New Artist Spotlight: Cy Gavin at Gagosian


“New Artist Spotlight” is a recurring editorial series featuring artists who have recently joined the rosters of Artsy’s gallery partners.

Often monumental in scale, Cy Gavin’s paintings depict powerful, expressive landscapes. These enormous canvases convey broader themes such as race and memory, using the natural world as a starting point to explore the transitory and unsettled state of contemporary life in the United States, and the artist’s own Afro-Caribbean ancestry and American upbringing.

Following his debut solo exhibition at its New York gallery in February 2023, Gagosian has announced its global representation of Gavin, and will be presenting a new show of his recent paintings in Rome this coming fall.

Born in Pittsburgh in 1985, Gavin graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2007 before earning his MFA from Columbia in 2016. In 2015, he traveled to his ancestral homeland of Bermuda to study his family’s genealogy and the island’s history, resulting in a series of paintings exploring its legacies of enslavement, colonialism, and resistance, and the ways these reflect similar power structures in the United States.

Gavin’s first solo museum exhibition was held at the Aspen Art Museum in 2021, and his work has been included in several notable group shows, including “The Lure of the Dark: Contemporary Painters Conjure the Night” at MASS MoCA in 2018 and the 2022 Whitney Biennial.

His most recent work focuses on metaphorical interpretations of sites that have been transformed over time by human intervention or geological phenomena, employing bold colors and fluid, gestural brushstrokes to striking effect, as seen in the painting Untitled (Beaver Lodge) (2023).

According to Gagosian director Antwaun Sargent, “Cy had a really wonderful debut exhibition with the gallery earlier this year of landscapes that speak to who he is as a citizen and artist. We are thrilled he’s joined Gagosian. We are looking forward to seeing how his striking paintings and singular vision continue to inspire and provoke this fall in a presentation of new work at our Rome gallery and in the years to come.”

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