2 APRIL – 30 MAY 2010
Marginal Utility is proud to present ‘The In Acts Out’, an installation of paintings by the Brooklyn based Artist Jaya Howey.
Through a quiet hostility towards the notion of autonomous artistic production, Howey’s paintings present a ludic engagement with the current trends and debates about the resurgence of formalist painting.
On first glance, Howey’s installation appears to be concerned primarily with ideas surrounding seriality and the object-ness of the painted surface. A closer inspection reveals that each canvas is actually a repository for a subjective and deliberate (albeit still very casual) group of painterly actions pushed just to the point of compositional stability. Howey’s subtle and considered play with the materials and dimensions of the built and stretched surface strikes a humorous contrast with a poster in the gallery that bears a Raymond Queneau quote. The text of the poster is an anecdotal observation of a boy on a bus that is drawn from Queneau’s book Exercises in Style that is an analyses and exploration of the way different modes of speech, rhetoric and poetry are deployed in written language. Situating the project between two registers of meaning, Howey plays a game of attraction-repulsion, where the works can be read singularly or as an installation, or a silent austere hall of mirrors, or a discursive set of procedures placed within a wide field of competing narratives.
Howey’s work engages the preset expectations of what painters produce in the post-minimal landscape. His practice develops through a process of self-interrogation, developing bodies of work that do not merely complement, but often puts in question what has previously been at stake in the artist’s work. In doing so, Howey asserts a stance that is larger and more nuanced than its individual parts.
Jaya Howey shows with Taxter and Spengemann in New York City and was recently included in the exhibition “Besides, With, Against, and Yet; Abstraction and the Ready-Made Gesture” at The Kitchen in New York.