in Collaborations , Videos | 20 SEP 21

Elliott Hundley Creates a Backdrop to the Revolution

Inspired by Jean Genet’s play ‘The Balcony’ the artist's latest exhibition at Kasmin Gallery turns painting into performance  

in Collaborations , Videos | 20 SEP 21
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Discarded objects are, for Elliott Hundley, full of potential. He collects them in his home and studio in Los Angeles, where this video was filmed and where these objects exist alongside the artist’s large-scale paintings. In his canvases, which Hundley refers to as billboards, he describes unruly, unmanageable, and multifaceted realities with a tantalising flash of narrative. The huge scale, he says,  ‘ is ultimately a way to talk about the sublime’.

One of these realities, currently in the making, is a mural Hundley is creating for Prospect New Orleans. The work is inspired by Jean Genet’s The Balcony, a play about a brothel and the revolution taking place outside its doorstep. Looking back at last year’s protests, gatherings, insurrections and vigils, Hundley’s mural will embody his reflections on how events and their interpretations can morph into one another in the backdrop of a revolution, instances where the boundaries that define the difference between a riot and an uprising, or a funeral and a celebration, become blurred.

The works included in his current show at Kasmin Gallery, also inspired by Genet’s theatrical composition, can be regarded as characters of a play, or as defined roles embedded in our societies; there are, amongst others, a queen, a madam, a thief, and a bishop. A contemporary iteration of gestural abstraction, Hundley thinks of a painting as a place where he leaves evidence of a performance. ‘It is as if each viewer of the exhibition’, he notes, ‘is an actor on the stage.’

'Elliott Hundley: Balcony' is on view at Kasmin, New York until 23 October, 2021

'P.5, Yesterday we said tomorrow' opens on 23 October, 2021. Visit for more information.