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Eva Presenhuber is pleased to present Selected Poems, an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Brooklyn-based artist Austin Eddy. On view at our private showroom, Selected Poems continues Eddy’s career-long fascination with marrying a formalist concern for shape and color with distinctly autobiographical source material. In the process, the artist creates works that are rooted in art historical considerations—from early twentieth-century Cubism and Fauvism to the color field of the post-war years—but born of the present moment.

For this particular body of work, Eddy continues his use of stylistically rendered birds as a compositional through line for all paintings on view. A leitmotif in his lexicon of symbols since 2018, Eddy’s birds are here given new context and energy with the artist’s latest addition of vividly and sometimes abstractly depicted flowers and grasses, all of which is visually derived from the flora endemic to the American Northeast where Eddy has spent much of the last year. While the surreality of the flowers’ forms refutes any attempt at taxonomy, the touchingly illustrated shapes, dots, and lines that comprise both the birds and vegetation still index a symbolist attraction to the natural world that is transcendentalist without slipping into dogma.

The poetic titles of each work further this point. Most directly lifted from Paul Verlaine’s decadent verse of the fin de siècle era, Eddy’s appellations share additional affinity with the rhetoric of earlier forebearers like Tennyson and Thoreau in their pastoral attraction, a fact underscored by Eddy’s decision to compose his works en plein air for the first time in his practice. However, Eddy’s paintings are hardly mired in antiquity. Instead, using the carefully studied formal qualities of the canvas plane and its boundaries, the artist examines the gamut of contemporary human emotion, with each work functioning as a musing on mortality, fragility, and the passage of time. The subjects of these paintings—a bird perched on a flower, two birds huddled on a sandbar, birds in flight, a falling bird at sunset—are a window into this sense of our temporal precarity. In Eddy’s own words, “This work is the inverse of a river, where time is a stone and we exist as the water, passing by these moments ever so briefly.”

This ability to connote sympathies and tensions in equal measure is constituent to Eddy’s paintings. Much like his Cubist predecessors, the works on view here use an amalgam of colors, flattening of perspective, and distortion of scale in service to mining the depths of the lived experience. While each represented scene alludes to an actual moment in Eddy’s world, the artist’s highly stylized visual language of figures and forms move the particular to the universal, with Eddy’s birds acting not as proxies so much as thoughtful reminders of the spectrum of our communal reality.

TIS-1

Installation view of paintings by Austin Eddy

Installation view, Austin Eddy, Selected Poems, Eva Presenhuber, Private Showroom, New York, 2022

Installation view pf paintings and drawings by Austin Eddy

Installation view, Austin Eddy, Selected Poems, Eva Presenhuber, Private Showroom, New York, 2022

Installation view of painting by Austin Eddy

Installation view, Austin Eddy, Selected Poems, Eva Presenhuber, Private Showroom, New York, 2022

Installation view of painting by Austin Eddy

Installation view, Austin Eddy, Selected Poems, Eva Presenhuber, Private Showroom, New York, 2022

TIS-2

Painting by Austin Eddy

On Almost Silent Wings.
2021
Oil and Flashe on canvas
183 x 122 cm / 72 x 48 in
EDDY50405

Detail of painting by Austin Eddy

On Almost Silent Wings. (detail)
2021
Oil and Flashe on canvas
183 x 122 cm / 72 x 48 in
EDDY50405

TIS-2

Painting by Austin Eddy

Sandbar On the Hudson.
2021
Oil and Flashe on canvas
183 x 122 cm / 72 x 48 in
EDDY50404

Detail of painting by Austin Eddy

Sandbar On the Hudson. (detail)
2021
Oil and Flashe on canvas
183 x 122 cm / 72 x 48 in
EDDY50404

TIS-2

Painting by Austin Eddy

The Embrace of Springs Last Light.
2021
Oil and Flashe on canvas
183 x 91.5 cm / 72 x 36 in
EDDY50403

Detail of painting by Austin Eddy

The Embrace of Springs Last Light. (detail)
2021
Oil and Flashe on canvas
183 x 91.5 cm / 72 x 36 in
EDDY50403

TIS-5

Painting by Austin Eddy

Tethered To The Shore, Never Knowing The Expanse Of The Sea.
2021
Oil and Flashe on canvas
152.5 x 86.5 cm / 60 x 34 in
EDDY50402

