Puff Pieces

Justin Adian, Lynda Benglis, John Chamberlain, Samara Golden, Guy  Goodwin, Sam Moyer, Jayson Musson, and Erwin Wurm


curated by Feelings

July 8 - August 12, 2016

Press Release



Puff Pieces


Justin Adian, Lynda Benglis, John Chamberlain, Samara Golden, Guy Goodwin, Sam Moyer, Jaysn Musson, and Erwin Wurm


Curated by Feelings


July 8 — August 12, 2016

Opening Reception: Friday July 8, 2016, 6 — 8 pm


Rachel Uffner Gallery is pleased to present Puff Pieces, a group exhibition curated by Feelings. Through the paintings and sculptures of Justin Adian, Lynda Benglis, John Chamberlain, Samara Golden, Guy Goodwin, Sam Moyer, Jayson Musson, and Erwin Wurm, the show serves as a singular consideration of puffy forms.


Puff pieces put up soft fronts. Buoyed by subjective views, these articles' inflated accounts of their objects forgo neutrality for intensified terms of expression. Without counterargument or opposing perspectives, puff pieces brazenly advance, entertain, hype, and convert. The padded sculptures and paintings on display share puff pieces' excess. Materials and approaches range, but all works present viewers with a generous surface. The round, swollen shapes and gentle contours may bring on sensations of pleasure, mirth, safety, and ease before traveling off in different directions. Reflecting on these first formal impressions offers a personal key to each work, a self-indulgent way in promoted by Feelings in its publication Soft Art.


Justin Adian's paintings and sculpture, puffed with foam and swaddled in soft colors, absorb the canon of Abstraction while stripping away pretension in favor of goofy, anthropomorphic shapes informed by personal history and Americana. Sam Moyer pads her canvases too, elevating art’s standard protection to the status of a work. Her individual take on material abstraction raises woolier distinctions: Moyer’s moving-blanket-wrapped frames double as paintings and paintings’ plush props.


Guy Goodwin's aerated forms, loud colors, and scale create a raucous chorus, his idiosyncratic material choice reflecting and then forming a darkly comic view of political and domestic excess. Symbols of flags, bills, and eagles pattern Samara Golden's stuffed skins in a more strident critique. Her doubled figures' amplified presence yields a physical encounter with the psychic space of national myths.


Erwin Wurm's distended hoodie, toaster, and embroidery bloat to comedic proportions, but leave a lingering sense of frailty in the way consumer culture boosts goods and an identity built through consumption. Jayson Musson's Pedestrian is just as fragile. His voluminous Michelin Man rolled in cheerful green, nose aloft, is one prick away from losing its hot air in an ambivalent statement about the nature of the art world.


Lynda Benglis's fat spills and protrusions tender delectable surfaces and colors. Once a strong rebuke to her Minimalist contemporaries, her excessive works expanded the bounds of painting past need for supports. John Chamberlain's foam lacks structure altogether, or the heft of his well-known metal works, yet these lowly puffs proved the most sensitive media to express his subjective vision of "fit."


Feelings approaches contemporary art through viewers’ sensation of tangible qualities. Several artists and works on view are featured in Feelings’s first publication, Feelings: Soft Art, available at the gallery and wherever Rizzoli books are sold.


Image: Jayson Musson, Pedestrian (detail), fiberglass, powder coated pain, 72 x 32 x 32 inches


Please call (212) 274-0064 or email info@racheluffnergallery.com for more information.

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Bill Powers interviews Justin Adian for Artnews, discusses 'Puff Pieces'
July 27, 2016

Puff Pieces featured on ArtNews
July 5, 2016