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Jazz, Painters, and Comic Strips: The Work of Gail Comes

December 26th, 2023

NEW YORK, NY – Chelsea’s Agora Gallery will feature the original work of Gail Comes in Contemporary Perspectives. The exhibition opens April 1, 2017 and runs through April 21, 2017 with an opening reception on Thursday, April 6 from 6-8 pm.

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Growing up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Gail Comes was nurtured by jazz musicians, dancers, actors, writers, and painters. This world sparked her curiosity, but it was an unlikely pairing—John Coltrane and Michelangelo, van Gogh, Bacon—that set her on her artistic path. Taking added inspiration from R. Crumb and the sights and sounds of the city, Comes pursued her craft, studying anatomy and drawing through her teenage years at the Art Students League. These influences—jazz, comics, and legendary painters—are ever-present in her work.

Bold lines are a hallmark of Comes’ oil paintings, linking her work, binding realism to the semi-abstract, the surreal, and those paintings that hover between art nouveau and graphic novel. Occasionally her figures burst with jazz-like improvisations, bursts of rich colors. Other times they are muted, melancholy. Some exist in a sublime peace. When asked why she paints these figures, Comes replied, “I see a body or a face that grabs me and I try to grab it back!”

Gail Comes lives and works in New York.

Exhibition Dates: April 1, 2017 – April 21, 2017

Reception: Thursday, April 6, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Gallery Hours: Tues-Sat 11:00am – 6:00pm

Gallery Location: 530 West 25th St, Chelsea, New York

Event URL: http://www.agora-gallery.com/artistpage/Gail_Comes.aspx

Featured Artists:

Contemporary Perspectives

Lauralee Franco | Fariba Baghi | Craig Frankowski | Stephanie E. Graham | Gail Comes | Bobbie See

About the Exhibition

Contemporary Perspectives: The New Art History

Agora Gallery is pleased to present Contemporary Perspectives, a new collective exhibition highlighting all the ways which show that the past and present are in constant dialogue. Contemporary Perspectives assembles a small group of artists who approach classic subject matter with fresh eyes. Their work contains echoes of art history while managing to be entirely forward-thinking.

Half of the six featured artists work in oil. One depicts romantic landscapes as a series of highly stylized, streamlined patterns. The second paints florals, with an updated hyperrealism and irregular canvases. The third paints portraits that are composed as traditional reverential busts. However the colors are saturated, the body language is animated, and her subjects are women of color, a historically overlooked group. There are two acrylic painters: one creates dramatic visions of completely imaginary forests, and another places realistic figures in foggy, abstracted landscapes. The last artist works in ink and mixed-media to create meticulous botanicals that recall both scientific catalogues and the watercolor works of nineteenth-century leisure painters.