Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting

Jan 21, 2011 - May 1, 2011

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Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography. 

 

Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography. 

 

Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography. 

 

Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography. 

 

Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography. 

 

Richard Aldrich

Slide Painting #4 (Six Colors from St. Louis Performance) [detail], 2010. Photographic slide on linen with electrical components, 84 x 58 inches. Courtesy of the artist, photo by Torno Brothers Photography.

 

Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography. 

 

Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography. 

 

Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography. 

 

Edouard Vuillard, French, 1868–1940, K.X. Roussel Reading, c.1904. Oil on cardboard, 17 1/4 x 21 1/2 inches. Collection of the Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of Mr. Richard K. Weil 713:1961. Photo by Torno Brothers Photography. 

 

Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography. 

 

Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography.   Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography.  Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography.  Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography.  Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography.  Richard Aldrich Slide Painting #4 (Six Colors from St. Louis Performance) [detail], 2010. Photographic slide on linen with electrical components, 84 x 58 inches. Courtesy of the artist, photo by Torno Brothers Photography.  Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography.  Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography.  Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography.  Edouard Vuillard, French, 1868–1940, K.X. Roussel Reading, c.1904. Oil on cardboard, 17 1/4 x 21 1/2 inches. Collection of the Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of Mr. Richard K. Weil 713:1961. Photo by Torno Brothers Photography.   Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2011. Photo by Torno Brothers photography.  

Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting is curated by Laura Fried, Associate Curator, and organized by CAM.

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Artist Talks
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Exhibition Guide
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Characterized by strategic use of forms and materials, the paintings of Richard Aldrich encompass effusive abstractions, sculptural workings, drawn or printed text, collage, and graphic, often humorous, figuration. The ability to communicate everyday experience lies at the heart of his pursuit, and with a sincere, unflinching curiosity in the possibilities for pictorial form, he looks for new modes of making and looking at painting.

Aldrich frequently integrates actual objects in his works — such as canvas scraps or book pages — but his references, both intimate and decidedly literary, also draw beyond the walls of his studio to include the personal relationships, music, poetry, and art that make up his world. Infused with a subtle humor and a fondness for visual play, these disparate gestures coexist and intersect from one painting to the next, revealing an intricate system and distinctive method of thinking, seeing, and making. For his first solo museum exhibition–foregrounding the breadth of his aesthetic investigations and ambitious inventions for the medium — the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis presents twenty of Aldrich’s large-scale works.

Aldrich has chosen the sweeping category of “19th Century French Painting” to describe four works he has selected from the permanent collection of the Saint Louis Art Museum to display beside his own. In a provocative and unconventional gesture, he offers the viewer an experimental exhibition space to explore complicated ideas about style, history, and the ways in which life and art can be inextricably linked. Here Aldrich brings together three artists he admires — Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, and the Irish portraitist Sir William Orpen — whose works attend to the immediate and meaningful representation of life. While this impulse is echoed in Aldrich’s own abstractions, this pairing is not intended to suggest technical or visual similarities between his paintings and those of his predecessors. Instead, he proposes that the unexpected presence of the past can refocus our encounter with subject and form in the present. In doing so, Aldrich tests the relationship between art-making and artistic discourse, encouraging the viewer to consider how a work of art is made, experienced, and how it lives in the world.

Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting is curated by Laura Fried, Associate Curator, and organized by CAM.

Sponsors

Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting is generously supported by Mari Carmen and Jose R. Alvarez; Manuel Gonzalez and Avo Samuelian; Craig Jacobson; Scott J. Lorinsky; Carlo Bronzini Vender; and Maxwell Graham. Special thanks to Bortolami Gallery, New York, and Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles.

Major exhibition support is provided by Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield; William E. Weiss Foundation; and Nancy Reynolds and Dwyer Brown. General operating support is provided by Whitaker Foundation; Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; Missouri Cultural Trust; Regional Arts Commission; Bank of America Charitable Foundation; The Trio Foundation of St. Louis; Arts and Education Council; and members of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.