the implements of leisurely lawn games such as those from croquet, seen here.The paintings are extremely graphic, though indeed brushwork can be seen in the grey lines and flats along the canvases. They are painted using a cut vinyl mask drawn painstakingly in Adobe Illustrator (like the cut vinyl wall backdrop along the walls of the booth). The artist’s paint of choice is a readymade color, called Torrit Grey, which varies from year to year, and is mixed in annual batches from the remainder pigments at the Gamblin Paint factory. Each run of Torrit Grey is unique in its chromatic combination and thus Howey’s paintings vary in color by chance, ruled by the customs and preferences of other painters over the course of a year. This anti-palette reinforces the incisive yet byzantine messages procedurally and descriptively embedded in Howey’s paintings.
Jaya Howey (b. 1973, lives and works in Brooklyn) received his MFA from Columbia University (2006) and his BFA from the School of the MFA, Boston (1999). Past solo exhibitions include Note To Self, Bureau New York (2014), as well as several solo shows at Taxter & Spengemann, NY and The In Acts Out, Marginal Utility, Philadelphia (2010). He was exhibited at The Kitchen’s Besides, With, Against & Yet; Abstraction and the Ready- Made Gesture, in 2009 as well as group shows at Team Gallery, Soloway BK; Night Gallery, Guild and Greyshkul, NY; and David Peterson, MN. He will be the subject of a one-person exhibition at Standard (Oslo) this November.