Gregory Coates

Brooklyn Arts Fellowship Gallery

Apr. 20, 2024 - May. 20, 2017

210 24th street
brooklyn, 11238
Phone (718) 877-0766

Artist Gregory Coates will Open His Show, Gregory Coates: understated at BAF Gallery on April, 20.
Gregory Coates: understated — is a continuum of Coates’ reflections on material and placement. Coates has long been a virtuoso with unorthodox material such as sheet metal, wooden shipping pallets, glass sheets and pillow goose feathers and bicycle inner tubes.

In understated, he is presenting a series of small bicycle innertubes cut and glued into small square pieces, affectionately called smooches . This series started as an homage (and marking of time) to then presidential candidate Barak Obama as YES, we can. This is the first time this work is shown in a solo exhibition in New York. The rubber is coated with iron powder, metallic paint or pigment, providing a range of possible assumptions.

The main body of the exhibition is a large scale installation of bicycle tires in their original shape, gilded, adorned with feathers, attached to each other defining space casually but distinctively. This work is a gathering or an exercise in placement. While Coates’ work is informed by a painter’s sensibility, this work is sculptural but can as easily be considered drawing. The title of the work is OE800. It celebrates “hanging out with a friend and a 40”.

A 3 minute video loop projected on the outside of the building, entitled Self-less underscores Coates’ direct approach to aesthetics, as he likes to say, “putting it out there”. Or as he said in his one-sentence artist statement for this show:” I raise more questions than provide answers. “

All of Coates’ work presents a stylistic difference; they are a marking of time, a nod to a past, an aspiration for the future. Without imposing one way of looking at the work – the work is personal and formal, minimal and complex; it broadly reflects on inclusion, love of humanity and the human condition.

Gregory Coates is an urban postmodernist.
Experimental in nature, elegant in appearance his work has been exploring the possibility and nature of unorthodox material since the beginning of his artistic endeavor as a painter in the late 80s. Then, he juxtaposed various materials such as steel plates and card board, rubber hoses, duct tape, twine and paint into amalgams of texture and color. His first major exhibit at Wilmer Jennings Gallery was titled Amalgams.

Later, he concentrated more on the material itself by seducing with color and texture. To be distributed at Thread Waxing Space, in New York was the culmination of raw urban edge combined with serenity of repetition and color. Works were made with bicycle inner tubes and shipping pallets coated with pigment. As was Strut, an exhibition named to embrace stylistic differences was installed at Gallery Denkraum in Vienna, Austria; Gallery Magnan NYC, and Obama City, Japan. Coates expanded his use of rubber to include shipping plastic wrap and feathers to create experimental exhibitions such as Permission, at N’Namdi Gallery Chicago and Positions, Opalka Gallery at Russel Sage College, Albany, NY (catalogue). Site-specific Fences was installed on top of a Swiss Glacier, Verbier, Switzerland (catalogue) and Twenty at Kamigamo Shrine, Kyoto Japan, making Coates the first American to install work in this UNESO world heritage site. Coates never shies away from experimenting and collaborating as he did with friends from Japan such as for Stage with Aya Iida, where he created the stage for Iida’s dance performance, in Allentown, PA and Mitatae with Etzusan Tawara creating a sustainable environment in a public shopping area in Kyoto, Japan. Consider this –Coates’ 2014 Solo show at N’Namdi Contemporary, Miami yielded an extensive interview in Art Pulse Magazine of the same title. Minutes (catalogue) at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, Detroit 2015 was his most recent significant one person show and consisted of a collection of large and midsize feather works.
Much of Coates’ work is about opposites: refined/raw, slow/fast, formal/intuitive, simple/complex all of which may well be born out of Coates’ Chocolate City upbringing embracing Washington, DC’s Go-Go and Hardcore music scene simultaneously. It explains his constant search and fluctuation between the wide margins of his artistic pursuit for balance, which in recent years expanded into site-specifics and sculpture.
Coates studied at Corcoran School of Art, Washington D.C. and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine. In addition, he held numerous residencies that informed his work, such as Gasworks, London, UK; The Studio Museum in Harlem, NYC; Triangle Workshops, Cape Town, South Africa and Pine Plains, New York; he also spent several months in Berlin, Germany as an Artist in Residence at Tacheles and continues to be invited to be the Artist in Residence of the City of Obama, Fukui Prefecture, Japan.
Coates’ Artwork is included in museum collections, such as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, The Georgia Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, City of Obama Japan, and many corporate and private collections. A large commissioned piece is installed at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (Extension) in Philadelphia, PA. He is a Joan Mitchell- and New York Foundation Fellow and was awarded the Pollock-Krasner- and Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation (Emergency) Grant. This year he is the recipient of the Joan Mitchell New Orleans Residency, 2017 Coates currently lives and works in Allentown, PA.

Gregory Coates: understated will open on April 20th, with a reception starting at 6 pm. The exhibit will run through May 20th 2017. BAF Gallery 210 24th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232

For more information please contact Aaron Simms at 718 877-0766

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