Holly Coulis’s first show with the gallery will feature a new series of paintings cutting deep into the genre of still life, keeping some of its traditions while skewing others and bending its subjects into the blurry zone between abstraction and representation.
The objects in Coulis’s paintings appear at first to sit on tabletops or other surfaces, but the spatial volumes are not always straightforward. At times objects are doubled, possibly rendering a shadow or suggesting movement. Throughout her compositions graphic lines traverse the canvas, defining the edges of each object and extending to a radiant outline, while flattening the space within the painting. Coulis’s use of color is arresting, layers of flat colors are built up while underlayers of paint are left exposed along the edge, leaving hints of process and implying a temporal dimension to the surface.
Some objects in the paintings are rendered with dimensionality, while others are flat. Some touch edges, while others overlap and become translucent. Coulis uses her subjects to both convey a sense of psychology and hint at the fine line between narrative and decoration, offering an interest in still life as an underrated genre — a domestic space in the history of painting and a familiar but disquieting source for contemplation.
Holly Coulis lives and works in New York. She holds an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and a BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. She was born in Toronto, Canada. Recent solo exhibitions include Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles in 2015 and Sardine, Brooklyn in 2014