DRISCOLL BABCOCK GALLERIES presents A Series of Moves, a selection of young New York-based artists – Paul Gagner, Karen Lederer, and Rachel Schmidhofer – who explore various realities of art making and present a tongue-in-cheek take on the everyday struggles of creative living through witty still-life compositions. Taken from Paul Gagner’s titular work, A Series of Moves references the practicality of creating a composition, with all three of the artists using a table, most often the studio table, as the setting for their wry take on the long history of still-life. These artists explore how their own movements through their artistic practice can result in a clever and self-reflective statement about art, art history and the role of the artist.
Gagner makes a blithe commentary about the history of art, juxtaposing references to monumental art movements and intellectual milestones with the unpretentious setting of a diner or the pool table of the local dive. Schmidhofer’s semi-abstracted views inhabit the intersection between art history and natural history, often taking cues from early modes of display to create scenes that are both quotidian and otherworldly. Similarly, Lederer applies a complex process that combines painting and printmaking to the everyday realities of her studio, showing us a houseplant in front of a reproduction of a Henri Matisse painting, or an assortment of snacks and books in front of sketches and works-in-process. A Series of Moves is a light-hearted and witty take on the artist navigating his or her role as cultural creator, while providing a poignant critique of the art world and contemporary American culture.