6 - 30 April 2018

Marvin Gardens is pleased to announce the opening of Pictures From My Dream, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based painter Sebastian Gladstone.

The works in this exhibition represent a “back-to-basics” approach to painterly process for Gladstone, a transition that began in late 2016. Prompted in no small part by the disheartenment following the results of that year’s presidential election, the move was made in an effort to escape external context and the chaos of the outside world, with a simpler, more pared down approach to art making acting as a form of emotional catharsis.

Loosely inspired by a recurring dream wherein the artist would wake in the middle of the night at his childhood home only to step outside and find everything ablaze, Gladstone channels the anxiety of those hallucinations with intense color and echoed forms. While akin to the color-blocking of Japanese woodblock prints or the oft overlooked backgrounds of Renaissance paintings, Gladstone’s formally reserved works are created through many laborious layerings of near translucent paint. Though elements of the artist’s earlier, more frenzied paintings, which spoke to themes of misguided male adolescence and a defunct “American Dream,” can still be found here, say, in the white picket fence motif, a new emphasis has been placed on simpler shapes and a more restrictive color palette.

In a contemporary moment that can at times feel hopeless, rather than throwing up one’s hands at the state of the world—and meanwhile amusing oneself with “This Is Fine” memes—perhaps a lesson can be learned from Gladstone’s efforts to wring the maximum amount of emotion from minimalist interventions. By intentionally creating a limited space for change, Gladstone is able to revel in the occasions when small developments do occur, harbingers of far greater revolutions.