February 10 through March 17, 2001
Fredericks Freiser Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of new paintings by Michael Bevilacqua. This will be the artist’s third solo exhibition with this gallery.
Michael Bevilacqua has become well known for his hard-edged, intensely colored paintings that sample logos and other graphic identifications from the worlds of music, fashion, film, auto racing, children’s literature, and contemporary art. Bevilacqua blends familiar elements into abstract spaces. His driving force is autobiographical. He focuses on what he loves or what sparks a serendipitous connection. Part DJ, part diarist, Bevilacqua mixes pop culture signage into personal tableaux.
If Urban Hymns, the artist’s last show at this gallery, captured the frenetic energy of the city street, then High-Speed Gardening finds the pastoral elements of life. Ed Ruscha (both the man and his work), gardening as a metaphor for family, and the high-speed autobahn all play a roll in these new paintings. Growing up in California, chores revolved around gardening. Families were judged on how well they manicured and maintained their garden. Unity and pride were reflected in the landscape. Years later in a college jewelry class, Bevilacqua made a belt buckle with the words “High-Speed Gardening” from the Ruscha drawing. A friend passed the buckle along to Ruscha, who wrote back that it was an interesting interpretation—turning a painting into an object. What seems more interesting is that even in school, Bevilacqua was not just quoting the pop reference, but taking it to another level. Then came the autobahn, and the promise of ultimate speed. On a recent trip, Bevilacqua and his wife took from Paris to Berlin, they hit a traffic jam. Traffic stopped to a standstill, and the artist witnessed an amazing form of communication. People got out of their cars and began talking. The driver in one car gave away apples. The chaos of the road gave way to the harmony of a picnic-like interaction. This paradox between inertia and high-speed movement is reflected in these paintings.
High-Speed Gardeningconsists of four paintings Picnic by the Motorway, High-Speed Gardening, The Mooing of the Mushrooms, and this is not dirty punk, it’s graphic production 1.
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm. For further information and/or photographs please contact the gallery by telephone at (212) 633-6555, fax at (212) 367-9502, or e-mail at email@example.com.