BRIDGES is a solo exhibition of work by noted Brooklyn-based artist Sam Messer. The exhibition reveals the breadth of Messer’s body of work and includes large-scale paintings of New York City’s iconic bridges, portrait drawings, and animated videos from Messer’s Years of the Cock, comprised of one video made daily in response to President Trump’s first 100 days in office. While the Years of the Cock videos provide trenchant commentary on politics of the moment, for Messer, the bridges have both physical and metaphorical appeal: “They are succinct and quite beautiful, and bring people together,” he explains.
Messer is an artist best known for his sustained series of paintings in collaboration with writers like Paul Auster, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Denis Johnson. If this body of work represents a departure for Messer, it is above all, a turn to the political—a desire to focus his artistic talents on responding to our current political climate. The pieces in this exhibition are varied: paintings of New York’s bridges, sketches of a wide range of people in Messer’s sphere, a series of video animations on the Trump presidency, and evocations of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. The through line? A desire to speak about community, democracy and embracing humanity.”