Press Release

Anna Meliksetian and Michael Briggs are pleased to present Britton Tolliver: Moonsick.


For the exhibition, Tolliver presents a new group of abstract paintings, which are the result of an ongoing investigation at the intersection of the gestural and the geometric. The logic of the grid as a “scrim,” a compositional, yet restraining, device, appears serially in a uniform size and format throughout the paintings in the exhibition. Tolliver subverts the formal structure of the grid, interrupting it with the gestural and expressionistic. 

Yet, the "modernist grid" the artist seems to impose on the work is actually revealed in the under painting, so what at first seems to be a chaotic "postmodern interruption" of the modernist grid, is actually the revelation of the structure behind it, perhaps even the necessary structure.  Art historical tropes vie for supremacy and are transformed along the way. Amped up colors resonate with the aesthetic of the high- tech, by way of ‘80s and ‘90s subcultures. Layers of paint are scraped, chipped and torn away, foreground and background converge, at once revealing and obfuscating, maintaining a tension between elements and confounding the integrity of the surface, creating a low bas relief in paint. Highly charged and boldly confident, Tolliver’s paintings challenge formal positions and open up new vistas.