"Art Truancy: Celebrating 20 Years of Juxtapoz Magazine," a new exhibition at Jonathan LeVine Gallery's two New York locations opened Friday with an explosion of color. The works on view are by some of the biggest contemporary artists right now, many of whom have roots in street art. While the paintings, collages, and sculptures in the show are starkly different, they are composed of easily identifiable styles: Swoon's wheatpaste women adorn the wall next to Shepard Fairey's black ink print. A canvas that looks like a collage of vintage posters, FAILE's signature, hangs in one gallery while How & Nosm's unforgettable red, white, and black appears in the other.
At the same time, similar themes run through these distinct works. Many pull from pop culture imagery, especially comic books and cartoons. Exploring these visual traditions, some artists have created their own kooky characters, both cute and surreal. A handful of artists also rely on a collage aesthetic. Ron English painted a sexy cow cartoon over comic strips, Andrew Schoultz created tree leaves from cut up dollar bills, and Olek pieced together patches of yarn to create a psychedelic cat playhouse.
"Art Truancy" was put together to honor the 20-year anniversary of Juxtapoz Magazine, a publication that has been dedicated to showing artists like these contemporary masters since their beginnings. The show recognizes that Juxtapoz has helped to establish the community of artists that Jonathan LeVine Gallery supports.
"Juxtapoz has played an instrumental role in the development of the genre of work our gallery exhibits, contextualizing it within the spectrum of Contemporary Art," said Jonathan LeVine. "It gave a voice to the artists involved early on and continues to build upon that foundation, integrating the talent of new generations."
The show's roster includes work by Alex Gross, Alex Pardee, Brett Amory, Camille Rose Garcia, Chloe Early, Conor Harrington, Doze Green, Jeremy Fish, Marion Peck, Mark Ryden, Maya Hayuk, Miss Van, Neckface, Parra, Pushead, Robert Williams, Saner, Seonna Hong, Thomas Campbell, Todd James, Todd Schorr, and others. With such an impressive list, "Art Truancy" is one show you shouldn't miss.
"Art Truancy" is on view at Jonathan LeVine's two locations (557C W 23rd Street and 529 W 20th Street, New York) through June 14, 2014.