Altered Language

New Work by Cecil Touchon and Niels Shoe Meulman 

Exhibition Dates:  July 14th - August 18th, 2018
Opening Reception: August 4th, 6-9 pm during the First Saturday Art Crawl Downtown

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present Altered Language - a two person exhibition featuring work by internationally acclaimed artists Cecil Touchon and Niels Shoe Meulman. Both artists share a fascination and admiration of language and typography, and abstract it in various ways within their work.  Touchon pulls from billboard advertisements and other printed materials and deconstructs them into collages of purely geometric matter. Alternatively, Shoe adapted his love for calligraphy by combining it with urban tagging styles, coining the term "Calligraffiti" to describe his new aesthetic which has gained monumental popularity in the street art community.

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Cecil Touchon is a painter, performance artist, collector, draftsman, photographer, and curator.  But it is through his collage work that he has made his most lasting mark.  His collages are the seeds that grow into his other practices. Touchon's paintings are abstractions based upon typography.  Using the techniques of collage, he reassembles portions of letter fonts from billboards and printed material into pure abstractions that transform verbal language into a form of visual architecture.  

His paintings use trompe l'oeil techniques to painstakingly create the illusion of large collage abstractions.  They are characterized by warmly colored geometric shapes — overlapping rectangles and rounded wedges - that seem to revolve and recede into the background.  The resulting works are a play of lightness and mass that are both visually striking and, because of the hints of letters, intellectually satisfying.  

Cecil Touchon was born in Austin, Texas. Throughout his career, which spans over 30 years, Touchon has been collected worldwide and figures prominently in the Massurrealism movement.  Touchon is a founding member of the 1987 Post-Dogmatist Group as well as a respected member of the Art Mail and Fluxus communities.  Touchon's work was exhibited in the 2001 and 2009 Venice Biennale and can be found in more than 45 corporate and international collections. Touchon's paintings are also in the permanent collections of The International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction, The Museum of Modern Art, The Chicago Art Institute and The Tate Modern.

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Niels Shoe Meulman is a visual artist, known for his gestural paintings which reveal vivid traces of Graffiti and Calligraphy. He revolutionized the art of writing when he initiated the Calligraffiti movement, claiming “a word is an image and writing is painting”. 

Being a graffiti pioneer from Amsterdam, Shoe worked with New York counterparts like Dondi White, Rammellzee and Keith Haring in the 1980s. Equally influenced by the great painters of Abstract Expressionism, he gradually found his own way to translate street attitude to gallery walls.

Experimenting within the traditional medium of paint-on-canvas, but also unafraid to venture into new realms like conceptual installations and poetry, Niels Shoe Meulman keeps pushing the limits of Urban Contemporary.

The pieces included in Altered Language are from the series, New Shoes. The paintings were created in New York City in May 2018. When asked about the series the artist shared, "Although I am naturally drawn to artists like Soulages and Motherwell, here in New York the ghosts of Rammellzee, Basquiat and Warhol are omnipresent. When I started painting the series New Shoes I was reminded of the beautiful drawings Warhol did of shoes. The individual titles are a reference and tribute to him."