Gail Stoicheff: Bad Actor: AF Projects, Los Angeles

19 October - 12 November 2019

Bad Actor is the first solo Los Angeles exhibition of New York based artist Gail Stoicheff. The corpus of the new paintings are formal, feminist and funny. The exhibition gestures to the legal and political construct of a “bad actor” or troublemaker. Each painting is a “portrait” of a female mythological figure who is blamed for bad deeds. Alecto is the cause of anger; Megaera is the punisher of infidelity… The forms and structures in the work were inspired by the artist’s LA architectural obsessions: the Ennis House and the Sowden House. Working with a vast range of materials from traditional oil painting to tie-dye, her experimental studio practice considers collective cultural mythologies as well as the mythos of painting itself. Stoicheff’s mysterious paintings conjure images of the future while drawing inspiration from the past. Her practice explores the intersection of politics, fashion, music, celebrity, mythology, and their relationship to her personal experience. Stoicheff has described her paintings as being informed by street markings; Often viewed as arbitrary, these markings are usually coded with information and messages such as the construction markings that are scattered across sidewalks. She strives to challenge traditional notions of composition in painting, employing brush strokes and marks that are abstract and subvert the viewer’s expectations. Her interest lies in modes of cultural production, both high and low, and how they overlap with painting and the ideologies associated with it. Her paintings connect the viewer to the strategies and mechanisms of power, the forms they take, and the powerful emotions they evoke. Stoicheff’s inventive practice as she incorporates sewing with experimental painting techniques. The artist has discussed further in her experimentation of materials, as she will use technology in conjunction with painting. She has been making solar panel-powered lights that will be installed onto her painting, as she addresses themes such as the sun and the sun god, Apollo. Stoicheff received a BFA from Pennsylvania State University and later earned an MFA from Bard College in 2005. The artist now works out of her studio in Greenpoint, New York. Stoicheff was the recipient of Robert Motherwell’s prestigious Dedalus Foundation Master of Fine Arts Fellowship in Painting, as well as The Elaine de Kooning Painting Award, and was the featured cover artist for Little Star Weekly literary journal and the New England Review

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