NEW YORK, NY - Antraniq Gallery is pleased to present the second solo exhibition of Samuel Staffan, from September 24 through September 26, 2022. Imagined History features new paintings and photography-based works exploring themes surrounding process, nature, place, time & memory. Being raised in rural Northern Michigan, the works reflect the values of that landscape, with its tranquility, silence, and severity. Staffan approaches the studio practice like an ecosystem, creating a number of different processes that interact with each other, leading to unexpected and discovered results. Starting from painting, Staffan uses a self-developed process of preparing and painting on paper which involves embracing the fluidity of water, building texture, referencing photos taken in nature, and imbuing the papers with their own history. This process aims to replicate the cycle of growth and decay in nature, giving the work the feeling of being ‘of’ nature rather than ‘about’ nature. The works are often painted on much larger sheets of paper and then cropped down to their smaller sizes, in a search for the best moments that arise from these processes. Each layer is also extensively photographed, which both preserves layers that are no longer visible, and builds a library of the moments to be used in the photography works. Digitally collaging moments from this library, along with photos taken from time spent with nature is what creates the photography work which recontextualizes the painting practice into a new medium, and pays homage to the important places and memories that form the basis of the works. The way people continually invent and then reconstruct their own histories, by building layer upon layer of memories and moments, is mirrored in these processes. The abstractions that stem from these layered memories, both real and imagined, aim to paint a fuller picture of what it means to be human, by exploring how we relate to nature, time, and memory, and how we imagine our own histories.
ABOUT THE CURATOR: Monica King Monica King Projects is an art advisory and contemporary art platform based out of Litchfield County, CT, and New York, NY. Monica King (MA Art History, Washington University in St. Louis, 2003) has over 20 years of experience in the contemporary art arena including her eponymous gallery on Lispenard Street in Tribeca (2019-2021), as well as roles with Pace Gallery and Paul Kasmin Gallery, among others. King’s ongoing vision is to equally support emerging and mid-career artists in a manner that both builds and continues to nourish individual artist careers; encourage a diverse and inclusive community to celebrate, experience, and collect art with an unmistakable sense of curiosity and joy; and the recognition of the vital contribution that contemporary art brings to our collective society and to each of our individual souls. Exhibitions and programming have been featured in Artforum, Artnet, Architectural Digest, ARTnews, the Art Newspaper, the Observer, and Whitewall, among others. When King isn’t talking about art, you will most often find her cooking, running, writing, or playing with her two whippets, Julep and Jasper. ABOUT THE ARTIST Samuel Staffan (b. 1998) Imagined History is Staffan’s second solo show with Antraniq Gallery after his 2019 show, Eternity in an Hour. In the past four years, Staffan’s work has been included in nine group exhibitions with highlights at Hunter College, Trestle Art Space, and MAISON 10. Imagined History will also see the publishing of a book by the same name, featuring an essay by artist Joshua Hagler. Staffan lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.