Doron Langberg

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What is my work about?

My work is about intimacy and closeness- closeness to the surface of my paintings, to my subjects, and to the viewer. I paint my lovers, my friends and the spaces and objects that surround me. My relationship to these subjects dictates my formal choices. In my process, I search for affinities between experiences that I’ve had and textures, marks or color relationships. By foregrounding color, gesture, and the tactility of paint I try to create a connection with a viewer that speaks to the shared sensations of the bodies we inhabit rather than the social categories that constrict us.

Artist Statement

My paintings depict lovers, friends and the spaces and objects that surround me. I’m compelled to paint an image when it comes together in my mind with a particular way of putting down paint or a certain color idea. The various ways I touch the surface of the painting articulate my relationship to the image and shape its emotional narrative. I see my paintings as a conduit between the viewer and myself, through which my experiences become theirs.

In my work I focus on love and desire because they are both fundamental human experiences, but also what mark me as different. When I’m confronted with views about queerness, whether in a conversation, on the street, in the media, or embedded in institutional policy, I often feel that they do not reflect my own experience of sexuality. This sense that the social structure I live in was never intended to include my form of sexuality compels me to communicate my experiences in a way that others could empathize with.

Such a challenge is most present in my more explicit paintings like Tyler, depicting a man on all fours spreading his ass checks and looking at the viewer. When a man takes on such a pose it is normally associated with disgust, humiliation, and defiance. But for me, that moment represented extreme tenderness, vulnerability and trust. The explicitness of the image is mitigated by the expression of the face and the spillage between body and environment. Instead of pushing the viewers away, I wanted this painting to draw them in through its color and touch, suggesting a different way of relating to that image.

Tyler and most of the other paintings in this application began with drawings I made from observation. Working from observation opened up possibilities for new subject matter like landscapes, still lives and interiors. By broadening the scope of my imagery, I feel closer to painters I admire, such as Vuillard, Van Gogh, Hockney, and R.B Kitaj who are able to imbue any subject with intense emotional meaning.

My non-figurative paintings, like Window for example, although not explicitly addressing queerness or sexuality, touch on themes that run through my work such as intimacy and closeness. Window depicts a view of the street as seen from my bedroom. The chromatic palette of orange, green and purple was taken from a Renoir landscape I saw at the Barns Foundation. Its sweaty atmosphere and hazy brushstrokes aim to charge this ordinary cityscape with body heat and make the subjectivity of my viewpoint palpable.

Seen as a whole, my practice engages different aspects of my life, ranging from the deeply personal to the everyday. I try to create rich and textured emotional worlds in my paintings that encompass a variety of experiences. Although coming from a distinctively queer perspective, I want my work to speak to things we all share such as friendship, intimacy and pleasure.

Born in Yokneam Moshava, Israel, 1985

Lives and works in Queens, NY

2012 MFA, Yale University, New Haven, CT
2010 BFA, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, summa cum laude
2010 Certificate, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), Philadelphia, PA

Selected Group Exhibitions

Gaby Collins-Fernandez/Doron Langberg, Danese/Corey, New York, NY (forthcoming)
8 Painters, Danese/Corey Gallery, New York, NY
You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, Project 68, Berlin, Germany

Rational Exuberance, Los Ojos, Brooklyn, NY
Haunted, Louis B. James, New York, NY
Nighttime in New York, Galerie Thomas Fuchs, Stuttgart, Germany
Do the Yale Thing, N’Namdi Center For Contemporary Art, Detroit, MI

Corpus Americus, Driscoll Babcock, New York, NY
Diff’rent Strokes, Louis B. James, New York, NY
Andrew Robinson/ Doron Langberg/ Kyle Coniglio, Anna Kustera Gallery,New York, NY
Deep Cuts, Anna Kustera Gallery, New York, NY

The Dorian Project, Second Guest Projects & Ana Cristea Gallery, New York, NY
Lost and Found, Museum of New Art Detroit, MI
Eyes Off the Flag, Motus Fort Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

It’s Hot Inside, Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, NY
Romantic Agony, Horton Gallery, New York, NY

Selected Honors
NYFA Painting Fellowship- Finalist
Asylum Art Retreat

The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant
The Schoelkopf Travel Prize, Yale University

Selected Bibliography
Neal, Patrick, 8 Figurative Painters in an Atemporal World, Hyperallergic, March 4th

Britton, Lauren, Interview for Fields Projects
Hasset, Christopher, Corpus Americus at Driscoll Babcock, NY Arts Magazine, January 2nd

Shukeylo, Anna, Andrew Cornell Robinson, Doron Langberg, Kyle Coniglio, Artcritical, May 1st
Staff, Three NYC Group Shows To See This February, NY Arts Magazine, February 5th

Drake, Colin, Found: Compelling New Art Center in Detroit, Huffpost Detroit, April 30th
Cohen, David, A Titan or a Toy: Picturing Dorian Gray, Exhibition Catalog, p. 7

Joshua Lubin-Levy & Carlos Motta, Petite Mort- Recollection of a Queer Public, p. 64-65
MFA issue, New American Paintings, Issue 93. p. 170-173, Editor’s Selections

Donohoe, Victoria, Youthful Feel, Philadelphia Inquirer, December 24th
Weber, Laura, 5 under 40, Philadelphia City Paper, December 6th

Public Collections
The PAFA Museum

Teaching Experience
2015- Present, PAFA, Philadelphia, PA- Adjunct Professor in Foundations
2013-Present, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ- Adjunct Professor in Painting