Exhibitionin New York, NY / United States
Monya Rowe Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new paintings by Brea Weinreb titled “Heterotopia”. Through a unique point of view – examination of gay male culture from the perspective of a queer female – Weinreb explores the ways we look at men and the ways men look at each other, socially as well as art historically. By centering on minimally-clothed and nude men, Weinreb’s paintings subvert the long-established trope of nude poses associated with women while also challenging the male-to female gaze as the only acceptable cross-gender gaze in painting.
The exhibition title, “Heterotopia”, is borrowed from philosopher Michel Foucault’s (1926-1984) concept used to describe spaces that are considered “other”. In Foucault’s “Of Other Spaces”, he discusses landscapes that contain worlds within worlds, in which reality is represented, contested and inverted.
For this exhibition, Weinreb looked to Modernist paintings of leisure scenes and male bathers, particularly Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), Frédéric Bazille (1841-1870), and Edgar Degas (1834-1917). However, the postures, attitudes and electric atmosphere in Weinreb’s paintings of friends are a contradiction to the historical depictions which initially drew inspiration. Voyeuristically observing her subjects through a tender and loving lens, Weinreb’s protagonists are depicted playfully lounging around, swimming, head-standing and cavorting in outdoor bacchanalian gatherings that the artist hosts: “I see the head-stander as a symbol of playfulness, vulnerability and strength, and as a literal inversion to the upright erectness found in those historic bather paintings.”
The romantic landscapes, which shift from present-day Los Angeles to landscapes borrowed from art historical sources, allude to an Arcadian paradise free of inhibitions, full of freedom, and abundant with sex. However, as the artist says: “The main thing I want to show is the contradictions – that men can be portrayed as both strong and soft, vulnerable and protected, spiritual and hedonistic.”
Brea Weinreb (b. 1994, Long Island, NY) received a BA from University of California, Berkeley. Recent exhibitions include Taymour Grahne Projects, London; Green Family Art Foundation, Dallas; Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston; and Monya Rowe Gallery, NY. Weinreb lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Gallery hours Tue-Sat 12 – 6 pm
Exhibition Duration 05 January – 11 February 2023
Monya Rowe Gallery
224 West 30th Street, #1005
10001 New York, NY