Artist Statement

My paintings create spaces where conventionally beautiful colors and transcendent shapes can sit beside and interact with chaotic, unappealing colors and banal imagery. These juxtapositions allow for elements of transcendence and banality to coexist. I invite viewers to question basic notions of beauty and purity that have traditionally been privileged in western culture.

In “Brain Wash” a monumental fountain cascades vertically down the canvas. At the top of the picture plane a dark, hard-edged brain-like shape disrupts the movement of the watery form. The lush and translucent paint applied to the fountain area contrasts with the angular and rigid lines of the brain. The awkward and slapstick appearance of the brain complicates the associations with the sublime long tied to waterfalls and fountains.

Drawing is a primary element in all of my artwork. I am interested in how it can encompass formality and precision when used as a means of copying or transcribing forms from observation and by contrast how informal, personal and loose it can be when used for notes or rough sketches and doodles. I use it within my painting process to both generate figurative imagery and to obscure it and transform recognizable content into abstraction. In doing so I ask if there can be pleasure in disharmony. My paintings pursue an alternative asthetic that is both attractive and unresolved.

Throughout all of my paintings I seek to collapse distinctions between figuration and abstraction. In “Broken Fence Dance”, interwoven, looping lines obscure and fragment a white shape which appears to look like a hand in the lower right corner. In “Help”, a robed figure reaching upwards floats in a white space intersected with angles and shapes that seem to illogically disrupt or blend into the figure. Both of these paintings, to varying degrees, suggest an illusionistic, representational space while also containing moments of uneasily definable abstraction.

In keeping with this interest in the tension between representation and abstraction I draw attention to the relationship between the intentional mark and the random mistake. To engage this relationship in my painting process I often layer chance paint spills and transfers contrasted by a conscious painting decision made directly in response. At moments this process takes on the form of a call and response or dance between what the paint does and what I try to impose on it in reaction. I hope to blur the line between the authorship of the artist and the autonomy of the physical material and to call into question my own agency and authority over the artwork.

My paintings convey a state of disruption, flux, and contact with the unknown. I embrace absurdity and humor to playfully critique the interpretation of painting as a space of contemplation and meditative harmony.




2003 B.A. in Studio Art with Honors, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York
2017  MFA Columbia University, New York, New York

Solo and Two Person Exhibitions
2013  Flowers, Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York, New York
Freak Out, P339 Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
2010  Collected of You, Agent Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
2009 Citygarden and Microscope, Peter LaBier & Kristopher Benedict, Gallery Diet, Miami, Florida
Disjecta Membra, 179 Canal Street, New York, New York

Selected Group Exhibitions
Cats Without Claws, Mom’s, New York, New York
Thesis Exhibition, Wallach Gallery, New York, New York
1st year MFA Show, Wallach Gallery, New York, New York
Super Sketchy, DCTV, New York, New York
The Space Within, The New Gallery E.O. Bull Center for the Arts, West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania
The Jam 3.0, Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York, New YorkSome Nights When Nothing Happens, Usable Space, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Page 179, Artforum, Brennan Griffin, New York, New York
Houston Galeria, The Brendan, Houston, Texas
Summer Group Show, Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York New York
The Jam, Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York, New York
Can’t Stop Rock Lobster, Shoot The Lobster, New York, New York
Paper A-Z, Sue Scott Gallery, New York, New York 1
Selections, curated by Ross Bleckner, LA Art House, Los Angeles, California
Second Skin, Gallery Diet, Miami, Florida
L’Amerika, Harburger Kulturtag, Hamburg, Germany
Precinct: Konzert und Videospielhalle, COMA, Berlin, Germany
Precinct: Konzert und Videospielhalle, Hooker Projects, Berlin, Germany
Precinct: Konzert und Videospielhalle, Fleetstreet Theatre, Hamburg, Germany
Gangbusters, Plane Space, New York, New York
Gimme a Little Sign, Sister, Los Angeles, California
Three on the Tree, Plane Space, New York, New York
Claw Your Face Off, Plane Space, New York, New York
Evanston Biennial, Evanston, Illinois

Selected Performances
The House of Fame, music and dance performance, The Jewish Museum, New York, New York
Trance Hunting, music and dance performance in collaboration with Meredith James, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, New York
Music and dance performance as Psychobuildings in collaboration with Kevin Zucker and Ryan Johnson, Zach Feuer Gallery, New York, New York
Music and dance performance as Psychobuildings in collaboration with Kevin Zucker and Ryan Johnson, Triple Canopy, Brooklyn, New York

The Fountainhead Residency, Miami, Florida
Fleetstreet Theatre, Hamburg, Germany
Cooper Union Summer Residency, Cooper Union, New York, New York

Raritan Review, Volume XXX, Number 1, “Dance Shoes”
Raritan Review, Volume XXX, Number 2, “Lonely Shell”
Raritan Review, Volume XXX, Number 3, “Ecospheres”
Raritan Review, Volume XXX, Number 4, “Tasco 450”
Raritan Review, Volume XXVI, Number 4, “Untitled”

Selected Bibliography: Visual Art and Music
Roberta Smith, “The Jam 3.0,” The New York Times (Art & Design), June-August, 2014
Robert Boyd, “It’s Nice to Share: LaBier, Gendel and Lokiec at the Brandon,” The Great God Pan is Dead, October 27th, 2013
Melissa Giannini, “Hear Psychobuildings’ Brightly Hellish ‘Wonderchamber’,” Spin, May 31st, 2012
Jamie Hodgson, “Psychobuildings—Acceptable in The Eighties,” NME, February 10th, 2010
Larry Fitzmaurice, “No Man’s Land,” Pitchfork, May 28th, 2010 2007 Amra Brooks, “Must See Art,” LA Weekly, June 21, 2007, p.42.
David Pagel, “When Slacker Artists Go Abstract,” LA Times, July 13, 2007, pp. E26-E27

Music Videos
Director: Feed Me Diamonds (Featuring Raven) by MNDR (Ultra Music)
Writer and performer: Wonderchamber by Psychobuildings (WonderSound Records)
Writer and performer: Terror Management by Psychobuildings (All Hands Electric)

Introduction to Monday Afternoon Club—works by Joshua Abelow, published by Branch Gallery, Durham, North Carolina