Damian Loeb: Wishful Thinking. May 19 – July 2, 2021. 229 Hamilton Avenue. Palo Alto
New York, April 16, 2021 — Pace Gallery is pleased to announce representation of New York-based artist Damian Loeb ahead of his inaugural solo exhibition with the gallery opening May 19, 2021 in Palo Alto. Pace will co-represent the artist alongside Acquavella Galleries, with a focus on bringing his work to an even larger audience. Wishful Thinking will be on view through July 2, 2021.
Marc Glimcher, President & CEO, Pace Gallery, shares:
“Damian works with the intensity of an ecclesiastical artist. His radiant depictions of celestial bodies and events present a new iconography of belief. Not to be confused with photorealism, Damian’s perfecting of the imagery is more devotional than it is analytic. While stemming from the last years of the Pictures Generation, his paintings
speak to a consciousness of our 21st century.”
Damian Loeb shares:
“As a huge fan of Pace Gallery, I am excited to join their incredible roster of artists, many of whom are long time heroes of mine. Marc’s insight and commitment to his artists is inspiring, as is the professionalism and expertise of his entire team. I look forward to working together with Pace and Acquavella Galleries to share my new and future works.”
Wishful Thinking, Loeb’s debut presentation with Pace, is an off-world homage to the history of allegorical painting and comprises eight new paintings created in 2020 and 2021. Celebrating the relevance of representational work in a conceptual world, Loeb extends the genre of landscape painting to encompass new realms, translating the
19th century Romantic ideals of the sublime into contemporary images of the universe. He manipulates scale and composition to capture the spiritual awe of extra-terrestrial scenes, using classical art tropes to convey the escapist beauty in these strangely familiar expanses. Alluding to the Pygmalion myth, the show’s title refers to the desire of a certain reality rather than what exists. These works present distant landscapes as welcoming and a possible future home, yet simultaneously highlight the failure of verisimilitude—the fact that they will forever remain an “ideal”.
Following the tradition of early Baroque painters, these transcendent paintings seek to offer a spiritual salve for modern times and reference classical myths to examine themes such as martyrdom, faith, and sacrifice in their contemplation on the human condition. In Danae and the Shower of Gold (after Rubens) (2020), viewers see the gaseous folds of Jupiter mirror the modesty of fabric and plentiful flesh presented in Rubens’ painting of the same name.
Moving toward a new level of abstraction, the artist invites viewers to contemplate questions about an individual’s place in the infinite through this new body of work. Loeb’s paintings are “wishful thinking”: a meditation on fate as it manifests itself in beauty, and a false resolution—offered by myth—to find lost hope by anthropomorphizing the vast and mysterious images of other worlds, seemingly closer and better than the present one.
Damian Loeb (b. 1970, New Haven, Connecticut) is a self-taught artist. He first came to attention after being discovered by Jeffrey Deitch of Deitch Projects in 1997. Loeb’s art is informed by cinematography and the imagesoaked culture of contemporary times. The artist dissects and recomposes life as experienced through the eye of a director, taking resonant, emotional moments and distilling them into representational work to highlight the sense of the universal and the uncanny that subtly erupts in everyday life.
For the past decade, the artist has been focused on painting grand and graphic scenes of Earth and its celestial environs. In the summer of 2017, Loeb traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to experience firsthand the “Great American Eclipse.” His meticulously painted images capture the intimacy and immensity of this existential event. The artist continues to build on these themes, creating paintings that expand the terrestrial view and that show dreamlike images beyond humanity’s known world.
Since his first solo show at Mary Boone Gallery in 1999, Loeb has had solo shows at White Cube in London, Mario Diacono Gallery in Boston, Jablonka Gallery in Cologne, and Acquavella Galleries in New York. In 2006, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut held a retrospective of his work. He is co-represented by Acquavella Galleries and Pace Gallery. At Frieze New York in 2019, Acquavella Galleries presented Loeb’s paintings as a solo exhibition, only the second time in the gallery’s history that they have dedicated their presentation at a fair to a single artist.
Pace is a leading international art gallery representing some of the most influential contemporary artists and estates from the past century, holding decades-long relationships with Alexander Calder, Jean Dubuffet, Barbara Hepworth, Agnes Martin, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, and Mark Rothko. Pace enjoys a unique U.S. heritage spanning East and West coasts through its early support of artists central to the Abstract Expressionist and Light and Space movements.
Since its founding by Arne Glimcher in 1960, Pace has developed a distinguished legacy as an artist-first gallery that mounts seminal historical and contemporary exhibitions. Under the current leadership of President and CEO Marc Glimcher, Pace continues to support its artists and share their visionary work with audiences worldwide by remaining at the forefront of innovation. Now in its seventh decade, the gallery advances its mission through a robust global program—comprising exhibitions, artist projects, public installations, institutional collaborations, performances, and
interdisciplinary projects. Pace has a legacy in art bookmaking and has published over five hundred titles in close collaboration with artists, with a focus on original scholarship and on introducing new voices to the art historical canon. The gallery has also spearheaded exploration into the intersection of art and technology through new
business models, exhibition interpretation tools, and representation of artists engaging with technology.
Today, Pace has nine locations worldwide including London, Geneva, a strong foothold in Palo Alto, and two galleries in New York—its headquarters at 540 West 25th Street, which welcomed almost 120,000 visitors and programmed 20 shows in its first six months, and an adjacent 8,000 sq. ft. exhibition space at 510 West 25th Street. Pace was one of the first international galleries to establish outposts in Asia where it operates permanent spaces in Hong Kong and Seoul. In July 2020 Pace opened a temporary gallery space in East Hampton, New York that will be programmed through October 2021. Additionally, the gallery’s seasonal exhibition space in Palm Beach will be open through spring 2021. In fall 2021, Pace will continue to expand its European presence with the opening of a larger gallery space in London.