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  • Gross McCleaf Gallery 127 South 16th Street Philadelphia, PA, 19102 United States (map)
Bevel WEB.jpg

Brett Baker - Douglas Witmer - Casey Matthews

November 2-30, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday, November 2, 5-7 pm


The painters in Bevel shift the pressure of meaning in their works to the meeting of moments. Brett Baker, Casey Matthews, and Douglas Witmer create paintings of tightly woven and highly considered marks, colors, and shapes. Humane and personal in scale, these paintings are subtle and deceptively simple. This simplicity means that the slightest change or adjustment of any single part of the painting has a radical impact on its meaning. Honed like the edge of a fine blade, the paintings revel in the tension of specific relationships. The direct materiality of the paint application invites us, the viewers, to look - and the looking is sustained by the artists' precision and intention.


Brett Baker's paintings are created with incrementally organized, impasto brush strokes. Baker's paintings begin broadly but over the course of months and years they grow in their specificity. Rather than begin with a clear subject and composition from the outset, he finds his subject and structure through the act of painting over the course of time.


Casey Matthew's clarity lies in the limited palette she has chosen. Angles and shapes speak loudly and reveal a subtle communication of space. This space unfolds over time but the graphic appearance invites our initial looking. While geometric, Matthew's paintings ore not rigid and avoid being mechanical or formulaic as the artist's hand is never lost in her individual explorations.


Douglas Witmer uses clear, distinct actions combined with transparent paint application. Like a diary, the paintings capture moments for evaluation and reflection relying upon and revealing what has happened previously to arrive at the present. Careful but not fully controlled, Witmer allows room for the accidental and paints what can only be quietly revealed.


Brett Baker lives in Raleigh, NC. He earned is MFA in Painting from Boston University and has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Baker's works have been featured and review in The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, and The New Criterion.


Casey Matthews lives in Philadelphia, PA. She is a graduate of the Certificate Program at the Pennsylvania, Academy of the Fine Arts. She has been awarded the PAFA's Women's Board Travel Scholarship and the Mayor's Award.


Douglas Witmer lives in Philadelphia, PA. He has an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and a BA from Goshen College. Witmer has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally with his work held in the collections of the Woodmere Art Museum, The Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska, and the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.