Justin Caguiat: The Fool

During the last two years, as work and transport shut down and time seemed to stand still, ruptures in society, politics, and culture burst forward chasms of inequity and imbalance on our streets and televisions — daily, hourly. Somehow, in the midst of a fractured society just beginning to see the mirror of its systemic injustices, a number of compelling, engaging, and uplifting young artists began to enter our awareness, working across a wide terrain of artistic exploration — scores more, it seems, than in a score of years before. It is with this newly awakened artistic flourishing that we initiate a new program, Warehouse:01, an annual exhibition of the work of a single artist that we at The Warehouse are drawn to view up close, and when possible, in depth.

This exhibition of recent paintings by Justin Caguiat is the first such exhibition. Caguiat’s intimately rendered, large-scale paintings on unstretched canvas portray a universe of figures and forms — representational and abstract — with a rich palette and layered surfaces that seem to float in a dreamlike world of memory and imagination. Artistic inspirations abound from opulent visual histories high and low, at once mature and exploratory.

Through a range of compositions, hues, and tonalities, these works offer a range of moods and vision that take the viewer down an engaging path of exploration undertaken by the artist during the pandemic. It is also, perhaps, a perverse pleasure that individually and together, the subtleties of Caguiat’s work can only be suggested through reproduction; it is through viewing these paintings in the grand scale of Gallery 3 at The Warehouse that the scope of Caguiat’s imagination can begin to be fully appreciated.

There is great range to the compelling work emerging today, and it is our intention through these exhibitions, over time, to examine that range.

Allan Schwartzman
Director, The Rachofsky Collection