This May the Cohle Gallery is delighted to announce the new greatly anticipated solo show by American artist Adam Handler. Following his 2021 solo show Twinkling Unknowns, Handler returns with Love Land, showcasing a brand new collection of works which the artist himself will present in person on the opening night.
This show promises a brilliantly colorful and imaginative array of works, created by Handler in his signature faux-naïf style. Eye-catching characters pop out from each canvas, exploring themes of relationships, emotion and empathy, with colorful forms and cosmic surroundings giving the viewer a sense of otherworldliness.
Handler has earned his place as a steadily emerging artist, closely followed by collectors and contemporary art enthusiasts on a global scale. Born in Queens New York in 1986, Adam was raised in Long Island. As a child and teenager, he spent countless hours at his grandparents’ framing workshop in New York City. Here, his passion for art grew and, at the age of 18, he made the decision to develop his creative capabilities. He studied drawing in Italy and graduated from Purchase College in New York in 2008 with a specialization in art history.
Describing his artistic process as spontaneous, Handler acts on what inspires him in that moment, playing with colors as they speak to him. Working in this manner gives way to feelings of freedom and excitement, whereby wonderful surprises can reveal themselves at any point. His faux-naive style and use of vivid colors are intended to convey emotion to the viewer, rather than to provoke reflection of the work itself.
The exhibition’s title Love Land is inspired by a song entitled Loveland from German band Milky Chance which discusses an intense love between two individuals. Similarly, Handler’s work often centers around the idea of relationship and the pieces in this exhibition are no exception. The featured works will explore the themes of love and relationships, some traditional others less-so. Through these depictions the viewer is presented with the notion of unconventional love, highlighting the importance of accepting all forms of love, no matter what this may look like. Above all, Handler hopes that the viewer will experience an emotional connection with the piece they are looking at « Whatever that connection is; either joy or sadness, excitement or fear...I prefer authenticity of the emotion. Also, I would like people to take away a new perspective on seeing things. As artists, our views of representation vary quite drastically and it’s always refreshing when someone walks away with a fresh angle on the world. »
The exhibition promisses an exciting evolution in Handler’s work as he introduces new subjects, allowing them to interact with his already established characters such as the ghost and the girl. By using a backdrop of outer-space and the cosmos for his subjects he confirms the uncertainties we all face; like that of the unknown universe. For Handler, his paintings serve as a means of self-exploration, acting as therapeutic tools through which he can examine his own psyche and anxieties.
The figures seen in Handler’s work were originally inspired by his wife, who he met while studying drawing in Italy. Enthralled by her eyes, he began to draw representations of female figures with large round eyes. His exploration of this subject varied and changed throughout the years, from figurative, to abstract, setting in the faux-naïf style he is known for today. He has also been heavily influenced by the work of the abstract expressionist artist Willem DeKooning, specifically his disrupted representations of the human form.
Speaking on his role as artist, Handler explains ‘My role as an artist is not only to bring joy to myself and my family in the life I choose but, in my small existence in this world, to give a touch of joy, love, emotion and everything else that’s authentic to the people who decide to stop their lives for a short moment and just look. ‘
Love Land will take place from the 18th through to the 28th of May at the espace MR80, 80bis rue de Turenne. An exciting exhibition launch will also be held on the evening of Wednesday 18th of May at the same address from 6pm.