Brian Cirmo: Where Teardrops Fall

Brian Cirmo

Where Teardrops Fall

May 20 – July 22, 2021

 

532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel is pleased to announce Where Teardrops Fall, an exhibition of new paintings by Brian Cirmo. This is the artist’s second exhibition with the gallery. 

 

Where Teardrops Fall tells tales of contemporary malaise and nostalgia. Together or in solitude, Cirmo’s nearly life-sized figures inhabit interiors, sit on park benches, or float out at sea. A follow up to the artist’s first exhibition Gray Matters (2019-20) in which he told stories like a visual novelist, this exhibition maintains Cirmo’s commitment to narrative, but visually resounds with a soundtrack of blues, jazz, folk, and 90s pop. 

 

We look over the shoulder of one girl in Girl Interrupted (2020) as she holds the iconic Alanis Morissette album Jagged Little Pill (1995), and we feel the nostalgia of one boy walking past a shelf with He-Man figures in Boy Toys (2020). The girl and the boy are mouthless but not grotesque—it’s as if they simply can’t speak to their sense of longing as well as the paintings of them can.

 

But not all memories are tinged with the mythic innocence of childhood in Where Teardrops Fall. In Agent Orange (2020) we see the profile of a soldier’s face painted in camouflage. His steely eyes and the cigarette between his lips both recall Ernst Kirchner’s Self Portrait as Soldier (1915), thus suggesting an inner trauma beneath his dissociated expression, one expressed externally by the loud orange background. 

 

Throughout the exhibition, Cirmo is a witty interlocutor with modernist art history—the labels from Jasper Johns’s Ballantine’s ale cans (1964) make a cameo below a Thelonius Monk poster on the wall in Have You Heard the News (2020); a Max Ernst frottage landscape with moon (1927) is the setting for a self-portrait with a Sun Studio t-shirt in The Sun and the Moon (2020); and a man is caught between Barnett Newman’s “zips“ behind him and Jackson Pollock’s splatters before him—reflected in his sunglasses—in Expression Reflection (2020).  

 

This engagement with modernism is seen not only in visual quotations, but in Cirmo’s compositional geometry—as well as his subversion of that geometry. Right angle structures referencing modernist grids are used in service of narrative, humor, and expression. A woman sits on the steps of a front stoop composed of lines parallel and perpendicular to the edges of the canvas in Somewhere Over the Rainbow (2020). The rainbow stripes running down the sleeve of her sweatshirt seem disconnected from her melancholic pose. Is the green-strawed, plastic cup from a chain coffee store next to her half empty or half full? Before a life raft of lethargic figures in Cast Away (2020), a shark rears its head from the water. Its jaws are open at a perfect right angle as it cinematically bares its teeth—a humorous rendering that seems to ask if modernism still has teeth of its own.

 

These modernist tropes are countered not only by narratives but by rich decorative patterns, such as the humble rug painted in a luxuriously tactile manner in Sorry (2020), an overhead view of two figures and a cat sprawled over the eponymous board game. Crucially, these patterns and textures provide ways of feeling the story, much like textures in music do.

 

The exhibition’s title is a line from a song by Bob Dylan, who figures in the painting Lost in the Crowd (2020). We stand with the now Nobel laureate, gazing over his shoulder past the harmonica holder at his lips and the guitar neck in his hand, and past the brilliant red stage to an ambivalent crowd of fans—some ecstatic, some asleep. The work seems representative of a broader crisis of not knowing how to respond to a world of virtual hyper-stimulation and real ongoing trauma. Do we wake up or bury our heads? Cirmo’s humorous and empathetic take on human foibles and vulnerabilities gives us the space to consider these questions as we feel and hear his characters’ stories. 

 

Brian Cirmo (b. 1977, Utica, NY) received his MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University at Albany, and his work has been exhibited in Boston, Pomona, New Orleans, and Washington DC. His residencies include the Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency, Granville, NY; and Salem Art Works Residency, Salem, NY. Cirmo lives and works in Albany, NY.

