Artist Talk with Gregory Coates at BAF Gallery
Gregory Coates: understated — is a continuum of Coates’ reflections on material and placement. Coates has long been a virtuoso with unorthodox material such as sheet metal, wooden shipping pallets, glass sheets and pillow goose feathers and bicycle inner tubes.
In understated, he is presenting a series of small bicycle inner tubes cut and glued into small square pieces, affectionately called smooches . This series started as an homage (and marking of time) to then presidential candidate Barak Obama as YES, we can. This is the first time this work is shown in a solo exhibition in New York. The rubber is coated with iron powder, metallic paint or pigment, providing a range of possible assumptions.
The main body of the exhibition is a large scale installation of bicycle tires in their original shape, gilded, adorned with feathers and attached to each other defining space casually but distinctively. While Coates’ work is informed by a painter’s sensibility, an exercise in placement, the work is sculptural and can as easily be considered drawing. The title of the work is OE800. It celebrates “hanging out with a friend and a 40”.
A 3 minute video loop, entitled Self-less,underscores Coates’ direct approach to aesthetics, as he likes to say, “putting it out there”. As noted in his one-sentence artist statement for this show:” I raise more questions than provide answers. “
All of Coates’ work presents a stylistic difference; they are a marking of time, a nod to a past, an aspiration for the future. Without imposing one way of looking at the work – the work is personal and formal, minimal and complex; it broadly reflects on inclusion, love of humanity and the human condition.