September 13, 2023 - January 27, 2024
Working on It
By Andrew Rieder
September 13, 2023- January 27, 2024
In a peculiar circular sense, Andrew Rieder’s exhibition ”Working On it” tells the viewer about the work itself. Unlike many endeavors that may last for a specific season, the creation of artwork is a lifelong discovery process with each progressive piece building on or at least referring to previous experiences. This may not happen directly or chronologically. Arranging and rearranging are a constant necessity, so the parts become the whole. Rieder’s exhibition takes paint and other media and binds them with stencil-like forms, bright colors and formal lines. The formalism gives the subjects a humanity that exists beyond organic lines. While the organic is returned in the expressions of the subjects. These works are built in a sense on work itself. The work of labor and the labor of art.
Rieder’s work gives the sensation it belongs under bridges or along highway embankments and it is in a way out of context on a museum’s walls. The paintings are as attuned to urban streets as fine art galleries. Rieder harkens to the Works Progress Administration artists of the 1940s where homage was given to the common laborers by artists who were themselves working alongside a populus set to building schools, planting trees, and constructing roads. Being an artist is work.
In a state of juxtaposition, bright colors filling shapes are set against the struggle of manual work creating layers both literally and metaphorically. After an initial sense of whimsy, the deeper story of production and consumption come to light. The necessity of work for survival of oneself and in some instances the pleasure of others provoke thought about socio-economic structures.
The colors of Rieder’s world are vibrant, yet blurred. Modernity is cranked up. The gestural strokes of the Ashcan School are present, often with their darker vision of the world. But the dayglo, neon of the modern age is ever present. One can see the grimace of a Lucien Freud face set with hard lines but with greater abstraction and more use of primary colors drawing.
“Working On It” leaves room to consider the value of work, the worker, and what is gained as a result of the efforts. Of course, this could also be turned around to consider the value of leisure including the way time is spent viewing this very exhibition.
Opening Reception September 13, 2023 5:30-7:30pm
All ages welcome for this free event. Registration requested but not required
Artist Talk – November 11, 2023 1pm
All ages welcome for this free event. Registration is requested but not required