Deco Stairwell #2, Havana, 2014 ©Michael Eastman/Courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York
Edwynn Houk Gallery is pleased to announce our inaugural solo exhibition of recent works by Michael Eastman (American, b. 1947).
The selection of large-scale architectural photographs on view were taken during Eastman’s extensive travels throughout Cuba, Europe, Asia and the United States. The exhibition explores the artist’s distinctive use of color and pictorial structure to illuminate disparate cultures and time periods.
Prado Façade, Havana, 2014 ©Michael Eastman/Courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York
In Eastman’s photographs of Havana (see illustration) the vibrant colors and architecture recall the heydey of Havana’s history, but are juxtaposed with signals of its economic decline: a rectangle of fading where a painting once hung; crumbling plaster; and wobbly furniture that looks as though it would break if used. Eastman’s subjective use of color and structure results in a portrait of quintessential Havana.
In contrast, works made in Rome, Paris, and Milan are like time-capsules of information which signal the grandeur of European culture. Unlike the Cuban photographs, Eastman utilizes a soft and sensual palette that focuses on classicism and permanence of the architectural spaces. These compositions feature rich materials, trompe-l'oeil paintings, long hallways, and plush, perfectly maintained rococo furnishings, highlighting the timelessness, prominence, and wealth of these cultures.
Portrait, Havana, 2010 ©Michael Eastman/Courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York