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Installation view. Photo: Sean Carroll.
Austin Furtak-Cole: Making Moves

February 25 - April 2, 2022

here, Pittsburgh is pleased to present, Making Moves, a solo exhibition by Vermont-based painter, Austin Furtak-Cole.  

Coming from a traditional fine art background, Austin Furtak-Cole uses deceptively simple forms, vibrant colors and sometimes disorienting perspective to create absurd or humorous compositions. Interested in our exaggerated memory of reality, how some details stand out, while other details become romanticized or aggrandized, Furtak-Cole, much like Carroll Dunham, uses color and composition to push his work to that tenuous line between abstraction and figuration, where truth and fiction might intersect.

In Making Moves, Furtak-Cole’s new paintings focus solely on the human form as a study in the most fundamental of painterly forms – line and color, and their relationship to one another. Seemingly soft, bulbous figures are sliding off chairs, falling to the ground or moving side-by-side. Awkward perspective further emphasizes these figures humorous and sometimes uncomfortable poses.

Furtak-Cole presents these five new paintings alongside older works on paper. The works on paper aim to highlight the artist’s move towards a more simplified iconography as seen in the paintings. Reminiscent of the work of Philip Guston, the drawings are filled with the artist’s personal iconography—brick walls, body parts, cartoon clouds—that dominated his work up until now. Furtak-Cole explains that he felt constricted by the subject matter that came to represent him as an artist, and this new body of work is about stripping that away, about re-examining his relationship to artmaking.

Austin Furtak-Cole (b. 1981, Newburgh, NY) received his MFA in painting from Stony Brook University. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions at well-known galleries and institutions, such as Ely Center for Contemporary Art, New Haven, CT; Tchotchke Gallery, New York, NY; Lucas Lucas Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Field Projects, New York, NY; The Hole, New York, NY; Galerie Nord, Berlin, Germany; Royal Opera Arcade, London, England; Brenda Taylor Gallery, New York, NY and the Parish Art Museum, Southampton, NY. The artist lives and works in Barre, Vermont.

Installation view. Photo: Sean Carroll.