Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to announce Ralph Humphrey: Conveyance, an exhibition of paintings, collages, and drawings at 529 West 20th Street. Opening on April 2, 2015, the exhibition is the artist's first since 2012. Seven of Humphrey's thickly impastoed abstract paintings will be on view, as well as a selection of collages and preparatory drawings, many of which have never before been exhibited.
The exhibition focuses on the Conveyance paintings, a singularly important, emotionally fraught body of work, created between 1974 and 1977. The paintings—hulking masses of casein and modeling paste in blacks, blues, and purples—often loosely resemble actual objects, like packages or containers. But, what do they contain? Ostensibly, they are vessels for Humphrey's emotions, his life experiences and ideas about painting. Their textured surfaces simultaneously attract and repel, even as their dimensionality literally forces viewers into the objects' space. Their actual content is perhaps not so easily read.
Born in Youngstown, Ohio in 1932, Ralph Humphrey studied painting at Youngstown University. In 1957, Humphrey relocated to New York, where he met artists Theodoros Stamos and Mark Rothko. Rothko's fierce opinions and strong, personal emotionalism were major influences on the young artist—ones that continued throughout his career. From 1966 to 1990, Humphrey taught painting in the graduate art department at Hunter College. He remained at Hunter until his death in 1990.
During the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Humphrey had solo exhibitions at many influential galleries, including: Tibor de Nagy Gallery (1959, 1960, New York), Green Gallery (1965, New York), Bykert Gallery (1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, New York), Texas Gallery (1973, Houston), Daniel Weinberg Gallery (1974, 1976, 1982, San Francisco), John Weber Gallery (1976, 1977, New York), Willard Gallery (1980, 1982, 1984, New York), Daniel Weinberg Gallery (1983, 1986, 1990, Los Angeles), Jay Gorney Modern Art (1987, New York), and Mary Boone Gallery (1990, New York). During this period, his work was also featured in many important museum exhibitions, such as Abstract Expressionists and Imagists (1961, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum), Systemic Painting (1965, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum), A Romantic Minimalism (1968, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia), A View of a Decade (1977, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago), Painting in Relief (1980, Whitney Museum of American Art), and The Meditative Surface (1984, Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago), among others. More recently, Humphrey's work appeared in A Minimal Future?: Art as Object, 1958-1968 (2004, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) and High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting, 1967-1975 (2006, Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro).
Humphrey's work is in the collections of major museums around the world, including: the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; the Walker Art Center; the Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to represent the Estate of Ralph Humphrey.
Ralph Humphrey: Conveyance will be on view at Garth Greenan Gallery, 529 West 20th Street (between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues), through Saturday, May 16, 2015. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. For more information, please contact Garth Greenan at (212) 929-1351, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.