“The flower is a cosmic attractor, an ephemeral, unstable body that allows one to perceive—that is, to absorb— the world…” - Emanuele Coccia
Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to present Cuttings, a solo presentation of paintings by Antone Könst. This focused exhibition will feature a new group of flower paintings by Könst—a recurring motif that has appeared throughout the artist’s diverse painting practice. Cuttings is on view beginning January 6, 2022, at the gallery’s space at 509 W 24th Street. This past summer, Könst presented Dear Future, a solo exhibition of new figurative paintings with Marianne Boesky Gallery in Aspen, CO.
Known for his critical embrace of archetypal imagery, Könst’s work subverts expectations through total engagement with the image and object, invigorating enduring visual tropes with an infusion of wit, love, and formal invention. Cuttings, a new series of large-scale demonstrative flower paintings, is the artist’s deepest commitment to a single motif yet. Composed from reference photographs taken by the artist over the last year combined with sources from popular culture and art history, Könst roots each bouquet of oversized blossoms in animated vessels. The result embodies a range of psychological states that shift throughout each composition’s many expressions.
Könst, whose family has been growing cut flowers in the Netherlands for generations, created this body of work while reflecting on philosopher Emanuele Coccia’s idea that the form of the flower is a “laboratory of conjunction”, a space where disparate things—memories, emotions, motivations, temporalities, and aesthetics in this case—can coexist. This framework extends beyond the conceptual in the artist’s studio practice, as evidenced by the range of styles, marks, textures, and hues present in each painting. “I wanted the paintings to function as flowers in a way, to employ all the subtle surprises that characteristically extroverted flowers contain,” said Könst.
Just as a flower grows, vibrant with its own purpose, Könst’s paintings are both effusive and enigmatic, simultaneously bold and delicate, radiating a playful and dynamic energy that has the ability to engage with the viewer in a kind of cross-pollination.
Antone Könst (b.1987) has exhibited widely across the U.S. and abroad, including solo exhibitions at Each Modern, Taipei; Tilton Gallery, NY; Artist Curated Projects, Los Angeles; the Fondation des Etats Unis, in Paris; and public Art commissions from The Lighthouse Works, NY, and Socrates Sculpture Park, NY. Könst’s work is in the collection of the X Museum, Beijing, China; and Jorge M. Perez Collection, Miami, FL, promised gift to Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). A recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Grant as well as the Harriet Hale Woolley Fellowship, he received his BFA from CalArts and his MFA from Yale University School of Art. Könst lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.