Melissa Brown: Past Present Future at Magenta Plains

Past Present Future
Melissa Brown
with a performance 
Wednesday, July 20, 6:30

Magenta Plains is excited to present an installation of new paintings by Melissa Brown on view June 15 – July 27, 2016. The title Past Present Future points to a popular Tarot spread wherein the meaning of the card and the meaning of the position in the spread is used for fortune-telling.

Brown’s paintings and animations are often influenced by playing cards and other fantasy-related paper ephemera such as money and lottery tickets. During Nuit Blanche in 2009, she hosted ‘How To Win The Lottery’ in the Toronto financial district, a performance with the goal of winning the lottery with thousands of other people by playing identical sets of numbers.

In her installation at Magenta Plains, Brown will display large-scale, double sided paintings on corrugated aluminum in a configuration which discloses her personal Past and Future but hides her Present. On July 20, the spread will transform and reconfigure, aided by a performance conceived by Brown which involves a collective fortune-telling and divination reading for the public.

Brown’s interests in chance, collaboration, humor, printmaking and performance infuse every aspect of her studio practice. Brown currently organizes winner-take-all poker game with artists and collectors. The players use cards she designed called The Tabloid Deck, which assigns symbolic Supermarket Tabloid headlines. These poker tournaments have taken place at NADA New York 2015, Essex Flowers, New York, NY and Safe Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

Melissa Brown will be included in Goulding the Lolly this summer at Gavin Brown’s enterprise. Brown has been the subject of solo exhibitions in New York City at Bellwether, CANADA, Kansas, Essex Flowers and, internationally, at Rove: Kenny Schachter in London and Roberto Paradise in San Juan. She has exhibited in group shows at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA; Musée International des Arts Modestes, France; Loyal Gallery, Stockhom, SE; Petrella’s Imports, New York, NY; Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery, New York, NY; and Andrew Edlin, New York, NY. As a member of the performance group Slow Jams Band (with Brian Belott and Michael Williams), she performed at the Museum of Modern Art and NADA Miami. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times,ArtforumArt in AmericaHyperallergicARTNews, and Time Out New York, to name a few. She was awarded the Joan Mitchell Painter's Grant in 2012. Brown was born in New Jersey and lives and works in Brooklyn. 

Past Present Future will be on view from June 15 - July 27, 2016 at MAGENTA PLAINS, 94 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002.


Rending The Veil: A Poetry Reading curated by Arden Wohl

Link to recorded episode

February 29, 2016

Olivia Smith reads alongside David Rimanelli, Andrew VanWyngarden, Glenn O'Brien, Emily Sundblad, Susan Kirschbaum, Jonah Freeman, Lizzi Bougatsos, and more.


Igniting a Force: Impromptu Self on Display

Link to article

"I think about environments where we go to see and be seen: bars, after parties, gallery openings, the clustering of humans with similar physical traits and unending arrangements of differences. The way we flaunt our appearances while countless thoughts pass through the mind in one moment, and another moment, and then another. The force of the patterns we draw, repeat, follow, and share with one another. The feeling and fear of failure that can be transferred to one another, felt—though sometimes indescribable—and seen physically through posture. Poise. The fact that I can feel empowered by my jewelry and clothes. We contort ourselves; we adorn ourselves—yet we are still so bewitched by our bodies. We constantly obsess over what we are made of and how we can push the limits physically. We ask who we are and we look for ourselves in others, seeking reflections of ourselves."

-Excert from "Igniting a Force: Impromptu Self on Display" by Olivia Smith published October 1, 2013 in NY Arts Magazine

Bernadette Corporation Retouched, 2011. Vinyl banner,108 x 144 in. Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York.


Greg Bogin Shaped Panel on Exhibition A

Greg Bogin’s iconic shaped-canvases exhibit the artist’s relationship to minimalism and geometric abstraction. Bogin has said that his use of gradient is a way of tapping into the limitless color field presented by artificial and electric light, for instance the mesmerizing glow of a computer screen. His ongoing use of stripes and gradients comes from an interest in racing and bike aesthetics, science fiction, and vernacular source material such as road signs and corporate logos. HereOasis creates a contemplative moment of well balanced tension between surface and object. Each of the 35 quarter-inch thick panels are hand made and vary slightly for originality, signed and ready for hanging. Edition sold out.


Arttactic: Bill Powers & Olivia Smith of Exhibition A

Link to podcast

May 30, 2015

"In this week's episode of the ArtTactic Podcast, Exhibition A's founder, Bill Powers, and director, Olivia Smith, join us in a three-way podcast to talk about Exhibition A, an online platform that sells exclusive limited editions of artworks by prominent contemporary artists such as Joe Bradley, Nate Lowman, Chris Succo and others. First, Bill talks about his motivation to launch an art eCommerce site that actually works directly with the artists. Then, Olivia walks us through the process, from beginning to end, of getting an artist to create a print exclusively for the site. Also, we ask Bill if he is targeting and attracting a certain type of collector by offering low price points for works by artists who are extremely in demand. Lastly, Olivia shares how Instagram has helped Exhibition A as they have grown and become a more popular site."