Michael Gregory: 1000 Words

Exhibitions Berggruen Gallery

Michael Gregory: 1000 Words

May 18 — Jul 1, 2017

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Michael Gregory: 1000 Words tells the story of the American West, a subject that has long captivated artists both past and present. As Gregory writes, “America has always been an idea, a construct of our imagination, and our imagination has outdistanced even its vast boundaries and empty places. The American West has provided us a rich metaphor for a discussion of our hopes, aspirations and failures. It is the subject of literature, poetry, and song—part of our American common language.” Gregory’s bucolic landscapes so elegantly evoke this character of the American West, conveying an appreciation for the continent’s beauty and its vastness. The road trip is one such means by which we experience the American landscape, and it is via road trips that Gregory gleans content for his paintings. His journeys through the West, Midwest and Hudson Valley have inspired Gregory and his subject matter. “These paintings,” Gregory states, “are visual composites of these trips, re-imagined and re-constructed in the studio. Images are assembled on the canvas much like one would compose a still life. They are by their conception and resolution fictive places, but places we are from and hope to return.” The crux of Gregory’s paintings in relation to the vast oeuvre of American landscape painting lies in their signature subject matter—barns and silos painted in pristine and intricate detail against broad plains and mountains. Barns and building attract Gregory for their stark geometry, but they are also chosen for their emotional and symbolic resonance. These archeological sites call to mind remnants of lives once lived, eternally frozen in time. Gregory’s creations are a new genre of landscape portraiture, in which barns and buildings reflect and encapsulate the people who built them; indeed they are reminders of them. Gregory’s landscape portraits—solitary barns nestled amidst colossal mountains, swallowed by a sea of grain, or showered by a heaven full of stars—pay homage to the human actors whose lives played out against the backdrop of the American landscape.

For further information and images, please visit our website. Images and preview are available upon request. For all inquiries, please contact the gallery by phone (415) 781-4629 or by email info@berggruen.com.

Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10:00am – 6:00pm

Michael Gregrory. April's Guest — 2017, oil on canvas on panel, 60 x 47 inches