Fredericks & Freiser is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Steve Gianakos. Since the early 1970s, Gianakos has been taunting and reddening the cheeks of his viewers with perversions that can throw any Freud lover into analytic shock. Dismantling its veracity with a smirk or a shaking of the head, Gianakos’ work grants us a collective purging that is curiously humorous. Coupled with crisp lines that evoke minimalism’s simplicity, Gianakos conflates formalist rigor with mind-bending vulgarity.
Appropriating the iconic style of 1950s children’s books, Gianakos’ characters assume a basic innocence that belies their hyperbolic actions. Violence and sexual impulse are at once portrayed as inherent as they are grossly twisted. Working with only stark black lines, Gianakos delivers his punch straight up. His geometric inter-framing both leads the eye into the scene while also disorienting it. Harnessing the grotesque both formally and contextually, Gianakos finds a way to astonishingly marry the two.
Steve Gianakos was born in New York City in 1938. He has been the subject of numerous one-person exhibitions. His work is currently included in Disturbing Innocence curated by Eric Fischl at FLAG Art Foundation, NY, and 12 Inch curated by Chuck Webster at One River, Englewood, NJ. He has also been included in group exhibitions at Museum of Modern Art, NY, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, Netherlands, Brooklyn Museum, NY; and the Wexner Center for the Arts, OH. His work is represented in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art; NY; The New School for Social Research, NY; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY; and The Museum of Modern Art, NY. This will be the artist’s seventh solo show with Fredericks & Freiser.