Wayne Gonzales was born in 1957 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. He lives and works in New York.
Gonzales’ painstakingly rendered paintings employ a rigorous formal structure to explore the relationship between photography and communal memory. His works begin with imagery from newspapers, magazines, the Internet, his own photography or that of iconic American modernists such as Walker Evans and Charles Sheeler. Emulating a photographer conducting post-production, Gonzales approaches the composition of his paintings by using digital technology to crop, edit and manipulate his source imagery. Often confined to a palette of sepia tones or hazy shades redolent of lens flare, the finished works highlight the mechanical and ephemeral feel of their sources.
Whilst the genesis of his paintings bears common ground with the photography-based political works of Gerhard Richter and Andy Warhol, Gonzales insists on a shift in the perception of photographic truth. Using a distinctive crosshatching technique centred on the effects of chiaroscuro, he models form through differing densities of interlocking brush strokes to create seductive effects of light and shade. Whilst this method offers visual clarity when viewed from afar, his paintings dissolve into an abstract assemblage of interlocking lines when seen up close, recalling pixilation. By emphasising the incidental and malleable aspects of photography, Gonzales’ works call into question the accuracy and reliability associated with reportage and formal documentation.
In March 2019 Stephen Friedman Gallery held Gonzales’ fifth solo exhibition at the gallery. Other notable solo exhibitions include: ‘Wayne Gonzales’, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, England (2019); ‘Woman in the Garden’, May 68 Gallery, New York (2017); ‘Wayne Gonzales’, Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans (2016); Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, England (2015); Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2013); ‘Wayne Gonzales: Works on Paper’, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, England (2012); ‘Light to Dark/Dark to Light’, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana (2011) and ‘Wayne Gonzales’, CAC Malága, Malága, Spain (2011); ‘Wayne Gonzales’, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, England (2010); ‘Wayne Gonzales: Free and Clear: Online Project Room’, Dinter Fine Art, New York (2008) and ‘Judge – Vincent Katz and Wayne Gonzales’, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2008).
Gonzales’ works are included in prominent international collections including Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Microsoft Art Collection, Washington D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; Palm Springs Art Museum, California and Maramotti Collection, Reggio Emilia, Italy.