Occo Socko!
A group exhibition featuring new work by Rebecca Murtaugh, Matthew Neil Gehring and Paul Behnke

Opening: Friday, October 16, 6 – 8 pm
October 16 – November 13, 2015

Stout Projects is pleased to present its inaugural exhibition featuring new painting and sculpture by three long – time participants of the Bushwick art community.

In a 2003 article in the New York Times, the painter Stewart Hitch’s work was described as “occo socko” by a friend. This rich characterization referred to Hitch’s use of intense color and bold form and so seemed an apt title for this exhibition.

The three artists included here each employ a vibrant color palette and imposing, evocative forms to communicate a fiercely personal vocabulary and vision.

In the paintings of Behnke and Gehring these traits combine with active and capable shapes that forcefully lock into one another one moment and the next show a blithe disregard for spatial relations that blur traditional distinctions of foreground, middle and background to engage the viewer in an off kilter, abrupt way.

Murtaugh’s sculptures alternatively confront the viewer or present an opening through the form, often in the same piece. In her work color plays a prominent role in helping to connect forms and encourage a perceptual melding that activates these dense structures in space. This injects an element of mutation as the viewer moves around the works.

Rebecca Murtaugh earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelor of Science from the Pennsylvania State University. She also attended Maryland Institute College of Art and the Corcoran College of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited nationally in solo and group exhibitions in New York City, Philadelphia, District of Columbia, New Haven, Cleveland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Nashville, Seattle and San Francisco. Murtaugh’s work has been written about in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Criterion, Seattle Post Intelligencer, Artweek, Stone Canoe and Shamenet Magazine. She holds the position of Associate Professor of Art at Hamilton College and lives and works in Brooklyn.

Matthew Neil Gehring received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern Indiana and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Delaware. He has lived and worked in Northern California, Central New York, and is currently in Brooklyn. Gehring has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions and eight solo exhibitions including recent solos at the Dishman Art Museum at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and the Islip Art Museum in East Islip, New York. He recently participated in a two person show at c2c Projects in San Francisco. Gehring’s work has been featured or reviewed in publications including the New Criterion, Art Journal, Art Review and Art Weekly. He is currently an Associate Professor of Visual Art at SUNY Suffolk where he is Assistant Chair of Visual Arts and the Director of Flecker Gallery.

Paul Behnke was born in Memphis, Tennessee and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the Memphis College of Art. Behnke’s work has been exhibited widely in the United States and internationally including solo exhibits in New York City, Philadelphia, PA, Saint Augustine, Florida and Memphis, Tennessee as well as group exhibitions in San Francisco, Honolulu, Hawai’i, London, U.K., Dublin, Ireland and the Republic of Cyprus. He has been awarded residencies at the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation Residency and the Vermont Studio Center. Behnke currently lives in Manhattan and maintains a studio in Brooklyn.

Today at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Stout Projects
55 Meadow St, # 310, Brooklyn, New York 11206