Interview with Brian Cirmo

For further information or to schedule an interview with the artist, please contact us at 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel by e-mail at info@532gallery.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Exhibitions Past

“Susana Guerrero: Mother, Consumed at 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel”, By Robert R. Shane, Whitehot Magazine May 2021

 

Red and blue electrical cords, gnarled together, originate from within a hollow, wire structure resembling a corset and stream downward, spilling onto the floor like entrails in Spanish artist Susana Guerrero’s La Madre/The Mother (2020). As with many pieces in Guerrero’s exhibition Mother, Consumed, these cords act as metaphors for conceptual and corporeal conduits, including blood vessels and, crucially, the umbilical cord. The work investigates the symbiosis and separation of mother and child from pregnancy through early childhood with references to abject art and Mediterranean mythology, but most importantly is rooted in personal experience. When Guerrero had been breastfeeding her infant son, she was unaware that she was not producing enough milk until suddenly he needed to be hospitalized. This traumatic experience is the impetus for the artist’s exploration of the mother as a being who feeds, who is herself consumed, and who can give life and take life. Addressing themes of precarity, power, and interdependence, Guerrero’s maternal investigations are not a niche topic, but a way of thinking through all human relationships….

 

Read the Full Article: “Susana Guerrero: Mother Consumed at 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel (link)

Categories: News

Susana Guerrero: Mother, Consumed

 

Susana Guerrero

Mother, Consumed

March 20 – May 15, 2021 

 

Chelsea, New York: In Mother, Consumed, her second solo exhibition at 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, Susana Guerrero presents a collection of recently created objects that explore the symbiosis between mother and child during gestation, that precarious period when two lives are inextricably intertwined and a woman shares of her own organs, sustenance, and spirit so that a new, fully autonomous being might spring into the world. Guerrero’s works merge the traditionally feminine process of weaving with materials more commonly found in the historically male realm of industrial fabrication. A veil woven from thin cables that flows from a bloody red to a watery blue, a delicate womblike cage fashioned from thin strips of metal covered with sharp thorns from the medicinal Agave plant, and a hard ceramic sphere covered with gilded baby-bottle nipples all hint at a profound tension between warm maternal instinct and cold self-protection. Based loosely upon a Mediterranean myth of a woman who surrenders her own flesh to engender several other lives but is then parthenogenetically reborn, these works bear witness to that mysterious passage from unity to duality through which we all go at the inception of our lives.

View “Mother, Consumed” on Artsy

 

For more information contact the gallery at info@532gallery.com

 

Install Shots:

 

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Categories: Exhibitions Past

2021 Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary / Art Wynwood Special Online Edition

Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary / Art Wynwood Special Online Edition

February 24 - March 14, 2021

Chelsea, New York: 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel is pleased to take part in this year's Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary / Art Wynwood Special Online Edition. Our online booth at Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary and Art Wynwood Online Edition, features the following artists in the gallery's programme: Brian Cirmo, Carlos Rodriguez Cardenas, Danny Rolph, Diana Copperwhite, Electric Coffin, Elio Rodriguez, Gustavo Acosta, Ian Hughes, John Alexander Parks, Jose Angel Vincench, Julie Langsam, Karl Jean Guerly Petion, Lennart Rieder, Lien Truong, Paco Marcial, Per Adolfsen, Piers Secunda, Sky Kim, Susana Guerrero. The fair is on view until March 14.

 

View our virtual fair booth on Artsy (link) 

Jean Guerly Petion

In Between Beneath The Mirror

2021

Acrylic, Mixed media on canvas

83 x 53 inches

In Between Beneath The Mirror, 2021, Acrylic, Mixed media on canvas, 83" x 53"

"Synonymous with the dark and the unknown. In this painting the shadows are reversed. Hyper fragmented colours create forms that resemble aspects of the human figure. They find their shape in the process where form, light and organic mass dismantle the laws of logic. In this fictional space the shadow becomes solid, electric and light" -- Diana Copperwhite

 

 

"Copperwhite’s process and form evoke both a sense of excavation—and with it, Freud’s archaeological metaphors for delving into the past and the unconscious—and that sense of blurring or erasure when one cannot quite fully remember an event. Her fluid bands of colored light slicing across weathered surfaces viscerally affect the viewer, reminding us that memory is not just an artifact of the past, but an animated phenomenon intensely felt in the present." -- Robert Shane, The Brooklyn Rail

