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Daniel Rich: Back to the Future
September 10, 2020 - October 10, 2020
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MILES MCENERY GALLERY is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Daniel Rich. Back to the Future will open on 10 September at 520 West 21st Street and remain on view until 10 October 2020. Back to the Future is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication featuring essays by Emily McDermott and Ara H. Merjian.
Daniel Rich’s reticulated cityscapes and slick façades appear at first glance to be quite literally superficial. Whether it is a geometric exterior pressed close to the picture plane or a cluster of multiple structures glimpsed from a distance, we experience architecture in his painting as a wholly exteriorized phenomenon— looming close up or made smaller through a bird’s-eye view.
His process-oriented paintings offer windows to different parts of the world— some figuratively, others much more literally—and can evoke a distorted experience of temporality for the viewer. Like compositions by Bernd and Hilla Becher or Andreas Gursky, Rich’s artworks offer clinical, complex architectural views onto the world that are filled with subtleties. However, Rich differs from Becher or Gursky in his painstaking, intricate process of translating found images into painting. The works also evoke early 20th century European Modernism, recalling Giorgio de Chirico’s metaphysical cityscapes and Germany’s Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) artists of the 1920s and 1930s.
Architecture, as it is commonly understood, is designed and implemented to house the human and is itself the manifestation of our constructed realities. When all signs of life are missing from buildings and spaces, as in Rich’s paintings, the result is an unsettling subversion that upends and questions what we have come to expect of both architectural spaces and the organized linearity of time. Rich probes viewers to consider what lies beyond the surface.
Rich also uses his anonymous architectural imagery to talk about history and politics. He speaks of his scenes as “failed utopias” and “changing political power structures.” In their seeming permanence, the fixed and rigid edifices that populate his work speak to a late capitalist urbanism that sees its monuments not as contingent, but as immovable and eternal.
DANIEL RICH (b. 1977 in Ulm, Germany) received his Bachelor of Fine Art degree in 2001 at the Atlanta College of Art in Atlanta, GA. He received his Master of Fine Art degree in 2004 at Tufts University in Medford, MA and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA. He also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, ME in 2004.
Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; “Never Forever,” Peter Blum Gallery, New York, NY; “On a Boat, Looking for Land: Gil Heitor Cortesao & Daniel Rich,” Carbon 12, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; “Systematic Anarchy,” Peter Blum Gallery, New York, NY; “Platforms of Power,” Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; “Berlin: Daniel Rich and Wieland Speck,” Horton Gallery, New York, NY; “1989-2009: Paintings of the Berlin Airports 20 Years after the Fall of the Wall,” Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago, IL; “Downburst,” Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York, N Y; and “Black Sunday,” SUNDAY, New York, NY.
Recent group exhibitions include “Mensch in Moll,” Inter Port, Berlin, Germany; “Geometric Heat,” GR Gallery, New York, NY; “Invisibli,” Anna Marra Contemporanea, Rome, Italy; “Set for the Sun,” (curated by Jenne Grabowski), Lobe Block, Berlin, Germany; “#” (curated by Markus Linnenbrink), Cindy Rucker Gallery, New York, NY; “In My Room: Artists Paint the Interior, 1950-Now,” Fralin Museum of Art at The University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA; “After the Fall,” Peter Blum Gallery, NewYork, NY; “Urbanopolis,” Galerie LJ, Paris, France; “Postcard from New York,” Anna Marra Contemporanea, Rome, Italy; “Summer Group Show,” Joshua Liner Gallery, New York, NY.
Rich is the recipient of the Traveling Scholars Grant, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; NYFA Painting Fellow, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY; Keyholder Residency Award, Lower East Side Printshop, New York, NY; Marie Walsh Sharpe, The Space Program, New York, NY; Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE; Full Fellowship, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME; Travel Grant, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Graduate Fellowship, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Ben Shute Scholarship for Excellence in Representational Art, Atlanta College Art, Atlanta, GA; and the Dragon Foundation Scholarship, Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta, GA.
His work is included in the permanent collections of Cornell Museum at Rollins University, Winter Park, FL; Fidelity Investments; Maramotti Collection, Reggio Emilia, Italy; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; and Wellington Management.
Daniel Rich lives and works in Berlin, Germany.