SEPTEMBER is thrilled to present ‘My flaws are my pets,’ a solo exhibition of paintings by Reginald Madison, opening Saturday, July 23, 5-7pm. Connecting to Madison’s first solo exhibition with the gallery in Hudson one year ago, ‘My flaws are my pets’ is a collection of oil paintings from recent decades. The selection represents Madison’s lifelong interest in working at varying scales from large to handheld, and working on a range of mostly found surfaces, including paper, canvas, and panel.
For Madison, the process of painting is one of courting risk and trusting the unknown. Madison never sets out with a predetermined subject, and allows the painting to reveal itself along the way. If there are starting points for Madison, they are purely visual rather than referential. He often begins with older work, sometimes literally, and other times pulls imagery and expands from there. Madison’s vocabulary includes figures, faces, handprints and shapes that partially resemble form but lean into abstraction.
Texture is the foundation for Madison and color is king. Color determines where things start and stop, how edges form, and what Madison calls the friendly or unfriendly mood of a painting. Ultimately, he is motivated by a “distrust in niceness,” often painting to complex music that sets a challenging standard. He prefers disturbed surfaces- tar unevenly applied, banged up wood, hemmed drop cloths, and gritty linen. His process is physical and messy. And the results are wonderfully askew and impolite.
Reginald Madison (b. 1941, Chicago, IL) is a painter and sculptor. In his early years, Madison was greatly influenced by his parents’ love of jazz and the stories they told of seeing Sun-Ra at the legendary Club DeLisa on Chicago’s south side, and by the family’s frequent trips to the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. In 1970, Madison was invited to participate in an art show that helped to establish him in the emerging arts scene in Chicago, and he went on to travel and study art independently in Paris, Venice, and Copenhagen. He was represented by Phyllis Kind Gallery, NYC after moving to Western Massachusetts in the 1970’s. His work has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, Historic Hudson Hall, the Ace Hotel Chicago, SEPTEMBER Gallery, and CR10 Arts, among others. Madison’s work has been covered by Chronogram, Medium, The New York Times, Times Union, Upstate Diary, and Whitehot Magazine. In 2020 Madison curated Art & Soul, an exhibition at Historic Hudson Hall that included the work of David Hammons and Tschabalala Self, among others. He organizes Melodius Thunk, a Jazz Music Festival in Hudson, NY. Madison is a 2021 recipient of the NEA Artist Residency at Basilica Hudson. His work has recently been acquired by the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection and The Baltimore Museum of Art. Madison currently lives and works in Hudson, NY.