May 1–June 26, 2016
Opening reception: Sunday, May 1 from 6–8 PM
For immediate release:
Rawson Projects is very excited to announce its next exhibition: Halsey Hathaway Outer Place. This will be the gallery's third solo exhibition with the artist, which opens on Sunday, May 1.
An interview between the gallery and the artist follows:
Rawson Projects: This is your third solo exhibition with the gallery I wanted to ask you about the title for the show. What does the phrase "Outer Place" mean to you and how does it relate to the group of works we will be showing?
Halsey Hathaway: This is the first time I have titled an exhibition. The roll of painting, and all artworks really, is to occupy a place beyond our routine language, whether it's spoken or visual. We can spend years debating the semantics of the objects in a painting and what they symbolize. But the real reason we look at paintings is to enter a place outside of the little worlds we create for ourselves. However, this is most certainly a contradiction, the outer places we experience in an artwork often originate from within one's own self.
RP: Secondly, where do you see the work going next? I know you have been traveling a lot (and also spending time outdoors) and I wonder if you see your new work shifting or notice a change as a direct result of being in some of these new places as an artist
HH: Yes. Seeing places and artworks in the flesh is importantly different than simply studying an image or reading its history. Traveling has exposed me much more directly to not only other ways of living, but different ways to approach making art. I believe strongly that one should expose themselves to as many unique voices as possible, with the hope that something will be retained. Visiting a great artwork is part of a larger experience and that context should not be ignored.
And I do spend a fair amount of time outdoors. A constant reminder of where we sit in the universe keeps my world and its work in focus. That being said, I never know where things are headed for me, I can only recognize when I have already arrived at something new.
RP: Next, I would love to talk about color. Are there ever outside references or is it something absolute about color that you are thinking about?
HH: I do not limit my color influences and I see color as a physical experience in constant flux. I will use any encounter with color and translate that sensation into a painting. (It could be the cast of neon lighting on a building or a sunrise through the trees at a campsite.) Color is the way we experience light and it is something we live within at all times. The only absolute I accept regarding color is that we all experience color in our own individual way.
RP: To me, your paintings are very much about light and how they are actually seen. Is there an ideal space to view your paintings?
HH: While the paintings are very graphic in one way, they are not iconic images. They are vulnerable objects. The works should be seen over time, allowing them to develop with the subjective viewer's stream of consciousness, bridging the gap with the changing physical environment, which can also influence one's perceptions. I am not making absolutes. I do not wish to control the viewer's ever-changing perceptions, which construct the vulnerability I am talking about. I make paintings that are to be encountered physically, aspiring to raise the viewer's consciousness of their own perceptual experience. This approach to painting is not intended to shift the linear, dogmatic history of painting. It is a starting point for my work to address the fundamentals of how we see painted color and form.
RP: Lastly, we just showed some of your new works on paper where you are collaging layers of paper onto the surface of the work. Do the paintings inform these works in any way? If so, how?
HH: Yes, but it can be the other way around as well. The collaging of one drawing onto another came directly from the paintings, where the opaque layers of paint sit on the surface of the stains. But the act of manipulating the stencils, to create the drawings, has led me to many new inventions with the language of the forms in the paintings. Drawing or visualizing shapes is very different than holding a specific form which can be turned, folded and flipped to create new spaces outside of my initial intentions.
Halsey Hathaway is included in the current group exhibition PaintersNYC at El Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños, organized by Meaghan Kent (Páramo Galeria, Guadalajara), Maureen Cavanaugh (Artist) and Luis Hampshire (MUPO, Oaxaca). Selected past group exhibitions include Site/Displace at Kristen Lorello, New York (2014) and Drawings at Denny Gallery, New York (2013). Hathaway received his MFA from Hunter College and is a Fellow in Painting from the New York Foundation for the Arts.