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Shay Kun


Exhibition Dates
November 19th, 2011 - January 7th, 2012

Opening Reception
November 19th (Saturday), 6pm - 8pm

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Shay Kun. Drought

LaMontagne Gallery is pleased to present Rebreather an exhibition of paintings by Shay Kun.

Shay Kun’s oils on canvas are an infusion, a hybrid of absurdities. Drawing on the style and subject matter of the Hudson River School, particularly Thomas Cole’s reverent paeans to nature and Albert Bierstadt’s awestruck visions of the sublime in the American west, the works capture the grandeur of nature. Despite acquiring a newly cultured look, these landscapes, made with sincerity and attention, are transformed into a juxtaposition of nature and its human invaders who appear in the guise of tourists or adventure seekers. The contrast between these contemporary characters and their stylized environment is abrupt and creates a palpable dissonance underlining them as an almost offensively inadequate substitute for the deities or characters of noble bearing in the paintings of centuries past. Small but obnoxious, they infest nature rather than enjoying its restorative powers.

Cole and Bierstadt ascribed spiritual qualities to the environment and warned of the destruction being caused by expansion. In Kun’s works, the damage has been done- lakes are littered with junked cars and pristine vistas are blighted by tightropes, rickety bridges, and other evidence of human interlopers. Even so, what these visitors leave are their traces. Even with all of their destructive capabilities they have still not begun to overwhelm the environment and its magical possibilities indicating ultimately that perhaps there is still hope.

Shay Kun (b. 1974, b. Tel-Aviv) currently lives and works in New York City. He received his BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem and his MFA from Goldmiths College, London. Recently his work has been exhibited at the 2011 VOLTA NY and Art Cologne fairs, as well as in the group shows Update Your Realty at the Alexander Ochs Gallery in Berlin, Germany, and The Law of The Jungle at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, NY. Kun has upcoming solo shows at the Martine Chaisson Gallery, New Orleans, LA (in February) and Benrimon Contemporary, New York, NY (in May).

Founded in 2007, LaMontagne Gallery is a 2,300 square foot exhibition space located in South Boston on East Second Street. LaMontagne Gallery was founded to create an environment in Boston for the display and sale of emerging contemporary artists. The gallery features visual, sound and performance artists based in Boston and beyond. Russell LaMontagne was previously co-Founder of LFL Gallery in New York City.