Paper Trail – Solo Exhibition @ LEGION (SF)
21 June 2016

Casey Gray: Paper Trail
July 8 – August 19, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, July 8, 5-8 PM
678 Commercial Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
Sydney Pfaff / Alice Wu
tel 415-733-7900
Legion presents Paper Trail, a solo presentation of new experimental works on paper by San Francisco-based artist Casey Gray. Gray’s paintings are made exclusively with acrylic spray paint and precision masking techniques. He creates fictional still-life works inspired by everyday observation and the organization of quotidian objects, combining a personal symbology with seemingly disparate images sourced from Google. Gray often works in serial format, exploring various historical painting tropes such as trompe l’oeil bulletin boards, Dutch still life painting, and curiosity cabinets.
Paper Trail highlights four medium-scale bulletin board paintings directly referencing Gray’s immediate studio environment. Formal compositions of everyday ephemera such as Starbucks napkins, coupons and Post-It notes are executed with Gray’s signature trompe l’oeil realism. Grip tape scraps and cutout paper shapes take center stage. Meanwhile, a pair of larger pieces, featuring loose shoestrings, suggests a wry dismantling of classical painting conceits.
Also included in Paper Trail is a selection of smaller, simple, graphic studies of fruit, vegetables, and landscapes, marking a recognizable shift in Gray’s normal practice. With these playful, more intimately-scaled works, Gray experiments with a range of surface treatments and textures, with the goal of expanding his visual vocabulary through the use of new specialty aerosol products and liquid acrylic paints. Viewed all together, the works in Paper Trail seem to reflect the artist in the very urgent midst of making, and the joy of discovering, in a moment of pause, that one’s studio detritus has in fact created a perfect, chance composition on the studio floor.
Gray received a B.A. in Painting and Printmaking from San Diego State University (2006) and an M.F.A. in Painting from San Francisco Art Institute (2010). Recent solo shows include Wave Pool at Park Life, San Francisco (2015) and Of Land & Sea at Circuit 12 Contemporary, Dallas (2014). He has exhibited extensively in group shows throughout the United States including in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Nashville, Portland, and Miami, among others. Gray’s work has been highlighted in publications such as Juxtapoz, Maake Magazine, New American Paintings, and The San Francisco Chronicle.
Casey Gray: Paper Trail is part of a series curated by Alice Wu for Legion. Legion’s 2016 programming, supported by an Alternative Exposure Grant, explores the intersection of art, commerce and design, and Chinatown, where Legion calls home. Legion is a contemporary lifestyle boutique representing independent designers, some local and exclusive to the area, including Kowtow, Ilana Kohn, Seek Collective, Cold Picnic, Ali Golden, and Ben Medansky. Founded by Bay Area native and fashion writer Sydney Pfaff, Legion also stocks a selection of home design, paper goods, and books.
Paper Trail is on view July 8 through August 19, 2016 at Legion, 678 Commercial Street, San Francisco, CA 94111. Legion is open Tuesday-Friday, 11AM-6PM, Saturday 1PM-5PM and by appointment. For further information and show images, please visit or contact Legion at or 415-733-7900.