"Soap Bubble in a Rose Garden" Tristan Unrau & Willy Reed.

19 June - 17 July 2021

Sebastian Gladstone is pleased to announce Soap Bubble in a Rose Garden, a two-person exhibition featuring paintings by Tristan Unrau and ceramic sculpture by Willy Reed. The exhibition will run from June 19 to July 17, 2021, with an opening on Saturday, June 19, from 6 to 9 PM. Both artists utilize their respective practices to create a visual narrative based on inner dialogue and daily life. The pairing of Unrau and Reed creates movie-like sequences that are seemingly nonsensical, yet when taken as a whole, produce a space that encourages the viewers to look for a mode of deciphering the world and communicating with it.

In Unrau’s paintings, the style jumps from a hyperreal self-portrait to a cartoonish and whimsical forest scene to an impressionist plein-air picture. Unrau’s painting encourages a game of associative thinking that navigates the struggles and triumphs of daily life. Unrau is a technically skilled painter who can adjust stylistically, changing the brushwork’s thickness, speed, and touch to match his subject matter. His stylistic curvature leads the viewer through visual rhymes, art historical references, and personal meditations to produce a visually engaging experience. In Bathroom Scene after Erich Rohmer, afternoon light gently beams into the room in a lazy moment of reflection. In Ideal Mammoth, we encounter a subject directly experienced by humans living thousands of years ago and now only available through illustrations and natural history dioramas. Through a diverse set of references and subject matter ranging from photographs to plein-air paintings, from woolly mammoths to bathroom interiors, Unrau reminds us of what the poet David Whyte calls the conversational nature of reality, encouraging us to enter into a personal dialogue with the work.

Willy Reed’s ceramic sculptures exist in the moments between Saturday night’s rave and the harsh light of Sunday's rising sun. From police waiting in speed traps, to ecstatic embraces, and tripped-out visions, Reed’s sculptures layer joy with fear, the quotidian with the extraordinary, and the physical with the spiritual. In Self Portrait with Emotions the artist presents himself as a handsome figure covered in small splotchy rainbows with trembling smiley faces, like those worn by anxious party-goers. While oscillating emotions are literally worn on his sleeves his glowing soul watches proudly from atop his comically oversized firetruck-red boot. In Boardy Bodder colors radiate from a crude anthropomorphic shape and surge towards twin dripping orbs. What is shown is difficult to find words for, in the way that it is difficult to describe how energy moves through a wave. Reed’s sculptures form a tableau, one describing both his processes and biography as well as documenting and filtering our contemporary experience.

Installation Views