“L.A. WOMAN” — Michael Hussar

November 17th, 2017 — January 13th, 2018



Last Rites Gallery proudly presents L. A. WOMAN, a solo exhibition featuring works by Southern California based painter Michael Hussar. Last Rites Gallery is beyond pleased to welcome Michael Hussar and provide a spotlight in which his provocative works will shine. In addition to the exhibition, Last Rites Gallery will be hosting the release of Hussar’s new book Figure Drawings 2009-2014. Within the pages of his latest book beholders will find 39 plates, as well as some prior paintings for comparative context, which demonstrate his artistry. Michael Hussar will greet visitors on November 17th at Last Rites Gallery, where he will be available to sign copies of his book. Numerous drawings from the book will be available for sale.

Michael Hussar is an American painter from Southern California, whose works contain hints of religious motifs mixed with haunting perceptions of life. His figures, frequently standing theatrically stern, possess features suggesting their unseen deeper secrets. Hussar’s painting style is loose, and still maintains unique levels of expression in his ornate details; a twisting, dizzying crown of thorns engulfs one character’s head, while glossy, phallic jawbreakers fill the mouths of sneering aristocrats, further suggesting human mockery in his details. His color palette is electrifying, highlighting deep unimaginable reds while also remaining calm and somewhat muted to bolster the invigorating details.

Much like the Mannerists of the 16th Century, Hussar’s paintings and drawings embrace a fascination with graceful elongated limbs, abnormally scaled heads and often grotesque faces, drifting into impossible delights while holding contrived and precariously balanced poses. Also in common with the Mannerists, Hussar seeks solutions to issues of collapsed perspective within a shallow spatial plane, a fondness for theatrical lighting and a fascination with the bizarre, which we so frequently see in his paintings. The resulting works oftentimes yield strange constricting spatial relationships, jarring contrasts of intense unnatural colors, abnormalities of scale and mixed motifs.

In his first gallery exhibition in almost ten years, Hussar will be showcasing improvisational drawings of eager local models, many unnamed, executed over the last decade in late night sessions at his Los Angeles studio. These drawings, presented as documents floating within their frames, are testaments to the immediacy of his studio work. They display a deftness of the touch of the confident artist’s hand, with forms that reveal a gentle and confident motion and a conscious focus on elegance and technical prowess. The models flow in and out of the page organically, with exaggerated postures and nimble limbs draping the page from corner to corner. Hussar’s motifs, like crosses and stars, adorn the subjects, allowing for the eye to briefly rest and fixate before refocusing on the human form.

Michael has rarely participated in gallery exhibitions, instead preparing and privately distributing his finalized works. Apart from providing paintings to exclusive clients, Hussar holds private workshops in both the United States and Europe.

L.A. Woman will be on view at Last Rites Gallery, 325 W 38th Street #1, New York, NY 10018 from November 17th, 2017 – January 13th, 2018. An opening reception and book signing will be held on Friday, November 17th from 7pm – 10pm. For inquiries or to request a VIP collector preview of the exhibition please email info@lastritesgallery.com.