Averi Endo

Ape, 2013Atrophy, 2013House Broken, 2014Unemployment, 2015


Her arresting work is strongly informed by the figurative tradition, while simultaneously expressing a keen awareness of her contemporary moment. Her portraiture, which features incomplete bodies, seeks to provoke in viewers a sense of embodiment–and a reminder that death is the only constant in life. Thus, a painting of a pair of chubby, childlike hands, or a self-portrait in gray-scale, act almost as new versions of memento mori. Above all, Endow hopes to generate questions in viewers, particularly with her paintings of children, which intentionally flirt with sentimentality. Composition and color choice keep the pieces well out of such terrain; instead, the paintings are meditations, studies in reflection and self-reflection. Shades of white, black and grey, in addition to the textural and sensory brushwork, keep viewers closely connected to the experience of the painter painting. Point of view is also key, as subjects do not gaze out directly from within the frame. Instead, eyes are closed, or the gaze is averted, or eyes are cut out altogether, perhaps as a reminder of our unwillingness to look at what we do not want to see. The idea of influence is important and also surprising, as an unexpected congeries of different influences seem to meet in this fresh vision: Francis Bacon and Berthe Morisot set to a Dead Kennedys’ soundtrack.