Diana Copperwhite, In The Shape Of Shadows (2019)

Diana Copperwhite

In The Shape Of Shadows (2019)

Oil on canvas

60 x 60 x 2 inches

"Looking at Jose Angel Vincench’s geometric abstractions, one can’t help being stunned by all their luminosity — the light inherent in their gold, the most precious metal of all minerals, all the more so because of its symbolic import – and their innovative, idiosyncratic geometry. Gold is universally regarded as a sacred material, a symbol of transcendence, like the sun that rises above the earth it shines on. We cannot live without its miraculous light, and we value gold because it is imbued with light. It is a peculiarly abstract material, a sort of immaterial material like light. Gold is the most malleable of metals; working with gold leaf, as Vincench does, is to bend light to one’s aesthetic and expressive purpose" -- Donald Kuspit

Jose A. Vincench, Autonomia (2015)

Jose Angel Vincench

Autonomia (2015)

Gold leaf on canvas

31 1/2 x 31 1/2 x 1 3/5 inches

"January 1990 was my first trip to New York. On a cold morning I caught a train from Manhattan to Montauk changing at Jamaica. I had read that lots of artists I admired had lived on Long Island and I wanted to go as far east as I could. The train journey was eventful, I remember everyone warning me not to leave it too late getting back to the City! So, 30 years later during Lockdown in the UK I wanted to recollect that day. I decided on a diptych format to create a division between the two parts of Long island as I saw it with Brooklyn, Queens and the city I was leaving on the left transitioning to the rural as your eye wanders right. I chose a thicker triplewall to paint upon for its extended optical effects.  My memories are primarily of the striking angularity in the architecture in the city that carried into Long Island, becoming less frequent as the journey progressed. I watched from the window of the train whilst listening to P-Funk on a cassette tape in my Walkman. I remember this overwhelming pink hue upon the buildings as the train chugged eastwards. In this painting I reference the coast and waves viewed that day in the lower part of the right hand panel. A clear angular dark shape on the right represents the end of that journey as I looked out on the freezing ocean and returned (slowly) on the late train back to the city.  This painting is a recollection but I also view it as a kind of allegory relating to the urban and the rural, like what you often see in Pre and Early Renaissance Painting?" — Danny Rolph

Danny Rolph, Long Island (2020)

Danny Rolph

Long Island (2020)

Acrylic, Mixed media on canvas

39 2/5 x 56 x 1 3/5 inches

Situated between the past and the future, Lien Truong’s paintings are layered between different times, pointing to an ambiguous present that conflates defiance with prejudice and moral risk. Truong melds a soft, painterly palette with references to symbols that overflow with historical meaning.

 

 

Patterns of cloth, involving reference to historic Asian silk painting, seem to absorb the lineage of violence in the collective psyche. The paintings themselves are vessels, setting in relief historical indignities suffered by individuals at the hands of the state. The vessels give rhythm and shape to people and places whose histories have been all but erased.

Lien Truong, And then the water turned a lurid hue (2019)

Lien Truong

And then the water turned a lurid hue (2019)

Oil, silk, acrylic, laser cut linen, antique Japanese cloth on canvas

60 x 72 inches

Per Adolfsen

Full moon and an empty beach

2021

Graphite, Pencil on Hahnemuehle paper

23 3/5 x 16 1/2 inches

Per Adolfsen"s drawings in graphite and colored pencil are the product of Adolfsen’s abiding interest in keeping his artistic practice grounded in the fundamental relationship of eye, mind, and hand, without reliance on technologies and tools more modern than those used by the Old Masters and their disciples through the centuries.

 

Per Adolfsen, Full moon and an empty beach (2021)

Brian Cirmo

Snowflake

2019

Oil on canvas

22 x 20 inches

Brian Cirmo's large-scale paintings envelop the viewer in the visceral worlds he creates, while smaller scale portraits, set in snowy landscapes or on moon-lit beaches, offer moments of reflection. The color gray figures in many of the works, even those ablaze with luminous color; Cirmo also asks viewers to think about the gray areas that we navigate in our relationships or in solitude.

