Joan Linder and Maureen O'Leary: Slightly Surreal Suburbia

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Joan Linder and Maureen O’Leary: Slightly Surreal Suburbia

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ISBN: 978-1-7355856-4-2


Joan Linder and Maureen O’Leary: Slightly Surreal Suburbia June 18 – August 6, 2021

CRISTIN TIERNEY GALLERY 219 BOWERY, FLOOR 2, NEW YORK, NY 10002


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For as long as suburbs have existed, life in their quiet communities has been a subject of intense interest. They are governed by particular rules of conduct and social expectations that set them apart from cities. Relationships among neighbors involve a strange commingling of secrecy and voyeurism. And underneath their ostensibly calm surfaces there is often a wealth of eccentricity and darkness hiding, as explored through many notable films, television shows, works of photography, books and more from the mid-20th century to today. The exhibition Slightly Surreal Suburbia investigates this construct of the suburbs through the works of Joan Linder and Maureen O’Leary, who live in Buffalo and Mt. Sinai, respectively. In 2020 and 2021, the two artists became deeply enmeshed with their surroundings as the pandemic curbed most travel and they found themselves spending more time at

home. Slightly Surreal Suburbia showcases new works by both women devoted to the sights and people in the ‘burbs; together they are a consideration of domestic life outside of the metropolitan sphere. Joan Linder has had a lifelong obsession with the passage of time, which she channels through inordinately detailed ink drawings and sculptures made from paper, foam and duct tape. Many of Linder’s works are life-size, forming near-perfect replicas of actual objects or people she has encountered. In Slightly Surreal Suburbia, Linder presents objects that capture the anxiety we all felt in our homes in 2020. They approximate the items they represent, but close looking reveals small imperfections and touches of the artist’s hand. Isolation Orders is a to-scale drawing of a letter Linder received with the governor’s state-wide order to 3


shelter in place in March 2020. Wet Ones is a slightly-off lyrical brushstrokes, which add a layer of illusion to reproduction of a container of antibacterial hand wipes, the artist’s snake-like trees, table of fruit (or is it?) and created painstakingly with slices of tape to approximate elongated human forms. the in-demand good. Slightly Surreal Suburbia is the first major project for O’Leary’s paintings capture the oddness of the everyboth artists with the gallery. The exhibition highlights the day in her neighborhood on Long Island. She presents knack the two women have for uncovering the strange fleeting, moody scenes viewed from her home and quirks of daily life, as well as their talent for rendering studio; in The Trash at Night, we see a man dragging a them into poignant ruminations on the people and trashcan behind him, set against a backdrop of leafless objects we regularly encounter at home. trees and an ominous glowing moon. The sky is a mottled purple tinged with juicy reds and oranges, lending an eerie feeling to the already uncanny image. The Mail, March 2021 shows a tiny hand emerging from a darkened USPS truck to drop a letter in a mailbox. it is the only sign of life in the painting. Heightening the paintings’ expressiveness are O’Leary’s 4


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Joan Linder, Large Zoom Committee, 2021. marker on paper. 51 x 96 inches (129.5 x 243.8 cm). 9


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Maureen O’Leary, The Mail, March 2021, 2021. oil on linen. 46 x 46 inches (116.84 x 116.84 cm). 13


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Joan Linder, Hello/Don’t Panic, 2021. watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper. 14 x 14 x 11 inches (35.6 x 35.6 x 27.9 cm). The West Collection, Philadelphia, PA. 19


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Joan Linder, Target, 2021. watercolor and ink on paper. 14 x 12 x 7 inches (35.6 x 30.5 x 17.8 cm). Collection Enrique Téllez. 21


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Joan Linder, Prime 120, 2021. watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper. 6 1/2 x 16 x 10 inches (16.5 x 40.6 x 25.4 cm). The West Collection, Philadelphia, PA. 25


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Maureen O’Leary, The Trash at Night, 2021. oil on linen. 48 x 32 inches (121.92 x 81.28 cm). 27


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Maureen O’Leary, Hyde Park, Thanksgiving, 2021. oil on linen. 46 x 46 inches (116.84 x 116.84 cm). 37


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Maureen O’Leary, The Weed, 2021. oil on linen. 46 x 46 inches (116.84 x 116.84 cm). 41


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Joan Linder, Isolation Orders, 2020. ink on paper. 10 x 7 3/4 inches (25.4 x 19.7 cm). 49


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Joan Linder, Wet Ones, 2018. duct tape and foam. 7 x 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 inches (17.8 x 8.3 x 8.3 cm). 51


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Joan Linder, Puffs + Lotion #1, 2021. watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper. 3 7/8 x 8 7/8 x 4 3/4 inches (9.8 x 22.5 x 12.1 cm). 53


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Maureen O’Leary, The Leafblower, 2017-20. oil on linen. 46 x 46 inches (116.84 x 116.84 cm). 55


