Vincent Como: Paradise Lost

Vincent Como, Paradise Lost 004, 2011-present
Oil on linen, with wood, wax, and fire
26.25 x 20 x 5.5 inches

May 10 – June 15, 2013

MINUS SPACE is pleased to present the exhibition Vincent Como: Paradise Lost. This is the Brooklyn-based artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and it will feature a suite of small-scale black monochrome paintings illuminated by candlelight.

Working in a wide array of media, including installation, painting, drawing, printmaking, and artist books, the subject of Vincent Como’s artistic practice is the color black and he draws on divergent concepts from fields, such as art history, color theory, astrophysics, science, alchemy, philosophy, religion, mythology, and the occult. Como states, “The common denominator and unifying factor in all of these fields is rooted in some form of belief and the human capacity for prehension”.

For his new body of work, Como channeled John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), which chronicles the Biblical story of the fall of humankind, the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan, and their subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The paintings in this series are produced using the classical oil painting methods and materials of the Old Masters – successive layers of warm and cool black pigment glazes varnished to a highly reflective surface resulting in a profoundly deep pictorial space. Shelves with varying numbers of lit black tapered candles are installed directly below each of the paintings. The flames are reflected in the paintings’ glossy mirror-like surfaces and leave faint traces of heat, smoke, and soot behind.

Como remarks, “The works are catalysts; manifest ideas that contain multiple meanings. They are meant to challenge the viewer’s sense of history, memory, evolution, and transcendence”. He continues by saying, “This paradise, as an intellectual or utopian ideal, has failed. It has been misplaced and forgotten”.

Vincent Como (b. 1975, Kittanning, PA; lives Brooklyn, NY) has exhibited his work throughout the United States and abroad, including in Mexico, England, and Vienna. Recent solo and group exhibition include Art in General, BRIC Rotunda Gallery, Momenta (all NYC); Samson Projects (Boston, MA); Illinois State Museum (Lockport, IL); Western Exhibitions, University of Illinois (both Chicago, IL); Evanston Art Center (Evanston, IL); SPACES (Cleveland, OH); Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (Grand Rapids, MI); Art Museum of the University of Memphis (Memphis, TN); and House Gallery (Salt Lake City, UT), among many others.

Como’s work was included in two recent group exhibitions with the gallery: Neither Here Nor There But Anywhere and Everywhere (Brooklyn) and MINUS SPACE en Oaxaca (Oaxaca, Mexico). His work has been discussed in publications, such as The Wall Street Journal, ArtSlant, Progress Report, WagMag, The Boston Phoenix, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Journal, and Salt Lake Tribune, among others. He holds a BFA in Drawing from the Cleveland Institute of Art (Cleveland, OH).

Back in Black: Vincent Como’s Paradise Lost at Minus Space, by Heather Zises, READ(art), June 14, 2013
Vincent Como @ Minus Space, by Kris Chatterson, KCLOG, June 12, 2013
Vincent Como at MINUS SPACE, by Raymond E. Mingst, Curious Matter, June 5, 2013
Vincent Como at MINUS SPACE (image reproduction), WAGMAG Brooklyn Art Guide, June 2013
Vincent Como: Paradise Lost at MINUS SPACE, by Martin Cid, Yareah Magazine, May 31, 2013
Editor’s Pick: Vincent Como at MINUS SPACE, ART HAPS, May 5, 2013