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kaufmann repetto is pleased to present Tenderize, the gallery’s first solo presentation with New York-based painter Corydon Cowansage.
To tenderize is to consider the metamorphosis of one state to another. Taut muscle, connective tissue and fat are pulverized, squeezed and twisted. This physiological act can be described as a palatable process in the pursuit of optimal succulence and pleasure.
In this exhibition, Cowansage carefully navigates a progressive dance of give and take. As she builds layers of acrylic on the canvas, she also scuffs and rubs the paint into the surface to form heavily contrasted highlights and shadows. This particular type of tactility reveals itself within Cowansage’s brushstrokes and the continued tension found throughout the work, leaving much to be desired.
The central fibrous shapes are suspended within the frame, forming a harnessed restraint that interacts with the wavy and bent bodies, as they come to a sharp, tantalizing point. There is a moment of pain, both uncomfortable and awkward, as plump, fleshy forms contort themselves into configurations or stretch out to just barely graze each other’s tingling tips. As they piece together, the arrangements develop into lightly comical, yet instinctively beautiful arrays of organic nodules, some intimately intertwining and tenderly touching, whereas other large droplets pummel voluptuous objects as bulging sinews twist and open.
Outside the constraint of the substrate, painted contoured works investigate clinging bodies as compact forms hinging to one another, causing separation to be that much more superfluous. Like the transformation of a maturing body, these paintings simultaneously evoke a sense of discomfort, stimulation, buoyancy, the maternal, and the sublime.
Corydon Cowansage (b. 1985 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) lives and works in New York. She received an MFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design in 2011 and a BA in art from Vassar College in 2008. She has participated in residencies at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Yale Norfolk School of Art. Cowansage’s work has been shown internationally with recent solo and group exhibitions in Belgium, Italy, the United States, and the United Kingdom. This exhibition will coincide with kaufmann repetto’s presentation at miart, Milan (April 14-16, 2023), where Cowansage will be featured.