Marlborough is pleased to present the first UK solo exhibition of new abstract paintings by New York-based artist Greg Bogin. While Bogin’s message always leans toward to the positive, with joyful geometric abstractions in brightly colored stripes and chromatic fades, we find the artist in a moment of soul searching. As a politically active citizen, Bogin’s role as a non-narrative artist has occasioned an existential conundrum: What meaning can these works hold in contrast to the current rearrangement of the United States’ DNA? In what way can abstraction signal an engagement of criticality in politically divisive times?
While the sheer positivity of hot pink is undeniable, and the well documented vogue for self-care lends societal value to pleasure, there is present in these new works a more subtle commentary. In several instances, the sturdy geometry of Modernism is literally breached with holes, suggesting a puncturing of the stability of an old order, his typically smiling stripes turn to frowns like the comedy and tragedy of theatrical masks, and a tachometer-shaped work revs well over the redline. Taken together we see a typically American positivity, rooted in industrial and commercial strategies of refined surface and high-key color, begin to erode and overheat.
What’s certain is Bogin’s unwavering commitment to the quality and loving care by which these shaped panels are constructed. Stretched with canvas by hand in hundreds of pleated folds, and sprayed and clear-coated to a seductive sheen, they blur boundaries between painting and sculpture. Color and line combine with a curious, softened geometry to achieve an aura of comforting approachability that soothes—even as the artist shoulders the inescapable weight of reality.