New York, NY, January 11, 2017 - Acquavella Galleries is pleased to announce Sgr A*, an exhibition of new paintings by American artist Damian Loeb, on view from March 3 – April 6, 2017. This is the artist’s fourth solo show at Acquavella, and will feature twelve new landscape paintings, all depicting astronomical objects and events as seen from Earth. This landscape exhibition continues Loeb’s exploration of how our understanding and assimilation of firsthand experience is affected by our constant exposure to new media.
Acknowledging the history of astronomical illustration and informed by the advancements in digital imaging, the artist’s work employs the language of classical landscape painting, complemented by an obsession with new media and technology consumption. The monumental compositions and meticulously specific depictions of celestial tropes are infused with a contemporary cinematic vocabulary. Dedicating several months to each painting, the artist’s work reflects a fascination with two worlds – the analog and the digital, and expresses a forebodingly fatalistic view of nature and the universe.
“The paintings appear to be the product of advanced technology,” explains Nick Acquavella. “As marvelously detailed as the works appear, Damian’s goal isn’t to create perfect reproductions of outer space. Rather, he wants to convey the universal and ultimately humbling sense of awe he experienced when he was first looking through his lens.” All of these paintings are based on images from Loeb’s many ‘amateur' photo safaris. He has captured the aurora borealis flying 50,000 feet over the Dakotas, the depths of the Milky Way from the beach in Maui, and constellations and clouds from a backyard in Long Island. From the artist’s rooftop in downtown New York City, he has photographed planetary conjunctions, the position of Jupiter and its moons, the rings of Saturn, a lunar eclipse, solar flares, and both Venus and Mercury passing in front of the Sun. The show's title is taken from the standard abbreviation for Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. Understanding the hierarchy of our place in the vastness of our possibly infinite surroundings inspires this body of work. Grand and graphic, these paintings celebrate the play between the micro and macro forms within each scene. Scale and composition are used to elicit a particular emotional understanding of each tableau.
Damian Loeb (b. 1970) has had solo exhibitions at galleries and museums worldwide, including a 2006 Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art retrospective of his work. He lives and works in New York City. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.