Zürcher Gallery is pleased to open the 2014 fall season with a two-person show of Michael Dotson and Irena Jurek. The title, The Fury of Sunsets, which was proposed by Jurek and accepted by Dotson, is also the title of a poem by Anne Sexton (1928-1974). According to Sexton, lifetime seems like a dream, and is insubstantial. Instead of living we reflect, like the moon reflects the sun.
Although Dotson’s and Jurek’s works differ greatly from a technical standpoint – the former draws attention to the flatness of the painting’s texture while the latter paints in thickness sometimes up to the point of sculptural relief – both artists study the relationship between the image and the object.
“I think the object is a tool to get the image,” says Dotson, referring to his subjects, which are mainly drawn from Disney cartoons. “I was thinking about it as having a magic eye that automatically works for you.” The figurative elements within his paintings border on abstraction, his patterns being an example of this. A lot of these patterns seem textile based. Dotson says these patterns “…remind me of my wallpaper in my childhood house’s bathroom…or from a tabletop in a Chinese restaurant I like looking at… That’s what every painter is doing. They’re just enjoying how painting can be flat surface and a spacial device. That’s probably the biggest interest for me.”
Irena Jurek is also more concerned with the image than actually painting an object. After reading a biography of Kippenberger, she started to work with found objects. Jurek thinks that “art that looks like art isn’t art.” Something that Jurek and Dotson have in common is they don’t care about making formal distinctions between representational and abstract elements. “The problem I’ve always had with figurative work,” she says, “is that it can become very heavy in the symbolism.” So Jurek created her own character, a cat, “for its obvious connotations to feminity. I also feel that cats and women share a lot in common since they’ve both been maligned and misunderstood throughout history… We are all animals, and I’m more interested in the emotions and desires that influence our behavior.”
Quotes by Michael Dotson from “Michael Dotson – Bushwick”, #FFFF January 16, 2014 and by Irena Jurek, “Studio Visit with Irena Jurek”, interview by Kari Cholnoky, Carets and Sticks, June 20, 2014.
Michael Dotson (born 1982, Cleveland, OH) lives in Brooklyn, NY. He received his MFA from American University in Washington, D.C. and his BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, OH. His work has been included in exhibitions at Zürcher Gallery - If you’re accidentally not included don’t worry about it, curated by Peter Saul ; DCKT, New York, NY ; Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, NY ; and throughout the United States. He has received press coverage in Dwell Magazine and New American Paintings.
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Irena Jurek (born 1982, Krakow, Poland) lives and works in New York, NY. She received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Zürcher Gallery - If you’re accidentally not included don’t worry about it, curated by Peter Saul ; Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY ; Jeff Bailey Gallery, Hudson, NY ; 247365, Brooklyn, NY, and throughout the United States. She has received press coverage in the New York Times and numerous other publications.
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