Yossi Milo Gallery is pleased to introduce new paintings by Brooklyn-based painter Grace Metzler, inspired by Metzler’s personal narratives and references to contemporary daily life. Metzler’s debut exhibition at the gallery is planned for 2021.
Grace Metzler paints darkly humorous scenes depicting everyday people doing quite ordinary things, conjured from her imagination. Some characters appear across multiple works, “stopping by" like old friends or family members. Some are extensions of herself. As the artist explains, the characters “often help me out by telling me who they are and what their needs are. It excites me when the painting feels like a story being told to me by the process of painting and by the figures inside these worlds.” Despite this internal focus, the world of Metzler’s figures is often linked to the present day, with iconographies distilled from social media and television.
As if based on the bridal tradition with origins in a Victorian English rhyme, “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”, Hungover Aunties on Wedding Day—completed in 2020 over the course of several months—depicts an intergenerational family in various states of dress and sobriety. Based loosely on a personal narrative of revisiting her childhood home in Pennsylvania, the homecoming scene presents Metzler’s recurring theme of caring and pampering between women. Painting expressionistically, the surfaces of Hungover Aunties are highly tactile, with dabs of paint doubling as facial features or thick impastos accentuating key narrative elements such as a flower arrangement or patterned blankets. Meanwhile, the pastel color scheme serves as muted framing for the wildfires that rage outside the window.
Work by Metzler have been exhibited in solo exhibitions at V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark and Half Gallery, New York, NY, as well as in group exhibitions at Thierry Goldberg, New York, NY, David & Schweitzer, Brooklyn, NY, and Neochrome Gallery, Torino, Italy. Metzler received her BFA from Tyler School of Art at Temple University and her MFA from Hunter College in 2017. She was named the 2017 recipient of the Rema Hort Foundation Emerging Artist Grant. Metzler was born in 1989 in New York City, where she currently lives and works.