Tacos (& a studio visit) with Chuck Webster

Tucked away in a two-story walk-up in a northeast corner of Brooklyn is Chuck Webster's Bushwick studio and apartment. And, lucky for him (and me), there's a pretty mean Mexican taqueria across the street from the Jefferson stop on the L, just a few of blocks away. Since great Mexican food is hard to find in Boston, I jumped at the invitation while in New York last week to have a few chorizo tacos with Chuck and take a look at his work for My Small Adventures, his upcoming solo show of new paintings with ZieherSmith in Chelsea, opening this Thursday.

Chuck's work occupies a necessary place in contemporary abstraction, where insistence of form is met by both a genuine investigation of mark-making and child-like curiosity. The vehicle for his works are wooden panels (equipped with shelf-like grids on the back) whose surfaces are deeply sanded, discolored, and scratched — offering a kind of weathered, wistful context by which to examine his forms. That nostalgia was furthered during my visit after Webster opened his flat files, which are filled with collaborations between he and Eddie Martinez, as well as several colorful drawings made by Webster at the age of 10. Astonishingly, the contours of the monsters depicted therein strongly resemble the forms that Chuck still creates to this day. If it's true that some artists spend their entire lives trying to paint like a child, then Webster doesn't have to work very hard. The truth, however, is that he does. More pics after the jump.

Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-Large

Chuck Webster: My Small Adventures will be on view at ZieherSmith, New York, from February 17 - March 26.

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