Joel Mesler: Pool Party

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Open: Mon-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 10am-7pm

Slat House, The Royal Poinciana Plaza 50 Cocoanut Row, Suite 122, FL 33480, Palm Beach, United States
Open: Mon-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 10am-7pm


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Joel Mesler: Pool Party

Palm Beach

Joel Mesler: Pool Party
to Sun 13 Mar 2022
Mon-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 10am-7pm
Artist: Joel Mesler

LGDR presents Joel Mesler: Pool Party, an exhibition opening simultaneously in Palm Beach and in London that explores childhood memory and personal trauma contrasted with the joy and innocence that defined the artist’s upbringing in Los Angeles during the 1980s.

Artworks

Untitled (You and Me), 2021

Pigment on linen
84 x 65 inches (213.4 x 165.1 cm)
© Joel Mesler

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Untitled (Celebration), 2021

Pigment on linen
80 x 70 inches (203.2 x 177.8 cm)
© Joel Mesler

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Untitled (Gonna Make a Change), 2021

Pigment on linen
80 x 70 inches (203.2 x 177.8 cm)
© Joel Mesler

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Untitled (Solid Gold), 2022

Pigment on linen
80 x 70 inches (203.2 x 177.8 cm)
© Joel Mesler

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Untitled (We are the World), 2022

Pigment on linen
80 x 70 inches (203.2 x 177.8 cm)
© Joel Mesler

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Untitled (LOVE), 2022

Pigment on linen
70 x 50 inches (177.8 x 127 cm)
© Joel Mesler

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Untitled (Pool Party), 2022

Pigment on linen on two panels
Each panel: 84 x 65 inches (213.4 x 165.1 cm) Overall: 84 x 130 inches (213.4 x 330.2 cm)
© Joel Mesler

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Untitled (Together as One), 2022

[on paper] on three sheets
Each sheet: 22 x 30 inches (55.9 x 76.2 cm)
© Joel Mesler

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Untitled (Play the Hits), 2022

[on paper] on three sheets
Each sheet: 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm)
© Joel Mesler

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Untitled (Pool Party), 2022

[on paper] on two sheets
Each sheet: 22 x 30 inches (55.9 x 76.2 cm)
© Joel Mesler

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Untitled (Hopes and Dreams), 2022

[on paper] on two sheets
Each sheet: 22 x 30 inches (55.9 x 76.2 cm)
© Joel Mesler

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Untitled (Together as One), 2022

Pigment on linen on three panels
Each panel: 84 x 65 inches (213.4 x 165.1 cm) Overall: 84 x 195 inches (213.4 x 495.3 cm)
© Joel Mesler

contact gallery

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Debuting at 50 Cocoanut Row in Palm Beach and at both 40 Albemarle Street and 22 Old Bond Street in London, this exhibition features new paintings and works on paper that expand upon Mesler’s signature motifs such as banana leaves to include pool floats, beach balls, and disco lights. With this series, the artist also reflects on the COVID-19 pandemic crisis—evoking fire and water to symbolize this global calamity and shared sense of isolation. Mesler combines such imagery with lyrics from the mixtapes of his adolescence, emblazoning words from unifying and celebratory ‘80s songs across his compositions. Joel Mesler: Pool Party converts the artist’s private suffering into a universal language of hope and survival.

In single compositions, diptychs, and triptychs, Mesler evokes the ‘80s era—winking at art historical forebearers and cultural touchstones with his carefully chosen symbols and texts. The tropical flora and fauna that flourish in these works bring to mind the imagined jungles of Paul Gauguin and Henri Rousseau while also summoning the recognizable “Martinique” patterned wallpaper of the Beverly Hills Hotel in California. The phrases that materialize in the artist’s compositions are often inspired by ‘80s pop songs. Rendering letters as mylar balloons or water droplets, Mesler spells out lyrics from tunes including the 1985 anthem “We Are the World” (co- written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and recorded by the supergroup USA for Africa). The inviting surface of a cerulean swimming pool in examples from this series pays homage to the figurative scenes of David Hockney and the abstract expanses of Brice Marden, even while populated with the playful pool floats of Mesler’s own early life.

At times, Mesler’s allusions to water and fire seem lighthearted; at other times, they feel almost apocalyptic or diluvial. Indeed, Joel Mesler: Pool Party conjures the duality of the 1980s, a moment defined as much by prosperity as by precarity. Surfacing in these paintings and works on paper are Mesler’s diverging memories of his youth: some sun-soaked and blissful moments, replete with rest and revelry; some shadowy and somber episodes, tinged with his parents’ divorce and other domestic hardships. Drawing together the past and the present, Mesler also gestures forward in time to the seclusion, fear, and grief that the pandemic precipitated, reframing this contemporary reality with his outlook on humanity’s capacity for renewal and rebirth.

The pictorial, emotional, and thematic dichotomies that Mesler probes with his new works are literalized in the unique structure of the exhibition, which will open concurrently in two continents. The artist created compositions that mirror one another, dividing them between LGDR’s spaces in Palm Beach and London. Two separate works sharing a background, a text, or a form will be on view across the Atlantic Ocean from each other. This presentational approach echoes the bittersweet nature of childhood—an experience that is collective yet individual, remote yet intimate. Joel Mesler: Pool Party is both a raucous celebration of Californian life and a poignant meditation on the growing pains that continue to define us.

Installation view, Joel Mesler: Pool Party, LGDR Palm Beach 2022. Photo: Silvia Ros


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