Halsey McKay presents No Way, Glen Baldridge’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.
Glen Baldridge’s paintings extrapolate age-old paper marbling techniques to make abstract paintings of camouflaged texts. Using his own handmade tools, Baldridge deftly manipulates viscous acrylic paint for results that demonstrate both detailed control and material entropy. The effect simultaneously mimics the ornamentation of head shop paraphernalia and ancient manuscripts.
The tradition of marbled paper was used to give a seal of authenticity to documents in the prevention of counterfeiting and spreading of false information. Baldridge’s newest paintings are begun atop older marbled text works, further obscuring earlier declarations of dissatisfaction like “Dark Daze”, “Buzz Kill”, “World War IV”, or “Obstacle Corpse”. This redaction gestures to feelings of recoil after saying something embarrassing or too incriminating to repeat. Embedded in dense eddies of acrylic paint the words “No Way” emerge. “No Way” can be interpreted as enthusiastic celebration of delight or an emphasis of disgust. It can also be used as a non-statement or deadened reaction used to address an event that demands response but can’t be emotionally dealt with. A brush-off in an age where shock value is used to mask more nefarious hidden truths.The pure beauty of these paintings acts as a similar ruse. This centuries old technique, applied to an ever repeating history.
Glen Baldridge (b. 1977, Nashville, TN) holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and has exhibited extensively over the past decade across the US and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions have been at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, NY; Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton; William Patterson University, Wayne, NJ; Fourteen30 Contemporary, Portland, OR, and Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Recent group shows include Pair: Glen Baldridge & Alex Dodge, The Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; Drawings & Prints: Selections from the Met Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Un/Settled, RISD Museum, Providence, RI; Force of Nature, Steve Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Cryptograph: An Exhibition for Alan Turing, The Spencer Museum, Kansas City, KS. His work is included in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; MoMA, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; NY Public Library, NY; RISD Museum, Providence; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; and the Library of Congress, Washington D.C.Courtesy of the artist and Halsey McKay Gallery