About the Exhibit - All that I have
Gerald Lovell’s exhibit, All that I have, is on view at P.P.O.W Gallery in New York from January 22 – February 20, 2021. The exhibit features large, colorful portraits, created on impastoed canvases.
Lovell has been inspired to focus on portraits by the individuals in his community, and more specifically, by his Grandmother’s photo albums.
“My grandmother has these huge photo albums. They're so big and detailed. She is the sole keeper of these images that document my family lineage. I grew up looking at them and they made me deeply connected to saving moments, moments that I have with people. When I started painting these were the moments I wanted to represent. I find them powerful. Painting is a grand way of continuing to document these deep moments.” - Gerald Lovell (source)
“As of late, his use of the impasto painting style has been more so to emphasize the body—applying the interspersed impasto technique as a variation in style meant to distinguish between the human subjects, and the material objects in his work.” - WISH ATL, THE GALLERY (source)
Lovell dropped out of college and became a self-taught artist, freeing himself from the Western principles of painting. Lovell’s portraits are significant because he depicts his subject matter (individuals from his community)
“For Lovell, painting is an act of biography. Combining flat and impressionistic painting with thick daubs of impasto, Lovell’s monumental portraits depict loving scenes often lost to the abyss of memory.” (source)
As a black man, Lovell feels it’s important to paint people in his community to solidify their presence, their importance. Not only does Lovell feature black subjects in his portraits, what they’re doing in these portraits carries great significance. Black individuals are robbed of certain representations in favor of being a political representation. But in Lovell’s portraits, his figures are just living their lives, enjoying companionship, self-confidence, leisure.
“Is there a space of free expression for Black portrait painters and their subjects? A place where they are free from the concerns and canons of Western painting? A space where there are no heroes, protestors or reasons to justify presence? A space where everyday life is of value because it is lived? These questions seem to preoccupy the painter Gerald Lovell’s canvases.” - Antwuan Sargent
Walkthrough of the Exhibit
To see a walkthrough of the exhibit, skip ahead to 15:38 in the video below.
About the Artist - Gerald Lovell
Gerald Lovell lives and works in Atlanta, Ga.
“Lovell began his career as an artist after dropping out of the graphic design program at the University of West Georgia as an undergraduate, realizing his need to embrace a new creative path.” (source)
His signature style is heavily impastoed canvases.
“Painting in three dimensions best conveys my narrative. The thicker the paint, the more emphasis on the object.” - Gerald Lovell (source)
He’s represented by P.P.O.W Gallery in New York.