Viewing Room Main Site
Skip to content

MIER GALLERY is pleased to announce a solo exhibition, The Commuter, featuring new paintings by American artist Ted Gahl. The exhibition will open on Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 1107 Greenacre Avenue in West Hollywood, and will be on view through May 15, 2015. An opening reception will be held on April 2 from 6:00pm–8:00pm.

Gahl’s painting practice is a meditation on the ordinary that pursues the appropriation of his own works and memories as visual triggers. This result has come to fruition in the form of paintings inspired by a cache of drawings made in 1989-1990. Prophetically, the house painter, playing a central role in Gahl’s pastwork asa heroic blue-collar figure, is often presented in full uniformwithabrush and industrial enamel can in hand. Figures are present in an abstracted environment, creating a vague sense of familiarity. Focusing on these hybrid pictures, he dives into the process of mining old images and reconstructing them through new applications.

The cyclical nature of memory and the modern man’s routine become an opportunity for the mind to wander andtranscend banality. Brushes, buckets, and stirrers bring up the idea of home maintenance, but at the same time, creativity. The Twain figureserves as an homage to one of his father’s literaryheroes while doubling as avehicle for abstraction. The swooping, lasso-like lines become gates for color to enter and escape, and the placement of the figure dictates the composition. Some paintings use the form as the starting point, while other send in its addition.

Each painting is charged by the emotion of the colors, dictating the mood and creating a sense of feeling: waiting forthe bus, reading a book, and going through the quotidian motions of the day. As the intersections between blue-collarand white-collar became more apparent and frequent, his working classethics never evade. “Do your job and do itwell,” the six-year-old Gahl tells his present-day self.

For Gahl, painting is one of the last forms of authentic autobiography, a practice that converts time into duration. Painting acts as the preservation of a direct interaction between human and medium; the persistence of, and dedication to, the analog in an increasingly digital world. By reducing the complexity of personal expression to a process involving the simplest of tools, the painter ensures that the viewer will always be granted the intimacy andimmediacy of a real experience. In the paintings, there is no technological screen or façade, no separation between the view of the painter and the view of the passerby. What you see is what you get: a performance that has been left to be considered after it has been concluded.

Ted Gahl (b. 1983, New Haven, Connecticut) received his BFA from Pratt Institute in 2006 and his MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2010. Recent solo exhibitions include Three Twains, Roads, A Beauty, Zach Feuer Gallery, New York (2014), Sundays (Like the Brightest Light in the Theatre Shining on an Empty Stage), Dodge Gallery, New York (2014), and Norfolk Road, Halsey McKay gallery, East Hampton, New York (2014).Gahl lives and works in Northwest, Connecticut. For more information, please or visit the