Celeste Dupuy-Spencer Wild and Blue Sep 07 — Oct 07
Marlborough Contemporary is pleased to present paintings by Celeste Dupuy-Spencer. This is the first New York solo exhibition by the Los Angeles-based artist.
From Dupuy-Spencer's brush emerges a highly personalized worldview that moves in the broad geographic space between Upstate New York and New Orleans, and the compressed emotional distance dividing her depictions of close friends and a fantastic pantheon of departed country music legends. Multiple Narratives are enacted by an ensemble cast gathered for a summer party, and a stormy sky above an open road is loaded with portent. Dupuy-Spencer is determined to depict her subjects with specificity and as individuals, but they often move into the universal territory of the symbol. Can the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway be viewed as a simple conveyance after hurricane Katrina? Doesn't the storm brewing in the distance inescapably conjure the threat of a rising sea and subsequent Government inaction? This friction between physical and emotional fact invests the paintings with humanity and signals their intelligence.
With such weighty task at hand, Dupuy-Spencer labors long and diligently over her canvases. Her style is anxious and loving, she worries over her subjects (whether an old friend or a familiar building) teasing out personality, eager to do them justice and get it just right. In this manner, the application of the paint generates meaning that transcends subject, but the artist is ever-careful to avoid the stylization of the general. Painted from photographs and refracted by memory and emotion, there is nevertheless an unmistakable physicality to the work. Dupuy-Spencer brings an athlete's hustle and heart that both informs the style and enlivens the performance of the painting. A viewer is aware of the labor and the lengths to which she has gone in delivering these images.