Oil and pastel paintings by New York-based artist Michael Cline include a great deal a narrative about the arcane, the sickly, and the chaotic in Americana. His concurrent exhibitions at Daniel Reich Gallery and Marc Jancou Contemporary coincide with the release of a book, with essays by Kathy Grayson and an interview by Matthew Higgs. For our “Decoding Images” section, Art in America has asked Cline to take apart one painting for us.
Says the artist, “I consider myself a storyteller. I think to make art, is to tell stories, regardless of what you end up with. Whether they be religious illustration, institutional critique, or highlighting some sort of undervalued or unexpected thing that artists tend to do, artists are telling stories. So yes, narratives are imagined. And yes, I do think something fable-like appears from time to time—but I think more often my paintings take on the character of parable.”
Click on to see the rest of Cline’s explanation of The Last Supper-inspired “That’s That.”
Left: Michael Cline, That’s That, 2007–2008.
Michael Cline, Pre-Code, is on view through October 17. Daniel Reich Gallery is located at 537A West 23rd Street, New York. MIchael Cline is on view through October 24 at Marc Jancou Contemporary, at 801 Madison Avenue, New York.