Painter Sam McKinniss Joins David Kordansky Gallery After JTT’s Closure - The World News

Painter Sam McKinniss Joins David Kordansky Gallery After JTT’s Closure

Sam McKinniss, a painter best-known for his works based on famed images of celebrities, has joined David Kordansky Gallery, which has spaces in New York and Los Angeles.

McKinniss, who is also represented by Almine Rech, had been among the most notable artists represented by JTT, a closely watched New York gallery that made the surprise announcement that it would shutter this past summer after 11 years in business. That gallery’s founder, Jasmin Tsou, has since joined Lisson Gallery as a director.

In an interview, David Kordansky, the founder of his eponymous gallery, said that he had been approached by Tsou about the possibility of representing McKinniss, who is based between New York and Kent, Connecticut.

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Black-and-white portrait of Martha Diamond.

“Before she had moved on, Jasmin at JTT came to me with this,” Kordansky said. “I immediately said yes. I was like, ‘110 percent.’ This is an artist I collect, this is an artist I loved, and this is an artist deserved of more.”

McKinniss’s paintings have often taken up representations of public figures ranging from the actress Lindsay Lohan to the former First Lady Nancy Reagan, from the author Joyce Carol Oates to the singer Whitney Houston. Sometimes, these works are based on specific images that exert an influence on the public consciousness, such as one painting based on a still of Winona Ryder in the 1988 film Beetlejuice.

“Although he’s known for depicting representations of recognizable images and individuals, it’s a kind of neo-symbolism, if you will,” Kordansky said. “The reality is, with these depictions of artifice or make-believe, the one thing that is a material fact is painting itself. Painting is not a lie. We want to see these images to exist within this conversation.”

Kordansky was quick to point out that McKinniss’s work has also taken a variety of other forms, including a series of floral still lifes that draw on the work of the 19th-century French painter Henri Fantin-Latour. (McKinniss’s deep knowledge of art history has also shown through in his writing for Artforum, which has taken up artists such as Alex Katz, John Waters, and Cumwizard69420.)

The dealer added, “I perceive Sam as this classic painter. There’s a historicity that is embedded within his pictures.”

Among the general public, McKinniss is widely recognized for painting the cover of the 2017 Lorde album Melodrama.

David Kordansky Gallery will bring McKinniss’s work to its Art Basel Miami Beach booth this December and then mount a solo presentation of his art at Frieze Los Angeles in February of next year. A solo exhibition will take place at the gallery in 2025.

The gallery also represents artists such as Huma Bhabha, Sam Gilliam, Jenna Gribbon, Lauren Halsey, Rashid Johnson, Tala Madani, and Jonas Wood.

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