AMERICAN ICONOGRAPHY

CURATED BY JOHN FRIEDMAN

JUNE 30 - AUGUST 4, 2010
40 EAST 75TH STREET

 

JULES DE BALINCOURT DARCY BRENNAN
MATTHEW CRAVEN JANE DICKSON
ADAM HELMS MATTHEW DAY JACKSON
VIVIENNE KOORLAND DAVE MISHALANIE
SHAUN O'DELL SAUL STEINBERG
MATT SAUNDERS ALISON ELIZABETH TAYLOR
FELANDUS THAMES

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AMERICAN ICONOGRAPHY
Curated by John Friedman
June 30 - August 4, 2010

Adam Baumgold Gallery presents the exhibition "American Iconography," from June 30 through August 4, 2010. Artists included in the exhibition are Jules de Balincourt, Darcy Brennan, Matthew Craven, Jane Dickson, Adam Helms, Matthew Day Jackson, Vivienne Koorland, Dave Mishalanie, Matt Saunders, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, and Felandus Thames. Works in the exhibition reflect the broad diversity of the nation and its icons. The pieces incorporate everything from the Bald Eagle and the American cavalry that "conquered" the West, though in unexpected presentations which reflect the hypocrisies and ironies inherent in these icons, to the bathtubs that graced the urban landscape through which so many Americans passed at the turn of the last century.

Jules de Balincourt's painting "Get Outa Town," 2003 presents a novel version of the traditional country fair set in a post-utopian future. An encampment of crude geodesic domes, once popular with back-to-earthers, appears to be deserted. The titular banner could be telling you to get out of either the city or wherever this place is. Speaking to currents of the apocalyptic in American thought, post-punk, communalism and environmentalism, these artists tap a resurfacing edge of counterculture.

Alison Elizabeth Taylor's "Cheryl," 2003 evokes the suburban angst of the same era both in form and substance. Lovingly inlaid in "genuine" fake wood veneer contact paper, a "plasticized" material introduced in the 1960's, it resembles nothing so much as the flat brown-toned graphic advertisements which suffused the exploding American economy of the time. The scene of two women awkwardly failing to connect is as banal and brittle as the surfaces of the pieces, so that pictorial "surface" becomes a pun that refers to a façade, possibly with something dark beneath. Darcy Brennan conjures a similar prefab domestic anxiety; her oversized charcoal drawing "Sticky Tub," 2010 reminds us that a bathtub is at the most basic level a container for a body.

Matthew Craven's "Wooden Teeth," 2010, re-presents George Washington as the mysterious and crafty mason of conspiracy theory. On the familiar history book image, he masks the countenance of the great man with a static of pattern, betraying a tension between our myths of national origin and the half buried truths behind these stories. In Felandus Thames's Untitled, 2010, he addresses the persistence of the post-colonial myth and how it continues to affect our actions. Vivienne Koorland's "Gulf," 2010 suggests the consequences of American myths of dominance.

David Mishalanie's piece from the series "Internal Progression" he tenderly redraws a photo of a man from the period of American expansion, in matte pastel pigments that mute the rigidity of the posed portrait. The drawing is as ephemeral as a secret, situated in an ambiguous extra-historical past.

Then we are safely in the 20th century, in which Steinberg's "View of the World from 9th Avenue,"1981 settles the problem of America by revealing it as an unmarked wasteland beyond the glowing metropolis of New York, a dark continent, strange, distant, and probably not worth looking into.

Summer hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 - 5:30 P.M. A preview of the exhibition can be seen at www.adambaumgoldgallery.com. For additional information please contact Adam Baumgold at (212)861-7338 or abaumgold@aol.com.

 

JULES DE BALINCOURT
"Get Outa Town," 2003
Oil and spray on panel
6 1/8" x 8"

ADAM HELMS
NFA (Fortification), 2004
Gouache on paper
44" x 30"

ALISON ELIZABETH TAYLOR
"Cheryl," 2003
Contact paper on paper
11" x 14"

ALISON ELIZABETH TAYLOR
"Tina," 2003
Contact paper on paper
11" x 14"

JANE DICKSON
Study for "U-Dunk-Um," 1983
Oil stick on paper
17 3/4" x 22 1/4"

SAUL STEINBERG
"View of the World from 9th Avenue," 1981
Ink marker and colored pencils on paper
14" x 11"

SHAUN O'DELL
Untitled (city)
Pencil and gouache on paper
25 1/4" x 19"

SHAUN O'DELL
Untitled (city,) detail
Pencil and gouache on paper
25 1/4" x 19"

FELANDUS THAMES
"All Eyes on Me," 2010
Epson inkjet print and plastic eyes on museum board
24" x 18"

MATTHEW CRAVEN
"Wooden Teeth," 2010
Mixed media on paper
18" x 14"

MATTHEW CRAVEN
"The Hair," 2010
Mixed media on paper
18" x 14"

MATTHEW CRAVEN
"The Prophet," 2010
Mixed media on paper
18" x 14"

DAVE MISHALANIE
From the series "Untitled Internal Progression" (16), 2010
Acrylic, Polymer, Colored Pencil on Paper
40 " x 30 1/2"

VIVIENNE KOORLAND
"Gulf," 2010
Oil on board
12 1/2" x 2 1/2"

VIVIENNE KOORLAND
"Gulf," 2010
Oil on sewn canvas
18" x 22"

MATT SAUNDERS
Untitled (Calvin Collidge's Pajamas), 2001
Ink on mylar
44 1/2" x 32 1/2"

DARCY BRENNAN
Untitled (child tub), 2010
Charcoal on paper
30" x 44 1/2"

DARCY BRENNAN
Untitled (sticky tub), 2010
Charcoal on paper
30" x 44 1/2"