Marc Selwyn Fine Art is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings and prints by Toronto-based artist Paul P. The opening reception will take place Saturday, September 9 from 6:00-8:00 pm. This is the artist’s second show at the gallery and follows the exhibition “Blue Hydrangea” shown in 2004.
Titled "The Yellow Room", this exhibition continues to explore the artist’s interest in the late 19th-century painter James McNeill Whistler. The suite of twelve oil portraits of young men, and two of the artist’s first female portraits, all pictured within backdrops of dusky yellows, are influenced in part by a Whistler watercolor from which the exhibition gets its name. The show will also debut four new drypoint etchings which the artist printed with Jacob Samuel in Santa Monica. In small editions of 5, each print is made unique by the artist’s use of heavily inked plates, giving the works a dim and smoky atmosphere. P.’s subjects, the faces and figures of young men, their poses, at times languishing, wistful or weary, are rendered with the aesthetic vocabulary of belle époque painting, whose amber and golden tones and nonchalant imagery evoke the art of Toulouse Lautrec.
As Vince Aletti writes:
"The boys in his pictures, all of whom posed for soft-core gay porn magazines between the late 1960s and early 1980s, were at their post-adolescent peak just before another sort of fin de siecle - the anything-goes era that ended abruptly with the coming of AIDS...These boys become emblems - not of innocence, perhaps...but of liberation or, perhaps, sweet abandon. Recovering their images, he's also recovering a largely buried part of the gay past and shining a light on lives that both anticipated and paralleled his own…. P. zeroes in on faces that capture their time and transcend it, faces that express something deeper than the usual crude leer."
"His work conflates memory, ecstasy and loss, adolescence and decadence, ripe beauty and its inevitable rot. His drawings are deft and precise, but they're not cool, not detached, not modern. Instead, they're discreetly, seductively romantic, at once restrained and voluptuous."
A full-color catalog with an essay by Vince Aletti will be published on the occasion of this exhibition.