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WILLIAM COKELEY: Miscellanea

November 1 - December 13, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, November 1, 6-9P

GROUP Projects is pleased to announce the opening of Miscellanea, a solo exhibition of new paintings by William Cokeley. The exhibition opens on Friday, Nov. 1, 6-9P and is on view by appointment only through December 13, 2019.

William Cokeley grew up in Florida, where, at the age of twelve, that he discovered an interest in Abstract Expressionism. His mother’s friend was an abstract painter who taught art classes from her home. “I remember walking into my friend’s house the first time and seeing all these colorful canvases on the wall and thinking that’s what I want to do.” William studied fine art at the University of Florida and University of North Florida, receiving a B.A. in Fine Art. While living in the Netherlands, he maintained a studio space in the historic Vrije Academie and met Dutch artist Arty Grimm, whom he painted alongside while in Amsterdam. Grimm is credited as being profoundly influential for her spontaneous approach to acrylic paint. His abstract marks and gestural paint clouded by visceral scraping and incisions pay homage to Grimm’s tactile surfaces. 

Artist Statement:

 

I paint for the sake of painting.

I paint to challenge myself.

 

My pieces are created intuitively with no forethought when beginning a canvas.

I will start to work with gestural mark-making. Having scarred the blank surface, I can then react and create and obliterate until I reach a place of recognition.

 

Color, pattern, and movement arise subconsciously from places I’ve been or possibly photos I’ve taken in nature.

 

The collage works are constructed with drawings from the high desert in Joshua Tree, old paintings done in Amsterdam, and mono-prints from Houston. Each piece is personal to me do to the years of memory combined in each one. They represent the passing of time.

 

I started using the staples to try different combinations of pieces. I would staple the pieces to the studio wall. Removing and adding until a composition emerged.

 

I had been looking at the collage work of Alfred Leslie, 1951-1960, and John Chamberlain (The Probity of Modernism). Both artists created their works using staples to piece together the collage.

The challenge I found with collage was in the editing. I found the more I worked, the more simplified the compositions became.

 

The two untitled paintings were completed before I began the collage work. They are similar in composition and palette and could be mistaken at first glance to be large scale assembled pieces. I will continue to explore ideas of memory through automatic gestural painting and risk-taking with materials.

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