painting

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Holton Rower spends hours layering paint and tearing it apart to create unique sculptures and paintings.

by Beckett Mufson
May 31 2017, 7:58pm

Images courtesy The Hole

Hundreds of tiny holes rip through dozens of layers of dried paint in process-driven artist Holton Rower's goopy new gallery show at The Hole, Compression.

Rower is known for creating experimental techniques that result in visually stunning, sculptural paintings. The New York City-based artist's new "cutaway" technique involves as many as 100 layers of paint, which are ripped off the sculpture in large chunks. The holes left behind look like tiny interdimensional tunnels, or lesions tripping on LSD. A timelapse video below reveals the psychedelic colors, secret messages, and risqué imagery that are packed into every work. This one took six days and consists of over 200 layers.

The documentation elevates the process, as is the case with Rower's pour paintings, which have gone viral multiple times. Rower tells Creators that the show's title, Compression, "refers to the density created when paintings are painted over and over again. The concentrated mass has an intensity and complexity which feels compressed." The compression process strips the hidden words and shapes of meaning, but the documentation reveals the ideas encoded in the piece.

Compression is The Hole's fifth solo exhibition of Rower's work, but the gallery's first exhibition of the new "cutaways" series, which Rower debuted at Venus LA earlier this year. Check out the series, and more BTS footage, below.

Holton Rower's Compression is on at The Hole Gallery in NYC through July 2. See more of his work on his website.

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