Beverly Semmes and Larissa Bates at Topless

06 Larissa Bates_Pussycat_Pussycat

Artists: Beverly Semmes and Larissa Bates

Venue: Topless, Rockaway Beach, New York, US

Date: June 11 – 25, 2016

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Topless

Topless is pleased to inaugurate its 3rd season with Larissa Bates & Beverly Semmes, a dual exhibition opening Saturday, June 11th, 2016.

Larissa Bates’ intimate and jewel-like paintings are faceted reflections of crossing complex histories. The intricacies and details adapted from past, present and some sort of fantasy; simultaneously the artist’s and civilization’s own. The scenes segue between still life, landscape, and portraiture, cultivating the curiosities of and between cultural commodity and cultural identity. Her gold-leafed and gouache works ensnare the viewer in their richness, simultaneously dazzling with their unadulterated preciousness and disturbing with a darker intensity.

Beverly Semmes’ Scratch is a large-scale new work configured specifically for this summer’s space. A hovering form on the wall and a long velvet strip of gold squares bisects the room. Sinuous, meandering sleeves of blue and green become like paint lines, vines that sit on top of the golden length. The source of this river / sunset / flag / butterfly / flood of plush, saturated color appears to come out from the wall as it snakes across the floor and pushes onwards. Semmes is best known for large-scale fabric works that over recent years have become increasingly abstract. This current piece integrates aspects of both a dress and a landscape, in which symbolic and formal elements combine, and the recognizable shades off into otherness.

Larissa Bates (B. 1981 Burlington, Vermont) lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts. Bates’ most recent solo exhibitions include Mama Lengua : Mother Tongue (2015) and Chiquita Banana (2012) at Monya Rowe. Bates is a 2014 Boston Artadia Awardee. Her work has been reviewed and featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, TIME, and among others. Bates will have an upcoming solo exhibition at Monya Rowe, Saint Augustine, FL, in 2017.

Beverly Semmes (B. 1958 Washington, D.C.) lives and works in New York, NY. Among Semmes’ most recent solo exhibitions include Rabbit Hole at Susan Inglett Gallery (2016), New York, NY; Handle at Galerie Lefebvre & Fils, Paris, FR; FRP at Galerie Bugdahn und Kaimer, Dusseldorf, DE; and Opener 27 Beverly Semmes: FRP, which has traveled to the Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY; Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; and Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College, IA. Semmes work has been reviewed and featured in such sources as Artforum, The New Yorker, The New York Times, BOMB, and Art in America among many others. An extensive index of Semmes’ practice, “Beverly Semmes FRP”, organized by Ian Berry was published last year by The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery.

01 Install View 1

02 Install View 2

03 Larissa Bates_Epigenetics_of_Nurture

Larissa Bates, The Epigenetics of Nurture, 2015
Gouache and 22 karat gold leaf on linen, 20.32cm x 25.4cm

04 Larissa Bates_Impossibility_of_Seeing

Larissa Bates, The Impossibility of Seeing: Animals of the Universal History of the Things of New Spain, or the Florentine Codex, 2015. Gold leaf and gouache on panel, 35.56cm x 27.94cm

05 Installation View

06 Larissa Bates_Pussycat_Pussycat

Larissa Bates, Pussycat Pussycat Where Have You Been? I’ve Been To London to Visit The Queen, 2013. Gouache and oil on linen, 35.56cm x 27.94cm

07 Larissa Bates_Economic_Botany

Larissa Bates, Economic Botany: Saccharum, Cavendish Bananas, and Cocoa, 2015. Gouache and gold leaf on panel, 35.56cm x 27.94cm

08 Installation View

09 Beverly Semmes_Scratch

Beverly Semmes, Scratch, 2016. Velvet, 213.36cm x 822.96cm x 182.88cm

010 Beverly Semmes_Scratch_Detail1

Beverly Semmes, Scratch, 2016 (detail). Velvet, 213.36cm x 822.96cm x 182.88cm

011 Larissa Bates_Scratch_Detail 2

Beverly Semmes, Scratch, 2016 (detail). Velvet, 213.36cm x 822.96cm x 182.88cm

012 Installation View

013 Larissa Bates_Land_of_V_&_D

Larissa Bates, Land of Vanity And Delusion: Bananas, Gold, Baseballs, 2015. Gouache and 22 karat gold leaf on linen, 35.56cm x 27.94cm