September 17th - October 29th, 2016
Samuel Freeman is pleased to present an exhibition of works by renowned painter Billy Al Bengston, ranging from 1962 to the summer of 2016.
Billy’s World is a clamor of paint. Tender Mexican watercolors hang alongside young macho acrylics from the mid seventies, four-foot- square gauntlets thrown down over forty years ago. Painted Ladies and Farmers Daughters share space with John Wayne and Count Dracula, repeating icons in aggressively unsettling color combinations, so skillfully executed as to render them sweetly innocent.
In an unusual twist for a Bengston show, Billy Al was not fully orchestrated by Billy Al. At 82 he still dominates most exhibits, curating and combining his own paintings as another way to construct a picture. Not in this case: For Billy Al, we dug into the archives when he wasn’t look ing. Any combination of color, year, medium or scale was up for grabs, revealing some of the subconscious connections created over the years. From the iconic 1960’s Chevrons to the Dracula Irises of the summer of ‘16, Billy Al rockets from sublime ocean horizons (Lost at Sea) to the raucous windowpane Hawaiian paintings of the 1990’s. The 80’s just won’t die and the 70’s claim the biggest walls. There’s also a whole room of bitchin’ shirts.
We hope to see you here.