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Avery Singer’s Next Painting

June 2, 2017

How does an artist advance a medium that’s been around for millennia? In her Mott Haven studio in the Bronx, artist Avery Singer perfects a personally developed technique that mixes traditional methods with digital processes and pushes her paintings into new terrain.

“You can take traditional tools and employ them in the way that they’ve been intended to be employed for five hundred years, and then in the next hour incorporate some kind of new technology,” says the artist. “The juxtaposition of all these things produces meaning.”

On top of conventional gesso-primed canvases, Singer uses masking tape and an airbrush to realize designs she’s intricately constructed using the 3D modeling program SketchUp. The resulting black and white paintings feature androgynous robot-like figures caught up in opaque narratives inspired by art world tropes: a studio visit, a projectionist’s booth, a slide lecture. Her bravura mixture of styles and techniques seem to reference painting’s entire modern history, from surrealism to Cubism to Russian constructivists like Naum Gobo. Singer hopes the works point to painting’s still unexplored potential by looking both back to the past and forward, to the multiple possibilities of the future.

More information and credits


New York Close Up Series Producer: Nick Ravich. Director: Jarred Alterman. Editor & Cinematography: Jarred Alterman. Sound: Evan Messaros. Design & Graphics: Open & Urosh Perisic. Artwork Courtesy: Avery Singer. Composer: Wesley Powell. Additional Music: Muciojad. Thanks: Gavin Brown’s enterprise, Thor Shannon. © Art21, Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved.

New York Close Up is supported, in part, by The Lambent Foundation; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; VIA Art Fund; Lévy Gorvy; and by individual contributors.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Avery Singer

Avery Singer was born in 1987 in New York, where she continues to live and work. Painting almost exclusively in tones of black and white, Singer’s canvases teeter between abstraction and figuration. Employing the 3D-modeling software, Google SketchUp, to create an under-drawing, Singer applies acrylic paint to the canvas via an airbrush, creating images that are both digital and analog. The artist’s conceptual considerations are bolstered by her deep sense of art history. In her juxtaposition of unexpected props that appear part human and part cyborg, Singer finds her inimitable signature style.

Inspired by Art History

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“I feel incredibly free when I have an art idea.
Being an artist is almost like, a pursuit of this feeling of freedom. I love that feeling.
I live for that.”

Avery Singer