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Adam McEwen

Execute

March 18–April 23, 2022
980 Madison Avenue, New York

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Installation video

Installation view Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Works Exhibited

Adam McEwen, Compressed Spring #1, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 62 inches (203.2 × 157.5 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Compressed Spring #1, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 62 inches (203.2 × 157.5 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Bic #1, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 59 inches (203.2 × 149.9 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Bic #1, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 59 inches (203.2 × 149.9 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, To Start, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 64 inches (203.2 × 162.6 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, To Start, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 64 inches (203.2 × 162.6 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Spring at Rest, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 62 inches (203.2 × 157.5 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Spring at Rest, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 62 inches (203.2 × 157.5 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Boot, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 64 inches (203.2 × 162.6 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Boot, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 64 inches (203.2 × 162.6 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Air Conditioner, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 62 inches (203.2 × 157.5 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Air Conditioner, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 62 inches (203.2 × 157.5 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Landscape, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 62 inches (203.2 × 157.5 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Landscape, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 62 inches (203.2 × 157.5 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Open Spring #2, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 59 inches (203.2 × 149.9 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Open Spring #2, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 59 inches (203.2 × 149.9 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Bic #2, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 59 inches (203.2 × 149.9 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Bic #2, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 59 inches (203.2 × 149.9 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, OK Artist Love, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 79 × 59 inches (200.7 × 149.9 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, OK Artist Love, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 79 × 59 inches (200.7 × 149.9 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Spring Bic, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 59 inches (203.2 × 149.9 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Spring Bic, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 59 inches (203.2 × 149.9 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Leaning Bics, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 62 inches (203.2 × 157.5 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Leaning Bics, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 62 inches (203.2 × 157.5 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Execution Block, 2022 Fiberglass and paint, 60 × 75 × 50 ½ inches (152.4 × 190.5 × 128.3 cm), edition of 2 + 1 AP© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Execution Block, 2022

Fiberglass and paint, 60 × 75 × 50 ½ inches (152.4 × 190.5 × 128.3 cm), edition of 2 + 1 AP
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Train, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 94 × 64 inches (238.8 × 162.6 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Train, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 94 × 64 inches (238.8 × 162.6 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Tooth, 2022 Wood, gesso, and glitter, 36 × 28 ½ × 3 inches (91.4 × 72.4 × 7.6 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Tooth, 2022

Wood, gesso, and glitter, 36 × 28 ½ × 3 inches (91.4 × 72.4 × 7.6 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Untitled (Greta), 2022 Silkscreen ink and acrylic on canvas, 92 × 69 inches (233.7 × 175.3 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Untitled (Greta), 2022

Silkscreen ink and acrylic on canvas, 92 × 69 inches (233.7 × 175.3 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Six Foot Two Eyes of Blue, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 74 × 148 inches (188 × 375.9 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Six Foot Two Eyes of Blue, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 74 × 148 inches (188 × 375.9 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Untitled (Sadhguru), 2022 Silkscreen ink and acrylic on canvas, 92 × 69 inches (233.7 × 175.3 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Untitled (Sadhguru), 2022

Silkscreen ink and acrylic on canvas, 92 × 69 inches (233.7 × 175.3 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Compressed Spring #2, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 31 ½ × 64 inches (80 × 162.6 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Compressed Spring #2, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 31 ½ × 64 inches (80 × 162.6 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Open Spring #1, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 59 inches (203.2 × 149.9 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Open Spring #1, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 59 inches (203.2 × 149.9 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Tilted Bics, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 64 inches (203.2 × 162.6 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Tilted Bics, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 64 inches (203.2 × 162.6 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Dueling Bics, 2022 Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 59 inches (203.2 × 149.9 cm)© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Adam McEwen, Dueling Bics, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 80 × 59 inches (203.2 × 149.9 cm)
© Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

About

Gagosian is pleased to present Execute, an exhibition of new paintings and a sculpture by Adam McEwen. Opening on March 18, 2022, this will be the gallery’s first solo exhibition of his work in New York.

The thrust of the exhibition hinges on the divergent meanings of its title: to carry out or act, on the one hand, and to extinguish or erase, on the other. McEwen’s work establishes a tension between these two countervailing forces: the optimistic impulse to act and grow, and the threat of oblivion.

The nexus of this tension lies in a sculpture installed at the exhibition’s center. Titled Execution Block (2022), it is a slightly larger-than-life-size depiction of a medieval chopping block, complete with a worn slab on which to place the victim’s neck, an almost comically threatening axe, and the cobblestones of ye olde torture chamber—all made with fiberglass, in the style of plastic children’s toys. Playful in kelly green and tree-house brown, it nevertheless exudes a thinly veiled menace. It begs several questions—among them, Who is being beheaded? And who is doing the beheading?

Surrounding Execution Block are paintings of near human scale dominated by a palette in varying tones of gray acrylic paint. A group of these paintings portray metal springs—devices that suggest tension and its release—in the mode of schematic drawings. One of them, Compressed Spring #1 (2022), shows its subject squeezed down on itself, flattened. In another, Spring at Rest (2022), the coil sits at ease, only slightly constricted. Others are more open—in the act of expanding, perhaps. To the extent that they imply rebounding, these paintings are optimistic. Their diagrammatic visual language brings to mind the deceptive simplicity of early Roy Lichtenstein or the mechanical drawings appropriated by the Dadaists. The paintings are made as carefully as they need to be, using straightforward methods involving pencil, ruler, and masking tape.

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