June Kelly Gallery

Colin Chase Bio

Cadences, a body of imaginative and challenging sculpture by Colin Chase that, “grew out of my experience of bearing witness to the frenetic pulse of our lives in the last few years.”  These site-specific visual paradigms with specialized vocabulary and inference will open at the June Kelly Gallery, 166 Mercer Street, on Friday, October 15.  The works will remain on view through November 16.

Chase’s work continues to be rooted in ongoing scrutiny and pursuit of understanding the myriad ways in which we respond to the visual.  Modern and contemporary writing systems, such as Morse, barcodes, emoticons, text lingo and emoji excite his curiosity, said Chase, much like, the Peruvian Nazca line drawings, cave paintings, ancient pictographic writing systems, such as Nsibidi, Adinkra, Cree, and Cherokee, have long captivated him.  These visual interests fuel Chase’s passionate exploration in the development of unique systems that build on skeletal structures of those systems.

Chase writes, this new work distills the mercurial temperature of moods, shape-shifting attitudes, emotions, rituals, anxieties, pain, protest, pandemic, death, truth decay, and new myths.  The compositional matrix exploits the grid using bare-bones abstraction, geometry, and rhythm to visually articulate the sequence and tempo of a series of actions.  The layered systems interweave connections of structured and improvised arrangements.

Further, these structures created for the June Kelly Gallery space, elicit the gestalt of square windows or portals.  Several of them protrude at various levels from the walls, (redder raga #1, 2021) while others (#112520, 2021) subtly appear to hover in front of the walls of the rectangular room.  There is an interplay of colors and components that call and respond to each other in my work. This interplay extends to the neighboring objects and the room in variable degrees.  “Abstraction is the envelope that contains the body of my discoveries.  Text, alphabet ciphers, barcodes and Morse meet at varying intersections.  Digital and analog, current world events, cries and whispers, quotes and prayers call and respond at various cadences as they comingle in two and three dimensions.”  Everything and every human action revolve in rhythm - Babatunde Olatunji.

Chase lives and works in New York City and in Ulster County and teaches art at the City University of New York.  He received a BFA from Cooper Union and an MFA from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  Chase has been represented in many one-person and group exhibitions throughout the United States, as well as in Europe and Brazil.  His work is included in numerous private and public collections, among them The Studio Museum in Harlem, The New School of Social Research, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Prudential Life Insurance Company and AT&T.  His public commissions include the Queens Hospital Center and the Malcolm X Memorial in Manhattan.  In 2017, Chase received the Joan Mitchell Grant Award for Painters and Sculptors.

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166 MERCER STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10012/212-226-1660
(Between Houston and Prince Streets)
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