After Yesterday Before Tomorrow - Gregg Louis


May 18 - June 15, 2018


After Yesterday Before Tomorrow features drawings, paintings, sculptures, and video from two distinct bodies of work produced nearly ten years apart. Louis’ interdisciplinary practice crosses concepts of perception, chance, gesture, and play, often abstracting classic subject matters such as portraiture, landscape, and language.

The exhibition’s title, After Yesterday Before Tomorrow is derived from a text drawing made in 2008, in which the artist engaged a group of nine participants in the childhood game, ‘Telephone’, beginning with a statement about the progression of time. As the statement is shared and transcribed from one participant to the next, it falls in and out of logic, suggesting the artist’s acceptance of distortion and spontaneity in his work.

His interest in ideas such as distortion, fluidity, and chance again found their way into his most recent work from 2018. Using the blind contour drawing technique, Louis generates drawings while gazing on different subjects such as portraits, landscapes, and everyday objects. These ‘blind’ sketches become the architectural plan for paintings and sculptural mobiles in the exhibition. 

Conceptually, the two bodies of work resonate similar themes and ideas. The progression of time shows a marked evolution of Louis's use of color and materials to include vibrant hues and non-traditional use of materials - presenting a similar playfulness and openness in the work. 

Born in St. Louis, where he currently lives and works, Louis received his BFA in Painting from Missouri State University in 2006 and his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2009. He has had solo exhibitions and projects at Nohra Haime Gallery, New York; Hverfisgalleri, Reykjavik; HMK, Hoorn Netherlands (collaborative project). He has also participated in group exhibitions in the United States and abroad at Frieze, London; Vienna Contemporary, Vienna; ArtBo, Bogata; Nohra Haime Gallery, New York; Postmaster Gallery, New York; Galerist, Istanbul; Here Art Center, New York; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn; and Los Caminos, Saint Louis. In 2009, Louis was an artist-in-residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. The New York Times, The Wall St Journal, Sculpture Magazine, and several other prominent online blogs and journals have covered his work. Nohra Haime Gallery in New York currently represents Louis's work.

PastAlyssa Knowling