November 18-December 17, 2011
Theodore Horner has been studying American History. He has been drawing portraits of 18th and 19th century presidents. He has also been collaborating with Jason Dunda. To ensure that his collection of portraits is cohesive, Theodore drew Jason as an 18th century man. Theodore’s decision asks something about the past and power, and the result is uncanny and funny as hell. Archer Bellas is 3 and very aware that his presence has power. Archer has fought his dad for the title artist. Benjamin Bellas works from his very personal stories, but has figured a way to tell the personal parts without that walked-in-on-him-in-the-bathroom revulsion. None of us is sure if Benjamin’s work is even in this show, but he worked with Archer, so it is nice to talk about him. Laura Davis often pretends that there is no figuration in her work, but its surfaces and presence occupy a personage’s presence even when there is no one there. She gave up her hallmark brilliance in working with surfaces to Andrew Holmquist this time around. Andrew plays with the atomization of presence; everything running through your brain goes through a wood chipper onto a canvas with thick bold fat paint. He is also rather brilliant in working with surfaces, although his versions of surface are quite distinctive from Laura’s. Maybe I’ll convince you to ask me to show you the portrait I have been working on for the last 5 years.
Two heads are better than one; where do we land with half a dozen? Engaging portraits are always a little about what the outside looks like and a little about what the inside thinks and feels like. Or the social identity of the subject. Or is that object? The one who is looked at is both, right? Who is the one doing the looking? Why do we get weird when the one looking somehow shifts or challenges? This collection of portraits rejects the mind body polarization so widely embraced, and repositions the portrait in the guttural and sexual body. This body of heads promises to be a little messy, propose a problem or two, and leave it all out there on the gallery floor.
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