Brian Cirmo, Snowflake (2019)

"The daily trading on the exchange is a ferocious zero-sum game where there are winners and losers. It's a fight. So I decided to paint it as a rather unlikely fist fight where all the business guys in their dark suits have suddenly mixed in with a huge brawl. I used exaggerated gestures and sometimes quite preposterous attitudes so that the piece became more whimsical than brutal. The building itself seems have gotten into the action as well with the trading stations dancing amongst the crowd... In the end the picture is a tribute to the pugnacious, competitive side of New York life, more positive than negative..." -- John Alexander Parks

John A. Parks, The New York Stock Exchange (2015)

John A. Parks

The New York Stock Exchange (2015)

Oil on linen

30 x 42 x 2 inches

Piers Secunda

ISIS Bullet Hole Painting (Angels)

2017

Industrial floor paint

30 x 30 x 2 1/2 inches

Piers Secunda has developed a studio practice using paint in a sculptural manner, to record both conflicts and post industrial revolution developments,
which have formed the world we know today, with a focus in the last decade, on the destruction of culture in war time.
Piers Secunda, ISIS Bullet Hole Painting (Angels) (2017)

Ian Hughes

Scrum

2019

Acrylic on canvas

42 x 36 inches

"The best pictures almost always involve an element of serendipity, some unexpected occurrence in the process of making them, or more likely, in the process of destroying them. Scrum is one of those pictures. I was in the process of painting it out with a coat of gray paint when I took a swipe at it with a wet sponge. It was almost like the figure I was wiping out fought back! The painting ends up looking like the psychological experience of making it: a tussle, a head-but between two opposing forces." -- Ian Hughes

Scrum, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 42" x 36"

Susana Guerrero

The Mother / Le Madre

2020

Brass, terminals, woven cable, ceramic

67 × 61 × 59 inches

"The process of making the artwork it’s like a ritual; the choice of every material, the configuration of every shape, of every element, brings a poetic meaning and symbolism to the artwork. The process as exorcism, the transformation of physical pain as purification of the body and the spirit, its laceration as the offering to the miracle of life" -- Susana Guerrero

 

Susan Guerrero, The Mother / La Madre (2020)

Elio Rodriguez

Tropical Garden I

2018

Mixed media

72 x 72 inches

In his wallmounted monochromatic soft sculptures, Rodríguez assembles forms that initially read like whimsical semi-biomorphic riffs on 20th century Abstract Expressionist sculpture, and almost feel like a playful synthesis of Louise Bourgeois and John Chamberlain. Given time and attention, though, it begins to reveal complex allusions to nature’s exuberant fecundity, the artist’s complex relationship to his own Cuban identity, and the stereotypes that many North Americans have about tropical cultures. Although all of the artist's works are patently artificial in their materials and construction, they also embody the artless power of nature in all its self-assertive, unselfconscious grandeur.

Elio Rodriguez, Tropical Garden I (2018)

Marlon Portales

Guggenheim

2018

Oil on canvas

118 x 177 inches

In "Guggenheim" Portales places the art spectators at the center of artistic discourse. As they view his paintings of other people viewing art, Portales’s audiences are invited to think about their own roles as spectators.

Marlon Portales, Guggenheim (2018)

Once upon a time a Racing driver said “that we race cannot be explained by the necessity of sports for industry, but by the indefinite urge in Men to compete and succeed in things that really serve no purpose, but still require the entire dedication and force of his personality”.  That sentence describes as well, a good part of an artist life. My own at least. And on that basis, my sculptures reflects many of the spirit of the early Motorsport drivers. This particular work was inspired by a driver named Jochen Rindt who, in 1970 became the only posthumous World Champion ever in Formula 1.

His countryman Wolfgang con Trips, who said those words that start this text, he also died in a racing crash not too long after he said those words, nine years earlier than Jochen — Paco Marcial

Paco Marcial, Clocking the time until all we a-green, there’s lucky numbers (2020)

Paco Marcial

Clocking the time until all we a-green, there's lucky numbers (2018)

ZIG Kuretake water base ink pen on paper, mounted on Lanaquarell watercolor paper

11 x 16 inches

In a set of floral still lifes embedded within undulating, wavelike backgrounds, Lennart Rieder seems to point toward the profound gulf between humanity and the natural matrix from which we once emerged.

