Brian Scott Campbell

Night Picnic

March 30 – April 30, 2017

Press Release

Brian Scott Campbell


Night Picnic


EXHIBITION March 30 - April 30, 2017

OPENING Friday March 31, 6-8pm


Dutton is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Brian Scott Campbell entitled Night Picnic. It is Campbell’s second solo show at Dutton, and his first exhibition of works on canvas.


Night Picnic suggests the contradiction and futility of eating outside in the dark – a clumsy entanglement of limbs, objects, actions, and motives. So is this true of the characters that run rampant in Campbell’s half-veiled paintings. The figures are depicted mid-stride in a frenzied off-kilter frame of various poses. Interlopers contemplate impossible tasks against momentary obstacles of their own invention. The works are emblematic of contemporary life, yet remain buoyant, anthemic, and pushed through a cartoonish sieve.


The titles of paintings such as ‘The Mailman’, ‘Two Readers’, ‘Night Bowling’, and ‘Smoking Man’ function like episodic subtitles to a situation comedy – suggesting an incident, a character, a strange memory, or an obscured joke – without the scaffolding of plot. The works relate to each other like a sequence of torn out pages, suspended within the boundaries of the frame. ‘Candle’ serves as the exhibition’s point of departure. The quotidian light source serves as both an athletic hurdle and fortune-telling object. The work depicts a figure skipping over a flame, suspended against a background of scrubbed and sprayed crystalline graphite washes. Metallic mineral powder coalesces with graphite material to create a nearly iridescent surface. Known for using countless unorthodox methods of applying lines onto paper, Campbell has given way to his instincts to extend this process onto canvas, as well as the intricate layering of wet on wet marks, ‘hit and run’ dry brushstrokes, and rudimentary printing techniques.


Night Picnic conjures nighttime reveries and freedom, yet something unnameable is at stake in the dark – forms and information remain fugitive. Magic and the enigmatic pulse throughout the work by way of masked identities and elusive, psychic space. The paintings freeze – yet stretch on through vivid portrayals of comic resolution and confusion, deeply felt collective anxiety, embarrassment, and longing.


Brian Scott Campbell (born 1983, Columbus, OH) lives and works in Joshua Tree, California. He received a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design and an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, NJ. Campbell held a solo exhibition at Dutton, New York in 2016 and has been included in exhibitions at Fredericks & Freiser, New York; Asya Geisberg Gallery, New York; Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York; Metropolitan Art Society, Beirut (Curated by Suzanne Geiss Co. New York); Zevitas Marcus, Los Angeles; David Shelton Gallery, Texas; David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen; NADA New York and Untitled. Miami Beach art fairs among others. Awards and residencies include Atlantic Center for the Arts Residency with artist Dana Schutz; a McColl Center for Visual Art Full Fellowship; and the Artist in the Marketplace Program, Bronx Museum, New York. His work has been reviewed in Modern Painters /Blouin ArtInfo; Whitehot Magazine; Los Angeles Times; The Huffington Post; Hyperallergic; Two Coats of Paint; It's Nice That (London); and i-D Magazine /Vice.


For further information and/or images, please email Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 12pm to 6pm, and by appointment