Detail of painting by Austin Eddy

Tethered To The Shore, Never Knowing The Expanse Of The Sea. (detail)
2021
Oil and Flashe on canvas
152.5 x 86.5 cm / 60 x 34 inches
EDDY50402

TIS-5

Painting by Austin Eddy

The Enchantment Of Evenings End.
2021
Oil and Flashe on canvas
183 x 61 cm / 72 x 24 in
EDDY50401

Detail of painting by Austin Eddy

The Enchantment Of Evenings End. (detail)
2021
Oil and Flashe on canvas
183 x 61 cm / 72 x 24 in
EDDY50401

TIS-4

Painting by Austin Eddy

The Burial.
2021
Oil and Flashe on canvas
183 x 91.5 cm / 72 x 36 in
EDDY50400

Detail of painting by Austin Eddy

The Burial. (detail)
2021
Oil and Flashe on canvas
183 x 91.5 cm / 72 x 36 in
EDDY50400

install side
Drawing by Austin Eddy

Asleep In The Valley.
2021
Colored pencil on paper
Sheet: 15 x 10 cm / 6 x 4 in
Framed: 35.5 x 30.5 cm / 14 x 12 in
EDDY50409

Drawing by Austin Eddy

A Bird And The Sea.
2021
Colored pencil on paper
Sheet: 15 x 10 cm / 6 x 4 in
Framed: 35.5 x 30.5 cm / 14 x 12 in
EDDY50410

Drawing by Austin Eddy

The Dying Light's Last Lament.
2021
Colored pencil on paper
Sheet: 15 x 10 cm / 6 x 4 in
Framed: 35.5 x 30.5 cm / 14 x 12 in
EDDY50407

Drawing by Austin Eddy

Asleep In The Valley.
2021
Colored pencil on paper
Sheet: 15 x 10 cm / 6 x 4 in
Framed: 35.5 x 30.5 cm / 14 x 12 in
EDDY50409

Drawing by Austin Eddy

A Bird And The Sea.
2021
Colored pencil on paper
Sheet: 15 x 10 cm / 6 x 4 in
Framed: 35.5 x 30.5 cm / 14 x 12 in
EDDY50410

Drawing by Austin Eddy

The Dying Light's Last Lament.
2021
Colored pencil on paper
Sheet: 15 x 10 cm / 6 x 4 in
Framed: 35.5 x 30.5 cm / 14 x 12 in
EDDY50407

Drawing by Austin Eddy

To Know One's Own End.
2021
Colored pencil on paper
Sheet: 15 x 10 cm / 6 x 4 in
Framed: 35.5 x 30.5 cm / 14 x 12 in
EDDY50408

Drawing by Austin Eddy

Bird Mid Flight.
2021
Colored pencil on paper
Sheet: 15 x 10 cm / 6 x 4 in
Framed: 35.5 x 30.5 cm / 14 x 12 in
EDDY50411

Drawing by Austin Eddy

Sand Bar On The Hudson As Seen From The Rip Van Winkle Bridge.
2021
Colored pencil on paper
Sheet: 15 x 10 cm / 6 x 4 in
Framed: 35.5 x 30.5 cm / 14 x 12 in
EDDY50406

Drawing by Austin Eddy

To Know One's Own End.
2021
Colored pencil on paper
Sheet: 15 x 10 cm / 6 x 4 in
Framed: 35.5 x 30.5 cm / 14 x 12 in
EDDY50408

Drawing by Austin Eddy

Bird Mid Flight.
2021
Colored pencil on paper
Sheet: 15 x 10 cm / 6 x 4 in
Framed: 35.5 x 30.5 cm / 14 x 12 in
EDDY50411

Drawing by Austin Eddy

Sand Bar On The Hudson As Seen From The Rip Van Winkle Bridge.
2021
Colored pencil on paper
Sheet: 15 x 10 cm / 6 x 4 in
Framed: 35.5 x 30.5 cm / 14 x 12 in
EDDY50406

Austin Eddy was born in 1986 in Boston, MA, US, currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, US. He earned his BFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010. Recent exhibitions include Seeuferweg at Livie Fine Art, Zurich, CH (2021); Light Reflecting Distance at The Pit, Los Angeles, CA, US (2021); Birds At Night at Althuis Hofland Fine Arts, Amsterdam, NL (2020); Cold On The 4th Of July at Institute 193 B, New York, NY, US (2020); and The Poet And The Muse at Knust Kunz, Munich, DE (2020). In the coming year, a monograph of the artist’s practice will be published in conjunction with Knust Kunz, Munich.