Mark Laguë paints sprawling cities built by a brush, inhabited by the slightest flecks of paint.His approach borders on abstract, constructing vast panoramas that seemingly fall into place as he lays down the final strokes. He’s challenged himself with an array of metropolitan areas including London, Rome, Paris, Venice, San Francisco and so many others. But one regularly presses Laguë for another visit – New York City.
Opened January 27th, New York gallery Rehs Contemporary will present new works that explore this favored locale of Laguë as he takes us on A Big Apple Adventure!
Laguë investigates his subjects on multiple fronts. There are compositions, like New York City Skyline and Brooklyn Bridge Afternoon, that reach far into the distance, seemingly challenging our perception as the vista becomes one with the sky. Other times he takes a more intimate approach, bringing us down to street level, fully immersing us in the concrete jungle as in Sixth Avenue Night and Big Apple Store.
There is a delicate balance of precise marking and organic looseness that plays out as Laguë progresses through each work – a high concentration of visual information conveyed through thick paint and swift strokes. Hard edges of buildings bleed into each other. Busy streets fade in the distance as a blur of congestion. Light permeates in the daytime, blanketing his scenes – washing select facades while plunging others into shadowy darkness. At night, he renders the mystical glow that emanates from urban lights – pointing to his remarkable ability to capture atmosphere.
Laguë’s use of color and focus allow him to achieve greater command of the viewers’ attention – pulling our eyes to key features of the composition while allowing other aspects to dissolve in a uniform haze. He notes, “it’s always something dynamic in the large aerial paintings. If there’s a bridge way in the distance for instance, I make it just a whisper.” Further, Laguë will use some artistic freedom to strengthen areas as he sees fit. He points out the prevalence of grey in his subject so splashes of vibrancy can really add some life to the scenes.
At the end of the day, while the artist acknowledges his work can be enjoyed from a purely technical point of view, his ideal viewer “sees beyond the subject matter.” He wants people to truly experience his work – the abstract qualities, and the feelings they evoke. It is not simply about seeing a city, it’s about feeling it.
A Big Apple Adventure will be open to the public from January 27th through February 21st, Monday through Friday from 10 AM – 5 PM.
For more details, visit https://rehs.com.