White Columns

Paul Bloodgood

“Paul Bloodgood’s … paintings are filled with decisions about color, scale, surface and placement that seem unpredictable and wrong – therefore the paintings feel right and fermenting.” – Jerry Saltz, 1993.
 
White Columns is proud to present a survey exhibition of the work of Paul Bloodgood (1960-2018.)
 
Paul died on May 4, 2018 from early onset Alzheimer’s disease. The exhibition, which was initiated in late 2017, now functions as both a retrospective of his work (from 1993-2017) and as a testament and a memorial to his extraordinary spirit. The exhibition has been organized in close collaboration with Paul’s family and friends.
 
Paul studied at Yale and Maine College of Art. He moved to New York in 1986 where, with a group of artist-friends, he founded Art Cart, an artist-run art transportation and installation company that continues to this day (as Art Crating, Inc.). Paul was also a co-founder with his colleagues from Art Cart of the now legendary AC Project Room gallery, an independent, artist-run commercial gallery that operated in Lower Manhattan between 1989 and 2001. In a 1993 statement, AC Project Room was (modestly) described as a “small, independent exhibition space for the working artist community.”  Over its 20-year life the gallery would introduce and support the work of an extraordinary community of artists inc. Doug Aitken, Michel Auder, Paul Bloodgood himself, Robert Breer, Anne Chu, Isa Genzken, Joseph Grigely, Kim Jones, Byron Kim, Christina Mackie, Josiah McElheny, Kristin Oppenheim, Katy Schimert, Jane and Louise Wilson, among countless others.
 
Throughout, Bloodgood focused on his own work that oscillated between painting (and for the most part abstract, or near-abstract painting) and his persistent interest in language, literature and text. Bloodgood exhibited widely, including solo exhibitions at AC Project Room; and Daniel Newburg (1990); Sandra Gering (1993 and 1995); Gavin Brown’s enterprise (1994); and Newman Popiashvili (2010 and 2012), among others. With friends Leonard Bullock and Greg Kwiatek, his work was the subject of a three-artist exhibition (with accompanying catalog) at David Zwirner in 2008.
 
Writing in 1995, critic Jeanne Siegel astutely observed that: “Bloodgood’s painting has rejected the heroic, the commercial, the decorative, and the deconstructive tradition that persist in American abstraction. The result is a certain modesty, but it is not without strength.” Writing in 2000 about Paul’s 1999 exhibition at AC Project Room, writer Eileen Myles observed that: “[Bloodgood’s paintings] singly and serially emit a lively intensity. There’s a crackling freshness each time the motif morphs into its next incarnation.” Adding that she, “… realized that despite its self-referential construction and dense art historical references, [Bloodgood’s exhibition] was the most fluid and ethereal of shows.”

Despite suffering a traumatic brain injury – as a result of a 2010 mugging – Bloodgood continued to work in the studio until 2017.  The White Columns exhibition includes works made between 1993 and 2017, including a number of Bloodgood’s seminal text-collage ‘poems’ produced from the mid-1990s. Three vitrines will present a selection of materials relating to the AC Project Room; the original art work for Bloodgood’s 1995 artist’s book published by White Columns’ director Matthew Higgs in London; and a display of Paul’s drawings, collages, research materials and works on paper.
 
Together these artworks and materials provide an incomplete, and by necessity partial, overview of Paul Bloodgood’s life and work. Our hope is that the exhibition acts as an introduction (or re-introduction) to an artist who made an extraordinary contribution to New York’s cultural life, and that it might function as a catalyst for future exhibitions, further research, and the idea that one day a full retrospective of Bloodgood’s work will take place.
 
Paul Bloodgood, 1960-2018. He is greatly missed.

White Columns would like to sincerely thank Paul’s family and friends for their enthusiasm and support. We would like to express our sincere thanks to those individuals who made a financial contribution in support of the exhibition. Special thanks go to Kelly Adams, Leonard Bullock, Christine Burgin, Janice Guy, Byron Kim, Greg Kwiatek, and everyone at Art Crating, Inc. for their invaluable support.
 
For information or images contact: info@whitecolumns.org