10 May - 9 June 2019

Marvin Gardens is pleased to announce the opening of a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Austin English. ‘Meskin/ Umezo’ takes its title from a three-part graphic narrative that English began in June 2016, working on it without pause for the last three years. On view are 46 original works on paper which form Parts One & Two.

English’s masterful drawings hinge upon the variety of ways in which the human figure can be twisted up, contorted, or reconfigured. Even the speech of his characters seems spasmodic, mirroring our contemporary mode of public discourse - increasingly shrill, interruptive, and proclamatory rather than dialogic. At the center of the works is a story in which the four central characters contradict each other relentlessly, even before any one of them can express a finished thought. This act of contradiction is neither endorsed nor repulsed. English melds dialogue and image to invest each drawing with a psychological agency that can sometimes be unnerving.

At the same time, there is also another strong affective current flowing through the entire body of work, one that is both careful and loving. The soft lead of the color pencils and the liquid passages of gauche quietly insist on a commitment to these characters, an insistence that is as dedicated and time-consuming as the precise lines within which the colors lie, and within the defined narrative these characters inhabit.