So I put together a show at the University of Missouri’s Bingham Gallery, focusing on a few younger painters working different takes on figurative painting. I’m in the show, too, so full disclosure, I’m biased. I just like these paintings, but here’s why: Most of the painters in the show are dealing with the history of painting–we’ve got portraits and genre paintings, narratives and allegories. Moments of beautiful drawing and paint-handling indicate that the artists have studied works of past thoroughly (take one look at Robert McCann or Jennifer Meanley’s work below).
Don’t however, think that it’s a conservative show–there are moments of black humor; of ironic and post-ironic self-examination; and reference to depictions of the figure in comics and cartoons, medical illustration and fashion advertising. Also evident, certain of the more Existential aspects of recent art theory. A quote from Steve Budinton, describing the characters in his paintings (that’s his See Me Feel Me Touch Me Heal Me, 2008 above), is an attitude of painter toward protagonist that might be shared by several artists in the show: “How would it compensate? What would it become? The resulting works are decidedly composite in nature, and thematically they address issues of human vulnerability in a seemingly ‘post human’ culture and precarious natural world.”
Here are some installation photos, and some thoughts of a more anecdotal nature on the show. Thanks so much for looking.
Showing paintings (left to right) by Robert McCann, Christopher Lowrance (me) and Josh Crow. I think I’m officially calling mine in the middle “in progress”. You read it here first. The color and tone just don’t do it for me, and I’ve got to get the space of it shifted a little bit off of that central access. Anyone got any thoughts? I’m open to a crit here…
Robert McCann, J. Kovar, 2003
Robert’s work gets a bit dwarfed in a show of big paintings, so here’s a nice shot of this little painting all by itself.
Showing works (left to right) by Melanie Lowrance and Steve Budington. It was a really great moment for me when I saw how Melanie’s self-portraits, and especially the big, pregnant bellies connected with the big brain-shape in Steve Budington’s Pioneer. There’s this kind of dumb and simple thrill of reading the three big kidney bean-shaped volumes together that was unexpected–kind of an additional enjoyment.
Two paintings by Josh Crow.
Showing works (left to right) by Jennifer Meanley, Andrew Winship and Christopher Lowrance (me again).
Jennifer Meanley, The Reluctant Bride, 2006, detail below:
Peopled Paintings January 14-February 7, 2008 Bingham Gallery University of Missouri Opening Reception: Friday, January 25th 6-9 PM