My children had a video game called Mario Kart and if you could survive one level you moved on to an even more absurd and difficult one with crazier obstacles on and on until you reached Rainbow Road where you found the road was just ribbons of color in deep space with no guardrail or breaks where the only skill required was the ability to let go.
(Joe Andoe, 2017)
The gallery is pleased to present its first exhibition of the American and New York based artist Joe Andoe (1955, USA).
Joe Andoe’s body of work includes paintings, drawings, videos, and writings. His figurative painting is almost exclusively monochrome. The very specific texture reveals a thick layer of gesso, as well as the preparatory base on the substrates, and finally the delicate layer of oil painting for a slightly evanescent effect, strangely archaic but enduring nevertheless. The same can be said of his subjects: flowers, landscapes, cows and calves, wild and totemic animals such as horses, wolves, and bears, as well as roadsides. He prefers to define himself as a landscape painter.
Joe Andoe grew up out in the country in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and one can sense this legacy in his work: « One time horses showed up. I didn’t know shit about horses except they are always around in East Tulsa. So when I painted the first one in my NY studio it resonated with me, as if they were symbol of what made me different from the 8 million of people outside. »
Later in New York, he began to paint female subjects, starting with his first love. He then painted a more recent series called Power Cosmic, depicting a succession of young women in dreamy poses, with generous shapes and "tie dye".
Apart from this capillary detail, everything in his paintings is timeless, liberating a troubling force. Andoe does not touch on contemporary movements or globalisation, he communicates on a deeper level of being, where even the most rational minds find themselves in direct contact with the mystical vibration of his compositions.
For 10 years Joe Andoe lived at the Chelsea Hotel where one of his big horse heads can be seen, and he tells a story about this in his book "Jubilee City", among other anecdotes and autobiographical reflections. He often sketches in small notebooks, later integrating these drawings into his videos, with sequences of found footage and read text, thus transforming his films into multimedia compositions.
"Rainbow Road", the title of the exhibition, echoes the multi-coloured backgrounds he sometimes uses as a variant to the black monochromes, but this choice is mostly ironic on Joe Andoe’s part, which can be seen as an absurd promise in contrast to the melancholy of the commonplace roadside scenes and landscapes.
Joe Andoe’s work is present in many institutions’s collections like the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA, NY), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Fisher Landau Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the dallas Museum of Art, among others.