 

 

In "Slow" my intention is kind of a call to slow down, also a reference to the slow painting movement, and the vanitas still life paintings. The still life as a symbol of transience. The shapes are intended to have a digital appeal, connecting the traditional medium oil on canvas with digital tools, "Post Digital". In the end, I'm really trying to create a certain feeling while referencing different aspects in painting and art -- Lennart Rieder.

Lennart Rieder, Slow (2019)

Lennart Rieder

Slow (2019)

Oil on line

67 x 49 inches

Sky Kim’s paintings have a systematic and coherent internal logic that mimics the complex interplay of order and dissolution found at every level of the cosmos. This painting hints at fragile aquatic forms including soft globular colonies of our most ancient unicellular ancestors in the primordial seas. Set in soft watery blues and lustrous shades of turquoise suggesting bioluminescence and nature’s exuberant palette

Sky Kim, Rain Wall (2020)

Sky Kim

Rain Wall (2020)

Watercolor, Swarovski crystals on paper

70 x 144 inches

Seattle-based collaborative duo Electric Coffin (artists Duffy de Armas and Stefan Hofmann) works provide the odd pairing of an animal with a disproportionately small vehicle perched on its back. Although the meaning of this mash-up is elusive, its bright, industrial colors and sleek, contemporary materials (back-painted glass, acrylic resin, holographic film) seem to gesture obliquely toward the idea that today the entirety of nature and culture form one vast junk pile of free-floating bits and pieces waiting to be refashioned into an endless series of slick, cool commodities through a neverending process of recombination and remixing.

Electric Coffin, Bloodlust Trans Am Wolf (2019)

Electric Coffin

Bloodlust Trans Am Wolf  (2019)

Glass, acrylic paint, wooden frame

40 x 49 x 1 inches

Julie Langsam

Whirling Dervish

 2020

Oil on wood panel

44 x 44 inches

Julie Langsam's work explores the notion of the sublime within the context of utopian/dystopian ideas about modernist 'progress' and societal ideals. These underlying themes are present in works that embrace a variety of strategies and genres including landscape, figuration, abstraction, documentary photography, and architecture.

Julie Langsam, Whirling Dervish (2020)

"The shadow that haunts Acosta’s worldly cities suggests they are illusions—theatrical illusions which people mistake for reality, to allude to Plato’s myth of the dark cave, where people are chained to their ignorance. But the geometrical character of his paintings tells us that they are higher things—that art is more intelligible than reality, and as such more peculiarly real than reality. Acosta’s idealistic geometry is his way of escaping from—rising above—the grim reality of the city" -- Donald Kuspit

Gustavo Acosta, Sixteen Flags and a Tropical Landscape (2017)

Gustavo Acosta

Sixteen flags and a Tropical Landscape (2017)

Acrylic on canvas

43 x 98 x 2 inches

Categories: Exhibitions Past

Jean-Guerly Pétion

Americana Dreaming, 2020, Acrylics on board, barbed wire, 27 x 27 in.

 

Jean-Guerly Petion uses symbols from Haiti, his country of birth, as well as imagery suggesting the extremes of wealth and poverty which exist there. His paintings confront emotionally charged first- and third-world class issues via theoretical texts and compelling images, such as that of his black man vaulting skyward over a strand of barbed wire. Often quoting theoretical texts drawn from Freud, Lacan, Deleuze and others, he refuses any simplistic reading of Voudoun symbology: Marcel Duchamp is stepping on Jean-Michel Basquiat! Petion’s depiction of power plays directly invokes the contemporary art scene itself in assemblage and mixed-media sculpture and painting. The work issues demands for a new reading of gods and commoners, hope and despair. Pétion holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, and an MFA from CalArts. 

