On June 30, Hollis Taggart will open Between the Lines, artist Tim Kent’s first solo exhibition with the gallery since he joined the contemporary program in February 2021. The paintings, which meld the visual vocabularies of representation and abstraction, use geometric perspective to convey a sense of uncertainty, offering more questions than answers about the narratives contained within these landscapes and spaces. Between the Lines features approximately 15 new works and will be on view through July 29 at Hollis Taggart’s flagship, ground floor location at 521 W. 26th Street. An opening reception will be held on June 30, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.
Kent first began painting architectural spaces almost 20 years ago as a student at West Dean College in East Sussex when he was invited to render magnificent historic homes throughout England and Scotland. Throughout his career, Kent has maintained his commitment to both representation and abstraction as a means of conveying history, experience, and psychology—elements inherent to both the human figures that may pass through the spaces he paints and those spaces themselves.
Inspired by images of empty museums and abandoned homes, Kent’s paintings collapse the times, contexts, and frameworks in which these environments exist, inviting the viewer to move through a single painting as though they are jumping through a portal from one space to the next. This sensation is further emphasized by the way the artist incorporates aspects of his works into each other, with flooring patterns, wall details, and figures appearing across numerous canvases.
Although the works defy any linear narration, they retain a sense of tension and precarious emotion. This effect is in part developed through Kent’s cool color palette and the softness of his painterly gestures, which give the paintings a hazy, dissipating quality contrasted with passages of strict representation or linear perspective. His experimentation with glaze also gives the paintings a luminescence that infuses them with an aura of otherworldliness. Indeed, Kent refers to the paintings as “meditations and metaphors of uncertainty.” In this way, the paintings operate as reflections of the uncertain times in which we live, as metanarratives and long standing structures emptied of their power. Their perspectives are no longer fixed.
The sharp, graphic lines in his scenes break our narrative expectations. In doing so, Kent toys with our understanding of how representative paintings produce ways of seeing, making clear the illusion of painterly perspective and emphasizing both the artist’s hand and surface plane. Of this process he says, “I’m playing with the history of art. The ways in which a painting is made and understood by the viewer, by the eye. There’s a dislocation and a blurring of boundaries between the narrative in the painting and the presence of the viewer as a voyeur into that space.”
Kent (b.1975) has exhibited widely across the United States and abroad. His most recent solo presentations include Vagaries of Precision (2021) at Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Montreal and Enfilade (2020) and Dark Pools and Data Lakes (2018), both at Slag Gallery, New York. His work has been covered widely across international art and architecture publications. Kent holds an MA from the University of Sussex at West Dean College, UK, and a BFA from Hunter College, NY. He lives and works in Brooklyn.
About Hollis Taggart
Founded in 1979, Hollis Taggart presents significant works of American art, showcasing the trajectory of American art movements from the Hudson River School to American Modernism and the Post-War and Contemporary eras. Its program is characterized by a deep commitment to scholarship and bringing to the fore the work of under-recognized artists. The gallery has sponsored several catalogue raisonné projects, most recently for the American Surrealist artist Kay Sage, and has been instrumental in advancing knowledge of such artists as Alfred Maurer, Arthur B. Carles, and more recently, Theodoros Stamos, Marjorie Strider, and Michael (Corinne) West. In the summer of 2019, the gallery announced the formal expansion of its primary market business and focus on the presentation of contemporary work. It continues to expand its roster of contemporary artists, focusing on emerging and mid-career talents. With more than 40 years of experience, Hollis Taggart is widely recognized by collectors and curators for its leadership, expertise, and openness, on matters of art history, and market trends and opportunities. The gallery’s flagship location is in Chelsea, and it also operates a space in Southport, Connecticut.
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Hollis Taggart Galleries
521 W. 26th Street
New York, New York
About Hollis Taggart
Hollis Taggart—formerly known as Hollis Taggart Galleries—was founded in 1979, with a mission to present museum-quality works of art, maintain a program motivated by scholarship, and offer personalized support in all aspects of art collecting. For nearly 40 years, the gallery has offered significant works of American art—showcasing the trajectory of American art movements from the Hudson River School to American Modernism and Post-War and Contemporary eras—and curated countless critically acclaimed shows in collaboration with the foremost leaders in the field. Hollis Taggart has also worked with more than thirty museums and institutions to produce scholarly catalogues. In addition, Hollis Taggart has sponsored three catalogue raisonné projects. The first was the two-volume catalogue raisonné of Pennsylvania Impressionist Daniel Garber, which was published in 2006 and includes over 1,500 entries. In 2000, the gallery launched the Frederick Carl Frieseke catalogue raisonné, which is currently being compiled by the artist’s grandson. Most recently, the gallery has undertaken the compilation of the catalogue raisonné of Surrealist artist Kay Sage, in partnership with Mark Kelman and Sage scholar Stephen Robeson Miller. In the summer of 2015, Hollis Taggart opened its first space in Chelsea, moving from the Upper East Side where it had been operating since its inception. In fall 2018, Hollis Taggart will move to the street-level space at 521 W. 26th Street and open a private viewing and storage annex across the street, fully consolidating its operations in Chelsea. Together, the spaces provide Hollis Taggart with nearly 4,000-square-feet to host exhibitions and engage clients with select works of art in its inventory, while improving ease of access between its locations. Today, the gallery’s program has grown to encompass contemporary practitioners, as a vital component to art historical discourse. It also continues to show significant works of historic American art, with a particular focus on the Post-War era. These two intersecting threads offer Hollis Taggart’s audiences and clients a dynamic and diverse set of offerings. As the gallery looks to the future, fostering scholarship and dialogue on American art through time remains core to its work with artists, scholars, and curators. In addition to its public program, the gallery also advises private collectors, corporations, and museums on acquisitions and assists its clients in the development of their personal collections. Hollis Taggart welcomes all inquiries from collectors who may wish to sell or consign works of art or estates. The gallery can also provide appraisal services.