Mary Mary is pleased to present a three person exhibition with Lisa Alvarado, Alex Olson and Daniel Sinsel. This grouping brings together three artists who have their work based in the foundation of the painting medium and in various ways seek to reinterpret how they work within it, present ideas and challenge reads of the painterly surface and image. In the work of Lisa Alvarado, this is illustrated with the works having a semi-functional life as performance back-drops, existing as physical objects, working as visual points of reference. Daniel Sinsel’s work has stong links to the body, working with ever increasingly tactile and muliply layered surfaces, textures and materials. Alex Olson’s work focuses on the physical act of looking and the analysis that follows it, with mark-making and texture as a root to varying interpretations and changing perspectives.

Lisa Alvarado’s work takes the form of double-sided painted banners hung from the ceiling, accompanied by sewn feather floor works and a sound piece. Alvarado’s on-going painting series Traditional Object has its origins in her role in the band Natural Information Society, whose music has been described as “ecstatic minimalism”. The series is conceived as moveable sets and backdrops for the band’s performances, operating as ‘functional’ and at once, sensorial objects, forming a ‘path’ as viewers move through and around them.  By bordering her works with pigments and feathers of red and black, Alvarado connects her paintings to the red cochineal beetle dye and smoked pine pitch-wood black of early Mexican manuscript painting, a tradition nearly eradicated during conquest. 

In her new work presented here, Alex Olson continues her interest in the process of how perception shifts to definition. This series of paintings circulates around a theme of reveal or excavation, where parts of the whole are exposed along the way. The information given is not a final declaration, but instead shows the building and choices that went into creating the work. A compare-and-contrast scenario unfolds, with iterations of signs and ideas being posed side by side: the physical and rendered, the interior and the exterior, the visible and the invisible. These works are transforming, shedding and growing, offering the viewer glimpses of the paintings’ evolution as well as posing options for navigation.

Daniel Sinsel’s work mines the distinctions between sculpture and painting, with each work presented as reliefs and/or constructed textiles, including woven linen tape, material protrusions or inclusions. Sinsel continues here to adopt his distinct form of illusionism, with leaves and fruits of the fig tree as a re-occuring theme, incorporating hazelnut shells and chewing gum made of mastic resin and beeswax. Throughout these works, Sinsel disrupts and explores an idea of flatness and spatial illusion whilst drawing in associations to the body and physicality; the system that resembles an autonomic nervous system responsible for digestion, breathing, tensing and relaxing etc and psychological associations; illustrations of thought processes or emotional states.

Born in 1982, Lisa Alvarado lives and works in Chicago, having graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include, ‘Sound Talisman,’ Bridget Donahue, New York (2017); ‘Traditional Object,’ Soccer Club Club, Chicago (2013). Recent group exhibitions include ‘The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now,’ Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2017) & Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2015); ‘Material Issue,’ KMAC, Louisville; ‘Messages in the Street,’ Chicago public space & billboards (both 2016); ‘Imaginary Landscape,’ Mana Contemporary (2015). Selected performances include those at Bridget Donahue, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (all 2017); Japan Society, New York; The Common Guild, Glasgow; Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto (all 2016).

Born in 1978, Alex Olson lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Crooner,’ Altman Siegel, San Francisco (2017); ‘Loose is Vision,’ Shane Campbell, Chicago; ‘Scene of Elastic Sight,’ Laura Bartlett Gallery, London (2015); ‘Interior Address: Paintings by Alex Olson (Notes by M.Malliaris), Shane Campbell, Chicago (2013). Selected group exhibitions ‘Breather,’ Laura Bartlett Gallery, London (2016); ‘Reductive Minimalism: Two Generations of Women Artists in Dialogue 1960 – 2014,’ Univeristy of Michigan Museum of Art; ‘Variations: Conversations in and around Abstract Painting,’ LACMA, Los Angeles (both 2014); ‘Ten Years,’ Wallspace Gallery, New York; ‘You Should’ve Heard Just What I Seen: Selections from the Collection of Martin & Rebecca Eisenberg,’ Review School, East Sandwich; ‘Murmurs: Recent Acquisitions,’ LACMA, Los Angeles; ‘Painter Painter,’ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (all 2013); ‘Made in LA,’ Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2012).

Born in 1976, Daniel Sinsel lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include Sadie Coles HQ, London; Office Baroque, Brussels (both 2016); ‘Chicarron,’ Casa Maauad, Mexico (2015); Peles Empire, London, ‘DINGDONG,’ Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin (2013); Galleria II Capricorno, Venice, Italy (2012); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2011). Selected group exhibitions include ‘Fleming Faloon,’ Office Baroque, Brussels; ‘CAVES Off-site: The Substation,’ Melbourne; ‘Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson at the Hepworth Wakefield,’ Hepworth Wakefield; ‘A Terceira Mao (The Third Hand),’ Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel Galeria, Sao Paolo, Brazil (all 2017); ‘Making & Unmaking: An exhibition curated by Duro Olowu,’ Camden Arts Centre, London; British Art Show 8, various UK venues (2016); ‘MIRRORCITY: 23 London Artists,’ Hayward Gallery, London; ‘Somewhat Abstract: Selections from the Arts Council Collection,’ Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham (2014).

Mary Mary would like to thank Richer Sounds – richersounds.com – for the assistance with this exhibition.