Morgan Lehman Gallery

May. 16, 2024 - Jun. 15, 2024

526 w 26th St 410
New York, 10001

Morgan Lehman Gallery is excited to debut the Baltimore-based painter D’Metrius Rice’s first solo presentation in New York City: Autotune. Rice’s paintings are characterized by their DIY architecture, flattened lego-like conglomerations of colorful lines, planes, and forms. Each work on canvas is a sprightly, nearly whimsical, juggling act of color shapes that are rooted in the essential geometry of the circle and square but imbued with Rice’s sensory experiences of real people, places, and things.

Brett McCabe of the Baltimore City Paper aptly described Rice’s paintings as a fusion of Matisse, Picasso, and comics or cartoons. Indeed, the artist adeptly incorporates early Modernist painting techniques into the realm of contemporary entertainment and graphic design. His paintings stand as an unostentatious punctuation mark on Modernist abstraction, marking the culmination of a century-long journey from avant-garde to public domain. Rice’s paint application is direct and unpretentious, serving as a humble reminder of the level-headedness required in a world filled with untrustworthy images and distorted facts.

These works are of a personal size, yet compositionally they evoke the sublime scale of mural painting. Rice achieves this with shapes that meander, stack, and lilt through a clear and open pictorial space, appearing as if they are about to spill off the edge of the frame and bounce along the floor. However, Rice maintains cohesion in each composition through his unwavering commitment to the grid and sharp instincts for visual balance.

D’Metrius Rice (born Silver Spring, MD, 1981) is a Baltimore-based artist who holds a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University (2004). His art has been featured in numerous group exhibitions across the United States and internationally, including museum shows like “Mickalene Thomas: A Moment’s Pleasure” at the Baltimore Museum of Art (MD) and “A Shape That Stands Up” at the Hammer Museum (CA). He has held solo and two-person exhibitions at galleries such as Hancock Solar Gallery (MD) and Resort Gallery (MD), and his artworks are held by esteemed corporate collections, as well as by prominent musicians. Rice has also created site-specific installations at The Whole Gallery (MD) and The Hexagon (MD). He has been featured twice in New American Paintings (2013 & 2022).

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