Press Release February 2018
16 February – 26 March 2018
Opening 15 February 2018, 6 – 9 PM
Long dark days, short bright nights, dramatically breathtaking scenery and cold beyond cold in America's northernmost state created the artist Corey Mason. With a background in landscape architecture and a keen eye for aesthetic composition, Texas-born Mason found himself living in Anchorage, Alaska in the winter of 2009. Formerly known for beautiful realistic watercolors of people in his life or in his imagination, feelings of depression brought on by long dark nights pulled Mason, of all places, outdoors with a canvas and without rules. Cold so severe the paint would often dry on contact, Mason was inspired by the unearthly bright moon and the extremity of his surroundings. What began as escapist marks in the moonlight became, for Mason, a new life direction.
Saint Lees is a collection of drawings, which are a fascination for Mason. He is drawn to the blank space that exists within, that allows the formal figure or landscape to emerge. At what point does a sketch become a drawing and a drawing, a painting? The quickness seen in Mason´s work is balanced by a strength of intent and a furious confidence. One can see the artist´s determination to create a work that is simultaneously beautiful and manic and, yet, so grounded in historical inspiration (and the distance this creates) that it nearly distracts from a clear personal influence. Within his work, Mason almost seems to envy painters from the age of patrons who were given endless resources, incredible classical teaching, and from whom nothing was expected but the creation of fine art. One sees studies from this time referenced in Mason´s drawings, such as in Monterrey I and II, in which he imposes a faint grid of guidelines that mimic those commonly found in studies for an artist´s larger paintings. Mason is influenced in large part by the sculptures of Rodin and the work-up drawings of artist like Carlone. He is drawn to the permanence of Rodin's sculptures, which is created by the enormous amount of time invested in each sculpture and the fact that the sculptures have stood the test of time within the art world. By referencing the sense of time held within a Rodin sculpture and utilizing the quick precision of a Carlone sketch, Mason aims to impregnate his work with this sense of permanence.
Achenbach Hagemeier is pleased to present Saint Lees, Mason´s first show in Europe. The show will contain eleven paintings and a book of drawings. As a great admirer of Picasso and Twombly one can feel the influence both artists had on Mason’s works, and admirers of their work will delight at this exhibit. Mason´s previous solo exhibitions include Boy King - The Journal Gallery, NYC 2018, Open Book - Holder Gallery, Raleigh 2016, Fruits - Nash Hall - Raleigh 2015, Bust - Gallery A - Raleigh 2015 and he was part of a group show entitled Portraits - Reynolds Gallery - College Station 2002. His forthcoming solo exhibition will take place at Fifi Projects Gallery - Mexico City 2018.