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Sugarlift Masterwork Series: Adam Lupton's Telos (The Drowning)



Saturday, 23 February 2019
Saturday, 23 February 2019 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Saturday, February 23, 4:00-6:00 PM
Sugarlift LIC
43-01 22nd Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 264, Long Island City, NY 11101

"A baptism, a drowning: When context is stripped, the vulgarity and violence of the ritual is exposed. Layers of dirt, sand, wax and paint energize the struggle between persons and submersion." - Adam Lupton

Adam Lupton’s “Telos (The Drowning)” is a triumphant turn in his exploration of human ritual. In the first installment of the Sugarlift Masterwork Series on Saturday, February 23rd, hear the work decoded by the artist himself.


If you’ve ever hungrily searched a wall label for more details about an artist’s materials, process or even his psyche during a painting’s creation, Sugarlift Masterwork Series is for you. Each month, we get up close and personal with the artist behind the masterpiece.



4:00-5:00PM Open gallery

5:00-6:00PM Adam Lupton presentation and moderated Q&A

Curator :


Artist ( Description ): 

Adam Lupton’s work teeters between the emotional and the pictorial. By mining personal and collective assumptions and hollowing out culturally potent symbols and mythologies, he explores individual and societal anxiety and isolation.

In approaching a range of layered themes and narratives, Lupton aims to eliminate prescriptive visual outcomes. Subjects are often given antithetical functions and signifiers are emptied of conventional signification, destabilizing the affect of form and content. With Plato’s allegory of the cave in mind, Lupton attempts to reconsider and restructure the way viewers negotiate their reality and ideology by troubling both visual representation and emotional interpretation.

For some, Lupton’s work divulges more than is expected, for others not enough. One experience may be unpleasantly full, while the other is painfully vacant.

Adam Lupton (°1987, Vancouver, Canada) currently lives and works in Brooklyn.

Other Info: 


The work looks at ritual, spirituality, myth, and cult with an analogous gaze, questioning our attachment to and desire for certainty in religion and historical narrative. Viewed through a sociological lens, the ingenuity and genius of religion is evident: how we created meaning and answers to questions we weren’t capable of comprehending, inventing complex stories and institutions to make sense of the unknown. Alternatively, our different myths, legends, and stories bent our minds and morals to fit doctrines, and used those guises to justify wars, slavery, social and economic hierarchy, etc., while disassociating ourselves from growing facts and evidence. This work grapples with those shortcomings of being human through ceremony and ritual – how we cope (and have coped as a species) to understand that we're small conscious beings in the face of a vast indifferent universe. 

Co-opting multiple aesthetics and materials helps me to explore the multifaceted nature of religion’s historical and sociological underpinnings: stripping forms of worship of their acculturated and specific importance to show the uniformity of our reverence throughout history. Constructing images to use fabrics, building materials, sand, and dirt – and also the removal of paint into and around the canvas – extends the work past its boundaries and activates the divide between physicality and representation, figure and abstract, and the ‘real’ and the ‘spiritual’. In invoking the scale, materiality, and medium of the work, the installations help break the surface and rectilinear structure of the paintings to fracture space, implicating both the eye and the body of the viewer. Akin to members of past and present religious ceremonies, the viewer will corporeally feel the push and pull of the aesthetic-religious experience through the artwork.

Venue ( Address ): 

43-01 22nd Street, Suite 264
Long Island City, NY 11101

Other events from Sugarlift

ME: An Exhibition of Contemporary Self-Portraiture
01/16/2020 to 01/30/2020
Mother & Child Vol. II
Sugarlift Masterwork Series: Adam Lupton's Telos (The Drowning)



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