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Exhibition Checklist Listed in alphabetical order

Joan Linder #2, 2018 duct tape and foam 3/8 x 6 5/8 x 3/8 inches 1 x 16.8 x 1 cm Hello/Don’t Panic, 2021 watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper 14 x 14 x 11 inches 35.6 x 35.6 x 27.9 cm The West Collection, Philadelphia, PA

Priority, 2021 watercolor and marker on paper 3 x 8 3/4 x 6 inches 7.6 x 22.2 x 15.2 cm The West Collection, Philadelphia, PA Puffs + Lotion #1, 2021 watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper 3 7/8 x 8 7/8 x 4 3/4 inches 9.8 x 22.5 x 12.1 cm

Isolation Orders, 2020 ink on paper 10 x 7 3/4 inches 25.4 x 19.7 cm

Record Card, 2021 ink on paper 3 x 4 inches 7.6 x 10.2 cm

Large Zoom Committee, 2021 marker on paper 51 x 96 inches 129.5 x 243.8 cm

Sharpie, 2018 duct tape and foam 5/8 x 5 5/8 x 1 1/8 inches 1.6 x 14.3 x 2.9 cm

Prime 120, 2021 watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper 6 1/2 x 16 x 10 inches 16.5 x 40.6 x 25.4 cm The West Collection, Philadelphia, PA

Stimulus #3, 2021 watercolor, ink and marker on paper 3 1/4 x 7 3/8 inches 8.3 x 18.7 cm

Prime 128, 2021 watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper 18 3/16 x 42 9/16 inches 46.2 x 108.1 cm The West Collection, Philadelphia, PA Prime 1B2, 2021 watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper 3 5/8 x 12 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches 9.2 x 31.8 x 39.4 cm The West Collection, Philadelphia, PA Prime A1, 2021 watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper 5 x 10 x 7 inches 2.7 x 25.4 x 17.8 cm The West Collection, Philadelphia, PA

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Target, 2021 watercolor and ink on paper 14 x 12 x 7 inches 35.6 x 30.5 x 17.8 cm Collection Enrique Téllez Thanks for the Memories, 2021 watercolor and marker on paper 5 x 7 1/2 x 11 inches 12.7 x 19.1 x 27.9 cm Tool #1, 2018 duct tape and foam 1 x 7 3/8 x 2 inches 2.5 x 18.7 x 5.1 cm Wet Ones, 2018 duct tape and foam 7 x 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 inches 17.8 x 8.3 x 8.3 cm


Maureen O’Leary Hyde Park, Thanksgiving, 2021 oil on linen 46 x 46 inches 116.84 x 116.84 cm The Leafblower, 2017-20 oil on linen 46 x 46 inches 116.84 x 116.84 cm The Mail, March 2021, 2021 oil on linen 46 x 46 inches 116.84 x 116.84 cm The Trash at Night, 2021 oil on linen 48 x 32 inches 121.92 x 81.28 cm The Weed, 2021 oil on linen 46 x 46 inches 116.84 x 116.84 cm

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Joan Linder (b. 1970) is known for her labor-intensive drawings that contain thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of tiny lines. She has exhibited at Albright College, Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Omi International Art Center, Sun Valley Art Center, Weatherspoon Art Museum and more. Her work is held in the collections of The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Davis Museum, Bank of America, Fidelity Investments, Progressive Corporation, West Collection and the Zabludowicz Collection. She studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and holds an MFA from Columbia University and a BFA from Tufts University. Among her many awards and fellowships are residencies at MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Smack Mellon, Ucross Foundation, Art Omi, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, plus a Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant.

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Maureen O’Leary’s (b. 1965) paintings hover between figuration and abstraction, becoming substrates for experimentation with the application of paint and the evolving notion of what is real. O’Leary’s work has been exhibited at the Fondation des États-Unis, Ely Center of Contemporary Art, Art Lab Tokyo, Midwest Center for Photography, Artspace, Power Plant Gallery at Duke University, Valdosta State University Fine Arts Gallery, Staten Island Museum, Meadows Gallery – University of Texas at Tyler, and more. She is the recipient of the Brooklyn Arts Council – Brooklyn Arts Fund Grant and the Harriet Hale Woolley Fellowship from the Fondation des États-Unis. O’Leary has published three books: Record (2021), Belle Mort (2013, Paper Chase Press) and Look/Listen (2010, Look/Listen Press). Her work is held in the collections of the Fondation des Ètats-Unis, JPMorgan Chase, Fidelity Investments and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.


Photography credits:

Elisabeth Bernstein: cover, 6-7, 9, 17, 30-31, 33, 44-45, 47


Cristin Tierney Gallery 219 Bowery, Floor 2 New York, NY 10002 212.594.0550 www.cristintierney.com