I tell Audrey that the foating oblong and spherical shapes in her paintings remind me of the air-brushed, photo-perfect marzipan fruits we’d once bought from an old-school Italian bakery in Ridgewood, or perhaps Bushwick. They both have the same powder-sheen shine, fnd animation through their shadow. I do not realize until I see them scattered across her canvases, how many vantage points I have been missing in quarantine–the ability to see things fattened, removed, from afar, in motion.
In Sana Sana, we see things from the perspective of the woman with a lace-scrap rose featured in a work titled “Do you see me?” Sighing against cascading patchworked neutrals, her pursed lips propose that she’s watching something idly through a window, or on a screen, daydreaming. I imagine the stories of these paintings to be narrated through her. She has, in this exhibition, answered a question about the upheaval of the past 6-months that seems impossible in its simplicity: what did you see?
In Audrey’s painting’s, I see New York, a city made alien through isolation. The glowing orbs I took for uncanny fruits also suggest huddled heads, seen from above. They imply crowds, which we are no longer allowed to have, and conspiracy, which we have too much of. The line between building and body wavers here. The heads reappear, more densely and vertically-oriented in other places to form something like towering buildings that make up something like a Manhattan skyline.
I see children, the terrifying inconvenience of them. The glue and labor-laden posters they make to thank essential workers. I can hear them, of-center on their Zoom screen, asking Ms. Audrey “am I done?” Even when absent, children and the dulled, animated, shorthand of cartoon language they’re given to describe their worlds remains. A kind of emotionally-resonant residue visible to anyone who has ever read a book by Richard Scarry.
In Audrey’s paintings, I see baubles. Pieces of hard candy that have been licked shiny. Creamsicled bubbles that slick, have had their ephemerality dutifully hand-painted away. There is an anxiety, in some of them, that things so tender tend not to hold. Ours was a year of bearing witness, of peeling back to reveal structures, inner-workings and interdependencies late-capitalism had thought disappeared. – Delali Ayivor
The text is excerpted from an upcoming collaborative book by Ayivor and Gair to be published by the gallery’s new publication house Sapp Press.
Audrey Gair (B. 1992, Miami, FL) is a painter based in Queens, New York. This is her frst solo exhibition at King’s Leap. Her varied approach across canvases, trading tempo, style, and tone, are distinctly personal approaches to painting that serve to mirror the inner and outer experience of urban living. Through geometric abstraction and monochromatic surfaces, Gair imagines her paintings as theatrical stages for fragmented stories to take shape. Repeating symbols and icons, such as houses, molecules, and lace scraps foat in her foregrounds; words and phrases, such as “patience,” appear, reappear, and disappear across canvases. Gair’s work refects upon the claustrophobia of city living, and the infrastructures of social welfare through, but not limited to, a child’s point of view. The results impound perspectives, narratives, and art history within the picture plane. Previous exhibitions include a two-person with Allen Brewer at the gallery in 2019, and Percolate (Anything You Want To Call It) a collaborative three person exhibition with Natalia Arias and Marines Montalvo organized on behalf of the Bas Fisher Invitational, at Mango’s Tropical Café, Miami, FL.
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