Categories: Artists

“Per Adolfsen at 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel”, By Jonathan Goodman, Tussle Magazine December 2020

 

Per Adolfsen is a Danish artist who regularly makes forays into the countryside with only a pencil and paper to retrieve images from the landscape in highly lyric ways. His color drawings are extraordinarily precise if not very accurate in color, resulting in a hallucinatory image that is as beautiful as it is unusual. Working within a small format, Adolfsen has made a group of drawings that celebrate nature on the scale of chamber music, in which poetry combines with a formal accuracy based on the precise report of the land. The trees and meadows and rocks, with bodies of water and snowy heights, all combine to create a world of unusual, and also innocent, beauty. This is an unusual time for an innocent view of nature, stuck as we are in the morass of decades, if not centuries, of the abuse of the natural world. Adolfsen, who rejects all technology in his practice, working with paper and pencil alone, might be accused of being old-fashioned. But perhaps the greater truth is that the deliberate constraints that he places on materials return him to a past when a romantic view of nature had not been tarnished by exploitation….

Read the Full Article: “Per Adolfsen at 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel (link)

Categories: News

“Treasures from Iraq at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum”, by Tim Hughes, Oxford Times December 2020

 

A cultural melting pot in the cradle of civilization, its history stretches back to 401BC.

Astride the Tigris, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh, it was a cultural treasure house of mosques and churches containing the tombs of Old Testament prophets. But it is not so much its ancient glories which have fixed it in our consciousness, but the horrors of the past two decades.

It was battered by the Americans after the 2003 invasion, devastated by suicide attacks, then suffered the worse excesses of Islamic extremism, resulting in a Christian exodus before falling into the hands of Islamic State. ISIS or ‘Da’esh’ left the place a ruin, smashing many of its precious artefacts – not least those in the Mosul Museum where Assyrian sculptures were smashed.

Moved by the destruction, artist Piers Secunda visited the Mosul Museum in 2018, and was given permission by Iraq’s Minister of Culture to mould the broken stone surfaces of destroyed treasures from the Assyrian Rooms…

 

Read The Full Article: “Treasures from Iraq at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum” (link)

Categories: News

Per Adolfsen: Landscapes

Per Adolfsen

Landscapes

December 3, 2020 – February 27, 2021 

Chelsea, New York: In his third solo show with 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, Danish artist Per Adolfsen presents recent landscape drawings in graphite and colored pencil mounted on natural maple wood panels.

The works are the product of Adolfsen’s abiding interest in keeping his artistic practice grounded in the fundamental relationship of eye, mind, and hand, without reliance on technologies and tools more modern than those used by the Old Masters and their disciples through the centuries.

Adolfsen describes his process thus: “Very simple: a man, a pencil and a piece of paper. I go out into my environment every day. I study it and I draw what I see. The sky, the trees, the sea.” He thereby hopes to sink into a communion with nature that reveals otherwise veiled aspects of its being. “I feel that it gives way to a deeper understanding of the way the world is constituted,” he comments. “I study interconnections on different levels. How nature is constituted. How the interconnections for life, death and growth are constituted.”

While mostly naturalistic at first glance, some of Adolfsen’s drawings veer toward an almost Fauve exuberance in their use of color, as seen, for example, in the densely rendered, primary-blue clouds of Dunes by the West Coast.

Within all of these drawings, Adolfsen constructs rocks, trees, hills, clouds, and water with tightly controlled arrangements of contour lines and hatches deployed with almost Cézanne-like precision, giving these forms a solidity that sometimes belies their actual flatness. Often these elements come together in ways that are both whimsical and profound, as in By the Canal, where four rocks in almost outlandish tones of orange and magenta nestle within in a pile of stones rendered in more mundane terrestrial shades of black and brown. The hints of a deeper life that Adolfsen is seeking within the phenomena nature is perhaps revealed best in these moments.

 

View the Full Show on Artsy (link)

Press Release: Per Adolfsen – Landscapes (link)

“Postcards from Per Adolfsen: Portrait Landscapes”, by Cori Hutchinson, Whitehot Magazine December 2020 (article link)

“Per Adolfsen at 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel”, by Jonathan Goodman, Tussle Magazine December 2020 (article link)

In Conversation with Per Adolfsen – Strike Art UK May 2021 (article link)

 

 

 

 

For further information or to schedule an interview with the artist, please contact us at 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel by e-mail at info@532gallery.com

 

 

 

Categories: Exhibitions Past