56 HENRY is pleased to present Twelve Paintings, an exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Dan McCleary, running from February 15 to March 31, 2024 at 56 Henry Street.

Showcasing twelve meticulously crafted still-life paintings, the exhibition features eight intricate depictions of flower arrangements and four small seized fruit compositions. Executed in oil on canvas or oil on panel, these artworks, all created in 2023, vary in size.

The elegant simplicity and minimalist beauty of McCleary's paintings immediately capture the observer's attention, a poignant testament to the enduring allure of genre painting. McCleary's unique approach to still-life is marked by skillful revitalization of age-old artistic motifs, infusing them with a contemporary and subtly deadpan flair. Each stroke, dot, and line contribute purposefully, leaving no element extraneous. The works pare down to the essential details of their subjects, suggesting a vase of lilies or a pear yet revealing the artist's profound love for the forms, shapes, and colors within.

The flower paintings, presented with uniformity in simple glass vases, evoke a systematic feel while retaining the artist's distinct touch in every brushstroke. In the mesmerizing Three White Peonies, McCleary captures the close embrace of flower stems, delving into the petals’ floating shape. Three Peonies sees the artist indulging in the vibrant array of multilayered red and pink petals. Ranunculi, impresses with its intense use of orange, making the flowers feel almost tangible. Baby's Breath showcases hundreds of small, airy white flowers above the vase's rim, while the stems exhibit a reduction of form to just a few brightly colored green lines.

The paintings engage not only the eyes but almost evoke a multisensory experience. The air within the exhibition space transforms into an imaginary fragrant bouquet, filled with the sweet, heady aroma of various flowers, ranging from subtle and powdery to robust and citrusy. Intermingled with these floral scents are fresh fruits' sweet and juicy aromas, enhancing the olfactory tapestry.
This intimate exhibition provides a glimpse into McCleary's skillful manipulation of classic elements, offering viewers a fresh perspective on familiar subjects infused with personal and emotional interpretations. The seemingly conventional subjects of flowers and fruits retain their visual appeal.