JM Howey Edifying Lines for Sensitive Readers September 10 - October 23 2016

Just in time for school, Bureau presents “Edifying Lines for Sensitive Readers”, JM Howey’s second solo exhibition at the gallery featuring a new series of paintings and a group of new wooden and textile sculptures.

In a witty twist of self-appropriation Howey’s new paintings painstakingly scale-up the typewritten pages of syllabi distributed at the beginning of each semester. Like earlier series, these works invite a critical reading and are proportionally scaled to that of a page of paper. Using the readymade paint Torrit Grey, the paintings offer one-to-one renderings of the absurdly prescriptive language used to teach art in an academic setting. The syllabus paintings depict a systematized standard for the production of “satisfactory” artworks while allowing their bureaucratic format to become an end unto itself - containing both impetus and possible outcome within the same work. The paintings suggest improbably humorous and approximate answers to the impossible questions of what to paint, how to paint, why to paint and how a painting represents the artist.

This order and circular logic is echoed in the artist’s new bench sculptures, which offer a colorful counterpoint to the stark rendering of grey on white text. Howey’s use of contrasting textile and pattern introduce formal complexities and raise questions of taste while underscoring the artist’s attention to matters of composition and utilitarianism. The precisely proportioned layers of cushions stack and fill the benches to the point of oversaturation. Myriad patterns offer personalized zones of comfort and respite, however the crowded volumes of fabric deflect and complicate the negotiation of personal versus collective space.

JM Howey (b. 1973, lives and works in Brooklyn) received his MFA from Columbia University and his BFA from the School of the MFA, Boston. Recent solo exhibitions include: Stay in Bed, Standard (Oslo), 2015; Note to Self, Bureau, 2014; No One’s No-No, Taxter & Spengemann, New York, and The In Acts Out, Marginal Utility, Philadelphia, both 2010. Howey has exhibited at numerous other venues including: The Kitchen, New York; Team Gallery, New York; Night Gallery, Los Angeles. Howey will be a Chinati Foundation Artist in Residence in Marfa, TX in 2017. Download the artist's diagram for the show.

View of the front gallery, at left, a faint black and white vertical painting hangs on the brick wall, and at right there is a wooden bench piled with several rectangular and cylindrical pillows in different colorful patterns. Another patterned swatch of square fabric is hanging behind the bench and pillows on the wall.
Installation view of Jaya Howey exhibition at Bureau, New York with a custom designed fabric swatch pinned to the wall behind a six legged long wooden bench with an array of rectangular pillows on top and on the floor.

Seating/Arrangement #3, 2016, Wood, textile, foam, zippers, 58 ½ × 91 × 13 ½ in.

An oil on canvas painting depicting a text giving list of materials needed for an art class.

AR141 Materials List, 2016, Oil on canvas, 45 ¼ × 35 ⅜ in.

An oil on canvas painting depicting a text giving an introduction to a graduate arts seminar course.

AR341 Introduction, 2016, Oil on canvas, 45 ¼ × 35 ⅜ in.

Straight on view of the main gallery. At left and right are two vertical paintings, mostly white wiht faint black text, and at center a bench with many colored rectangular pillows and squares of fabric.
An installation view of the 2 works - a wooden bench work and a vertical, mostly white painting. The bench has six legs at irregular intervals and behind it are two square pieces of fabric, printed with decorative patterns. There are stacks of rectangular pillows piled on top and below the bench. Next to the bench is a mostly white painting, which has some text at the top left referring to a schedule for an art class syllabus.
A mostly white, vertical oil painting which has some text at the top left referring to a schedule for an art class syllabus.

AR843 Schedule, 2016 Oil on canvas 115 × 90 cm (45 ¼ × 35 ⅜ in.)

Installation view of Jaya Howey exhibition at Bureau, New York with a horizontal custom designed fabric swatch pinned to the wall behind a six legged long wooden bench with an array of rectangular pillows on top. There are two text paintings hung on the wall next to it.
An oil on canvas painting depicting a graduate arts seminar course schedule week by week.

AR341 Schedule 1, 2016, Oil on canvas, 115 × 90 cm

An oil on canvas painting depicting a graduate art student's rubric with guidelines for grading.

AR843 Rubrics, 2016, Oil on canvas, 45 ¼ × 35 ⅜ in.