NEW YORK –MARC STRAUS is proud to announce that Doug Argue has joined the gallery, where an exhibition of new paintings will open in early 2018.
New York City-based artist Doug Argue’s thirty-year painting career has culminated in a well-known and recognizable body of work that range from pure abstraction to representation. His compositions have a sense of rhythm, as though music and dance is pulsing through.
In his most recent work, Argue integrates words or phrases culled from literary classics such as Moby-Dick to sonnets by thirteenth century poet Petrarch. Letters are individually stretched, skewed and rotated, and then each painted over the underlying image conferring a narrative to the work, elusive perhaps, a story which is accessible if only we knew the key.
Argue comments, “There are many different histories in the world, in both art and politics, and we often see things in the current moment, yet have no idea what lies beneath. One language is always turning into another, one generation is always rising and another falling, there is no still moment. I am trying to express this flux—this constant shifting of one thing over another, like a veil over the moment itself.”
A well-known early painting by Argue depicts a massive chicken factory shed filled with thousands of caged chickens. This work was prompted in part by a short story of Franz Kafka in which a dog contemplates where the world gets its food. It is again on view and the centerpiece at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis.
Marc Straus, Founder and Owner of the Lower East Side gallery, said, “Too often the careers of abstract artists are abbreviated. Often because the work is about an idea and not about how a painting is made. Rothko, Guston, Newman, Rothenberg, and Richter cared about every brushwork. Their power came from how the paint was put on. So too for over 20 years I have watched Doug Argue embrace the craft of painting, every letter and mark matter. But he is also a storyteller who in the end makes art that is personal and powerful.”
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Argue’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including at Edelman Arts and Haunch of Venison in New York and the Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica. Two of his new monumental paintings commissioned for the lobby of One World Trade Center in Manhattan are now on display. His work is in the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, Weisman Art Museum, and numerous other museums, corporate and private collections. Argue has been the recipient of multiple awards including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant (1995) and the Rome Prize (1997).