Achenbach Hagemeier

Corey Mason

born 1979, lives and works in Raleigh, North Carolina, US

The work of US-American artist Corey Mason is visually awkward and culturally indeterminate. Inspired by color pigments from the Palaeolithic Age, he primes his canvases on the back. The depicted motifs are often playful, trivial, and thus deliberately ambiguous. Mason's hybrid paintings refer to the caves of Lascaux and Chauvet as well as to Picasso's minotaur paintings, while his ceramic images suggest both European and Mesoamerican references.
Mason’s deceptively simple, elemental visual language allows him to translate images of time-bound objects—whether European Delftware or Mesoamerican pottery—into jazzy, off-kilter improvisations that transcend the specificity of time and place. Old things become new again and known things become marvelous under the spell of Mason’s offhand elegance, which animates his playful yet expertly balanced compositions. Mason re-enchants the familiar with his freeform bending of line, shape, and form and with the felt presence of the artist’s inimitable hand. The works are not illustrations but dances of sensation linking past and future, memory and fantasy, the personal and the universal.

"Mason maneuvers contemporary appropriation art past the endgame of irony or purely negative critique, opening a discursive space for authentic cross-cultural connections and empathetic re-imaginings of the past."
Logan Royce Beitmen, Corey Mason: Delft Blue, County Gallery Palm Beach, Florida US, 2018

COREY MASON

* 1979 in San Antonio, US

Lives and works in Raleigh, North Carolina, US

Corey Mason is an emerging artist from Raleigh, North Carolina, whose expressive linework has been likened to that of Twombly, Matisse, and Picasso. His paintings have recently attracted the notice of important curators in New York, London, and Berlin, and in April of 2019 the artist will have a solo booth at the Marfa Invitational, one of the hottest and most prestigious contemporary art fairs in the world.

Corey Mason’s most recent bodies of work consists of freehand gestural paintings made with oil and pigment on reverse-primed canvases. Mason’s confident linework and his halo-like layers of intentional smudges and fingerprints present an insistent tactility and immediacy that recalls the Paleolithic cave paintings of France and Spain. Mason’s motifs, which include pottery, animals, flowers, fruit, and athletes, are both local and global. They suggest the intimacy and comfort of domestic spaces while simultaneously pointing to larger histories of trans-Atlantic trade, migration, and cross-cultural influence. Mason, who grew up in Texas and conducted research in Northern Mexico, has an abiding interest in Mexican folk art, icons, and Spanish-influenced pottery.

His own family, which has roots in Northern and Central Europe, used pottery in their home, and the rich design vocabulary and subtle colors of those everyday household objects left an equally lasting impression on him. Mason’s deceptively simple, elemental visual language allows him to translate images of time-bound objects—whether European Delftware or Mesoamerican pottery—into jazzy, off-kilter improvisations that transcend the specificity of time and place. Old things become new again and known things become marvelous under the spell of Mason’s offhand elegance, which animates his playful yet expertly balanced compositions. Mason re-enchants the familiar with his freeform bending of line, shape, and form and with the felt presence of the artist’s inimitable hand. The works are not illustrations but dances of sensation linking past and future, memory and fantasy, the personal and the universal.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2019
Prenumbra, Olsen Gruin, New York, USA

Marfa Invitational, Achenbach Hagemeier, Marfa Texas, USA

A+B Gallery, Brescia, IT

2018
Delft Blue, County Gallery, Palm Beach, USA

Achenbach Hagemeier, Duesseldorf, DE

The Journal Gallery, New York, USA

2016

Holder Gallery, Open Book, Raleigh, USA

2015

Nash Hall, Fruits, Raleigh, USA

Gallery A, Bust, Raleigh, USA