Luhring Augustine presents “Shapeshifters” Group Exhibition


June 27 – August 12, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 30, 6–8pm

Luhring Augustine is pleased to present Shapeshifters, a group exhibition which includes works by Joe Bradley, Jeremy DePrez, Jeff Elrod, Ron Gorchov, Ralph Humphrey, Martin Kippenberger, Imi Knoebel, Robert Mangold, Jeremy Moon, Elizabeth Murray, Kenneth Noland, David Novros, Blinky Palermo, Steven Parrino, Joanna Pousette-Dart, Ruth Root, Frank Stella, Philip Taaffe, and Richard Tuttle.

The exhibition takes its name from the mythological phenomenon known as shapeshifting, in which an object or being is capable of assuming another form. The works in this exhibition evoke this phenomenon by having departed from the standard rectilinear format of the frame and defying succinct categorization as paintings. Strategies employed amongst this group of works include altering of the outline of the canvas, building up of relief, cutting into the plane, and the use of alternate ground materials to traditional canvas.

Shaped canvas works became popular in the 1960s as artists sought to emphasize the potential for painting as object rather representation. Lawrence Alloway, curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, recognizing this phenomenon organized the definitive exhibition The Shaped Canvas in 1964. Alloway presented works by five artists who he saw as the primary protagonists of this movement, one of whom was Frank Stella. Shapeshifters includes a piece by Stella from that period along with Richard Tuttle’s 1967 Red Brown Canvas, a late 60’s multi-part work by David Novros, and several rarely seen 60’s works by the late British artist Jeremy Moon.

Works selected for this exhibition explore the way that this sub-genre of painting has evolved in the present day practice of artists who liken themselves to painters, but work in a space between painting and sculpture. While early practitioners such as Robert Mangold embraced a minimal sensibility, the next generations of artists such as Elizabeth Murray and Ralph Humphrey evolved the practice into other sensorial realms. Murray’s canvases are explosive and energetic and Humphrey’s paintings are tactile, with thick and textured surfaces. Fast forward to the present day and artists such as Jeff Elrod, Jeremy Deprez, and Ruth Root are pushing this practice further by using a variety of methods and media. Elrod uses the computer to render imagery, questioning the importance of the hand made mark on the canvas, Deprez’s painting is illusionistic and optically challenging, and Root’s paintings integrate found textiles and varied surface textures.

For more information about the artists, please contact Natalia Sacasa at or 212.206.9100. For press requests, please contact Caroline Burghardt at or 718.386.2745.

531 West 24th Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel: 212.206.9100 Fax: 212.206.9055

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