Marlborough is pleased to present Bag It Up and Sell It, a solo exhibition of painting and sculpture by Los Angeles-based artist Devin Troy Strother.
Strother’s work has long explored the intersection of contemporary art and the depiction of African Americans by the broader media. However, as the exhibition’s title signals, the most recent pieces emphasize a critique of the art market, as well as the pressure and influence economics can place upon an artist’s output.
The paintings are created in accreted layers of printed text, found images, cut-out figures, and skeins of paint which have been poured flat, dried and applied like blankets to the surface. In this configuration, quotes from Dave Chapelle (the comedian whose rejection of the commercial aspects of his art are well documented) are draped in Lynda Benglis-like swirls of pigment making an unexpected connection between two dissident innovators. Compressing these types of seemingly polarized references into a single picture plane, Strother acknowledges the anger that is so often adjacent to humor and the marginalization that can necessitate technical progression.