04.20.2023 – 05.28.2023
Jacob Patrick Brooks
—ONLY POEM by Marcus Civin, March 2023
A steak, a filet, a painting. Subtitled NYC is pleased to present Medium Rare, a group show including the work of Amanda Ba, Jacob Brooks, Marcus Civin, Sam Cockrell, Kevin Ford, Annette Hur, and Kate Liebman, organized by Jaejoon Jang. The show will present a selection of unfinished paintings plucked from the artists’ studios the day before the opening, in various states of fruition. The inchoate works on view conjure the private sphere of an artist’s studio, offering a voyeuristic gaze at the piece in process. The difficulty of painting (not a rare medium) is, purportedly, knowing when it’s done. The show’s cheeky interruption of the artworks’ realization imposes that final task onto the visitor, withholding resolution and inviting them into the terror and playfulness of the creative process. The experimental format of Medium Rare is premised upon curiosity, trust, and mutual generosity among artists, organizer, and audience (or, otherwise, requires an overdetermined artistic method to temper the vulnerability of displaying work midway through its making). Maybe virtuosity will be on view rather than indeterminacy. The show’s conceit also obstructs the paintings’ immediate absorption into the art market, a decidedly anti-commercial stance in line with the aims of Subtitled NYC. It muddles the pieces’ desirability as intact fetish objects, while also elevating the mystique of the artists’ talents.
For many gourmands, medium rare is the ideal temperature for meat: seared and toothsome on the outside and matte pink and tender within. It’s cooked to such perfection that a moment longer would spoil the cut! - but of course doneness is in the mouth of the beholder. The paintings won’t be fully raw; the artists have agreed to work “naturally” instead of towards an exhibition, but they’re still cooking and the date of the show is confirmed. What would we call the moment when the paintings are taken from the studio, then—premature, or just on time? Completion often feels like interruption anyway, and the eager timing may allow for unpolished voluptuousness to emerge in the paintings.
—Tash Matteson, April 2023
All photos courtesy of Subtitled NYC, New York