Vanessa Prager: Static

February 20 - April 10, 2021

Diane Rosenstein Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition with Vanessa Prager, on view February 20 – April 10, 2021. The forthcoming series of new oil paintings by Prager, a self-taught artist based in Los Angeles, continues the artist’s exploration of sculptural impasto techniques and revisits 19th-century post-Impressionism in the 21st century.


In this time of pandemic, when the digital reigns supreme as a means to work, play, connect and exist, Prager is the analog compass directing us back to the tangible. With big, heavy, drippy canvases and what can only be referred to as extreme painting, she rejects artificial crispness and reminds us that we don’t need pure likeness to feel most present, or most deeply. 


“We are thrilled by Vanessa Prager’s new paintings and astonished by their sensory and emotional impact,” Diane Rosenstein says. “Prager redefines perception in a high-def world. Her paintings resist the quick take and allow us to discover the hidden treasure of the work itself. More is more.”  
The subtle variations in pigment found in Prager’s three dimensional paintings remind us of the muted light of a Georges Seurat tableau—or of Lee Krasner’s bold colors and altered surfaces. Her range is vocalized in this way, and nods to an entire history of painting embedded within each of her palimpsestuous paintings; Prager subverts traditional techniques to re-present familiar subjects—nudes, still lifes, and portraits—all of which she offers as veiled and distant, palpable and present, and undefined by gender. The faces she paints, and the expressions they portray, subtly reveal an often-overlooked, ordinary affect we all quietly share with the world.   
Throughout 2020, Prager has created in her art what many struggle to see in their daily lives: commonplace moments of warmth, delight, levity and brightness. Faint outlines of recognizable figures, contrasted with her radiant palette, allude to her struggle to both acknowledge how joy has been elusive in 2020, and to remain optimistic for the future. But in this striving, Prager has found something in these paintings, or “cozy blankets,” that she hopes others will discover in them: a warm, enveloping quality, which may be both felt and understood in the way the paint encases its subjects. She hopes others will persevere defiantly towards what feels right, until they too can see its fuzzy shape before them.