RITUAL, HOPE, DESIRE: Featuring the work by: Brian Frink, Mira Gerard, and Andrew Hendrixson
James May Gallery is pleased to present: RITUAL, HOPE, DESIRE:
Featuring new work by Brian Frink, Mira Gerard, and Andrew Hendrixson.
Show runs September 4th- October 31st.
When thinking of putting together this exhibition, I knew there needed to be a common thread of hope in such a despairing time. Mira’s powerful, yet serene female figures in broad sweeping landscapes leave us with a feeling of strength. Frink’s colorful abstracted landscapes of moon and water are so elemental and fluid- reminding us to let it all go. Hendrixson’s work causes us to pause and revel in a quiet ritual.
Art has the power to transform and uplift. It is going to be ok. We need to be reminded.
I make paintings of the figure as a way to understand desire, which functions in my work in part as a fantasy about being both subject and maker. For several years when I was growing up, my family lived in a small intentional community in rural New Hampshire with no TVs and with limited access to experiences of mainstream American culture in the 70's. I became fascinated with fairies and fairy tales, along with the meadows, stone walls and woods around me. During that time, I was a frequent subject of my father's paintings- usually depicted playing in fields of flowers in sun-drenched afternoon landscapes.
Ten years ago I quite literally stumbled into Lacanian psychoanalysis. It's a practice of speaking freely and in a very nonlinear way, which parallels studio processes of sorting through fragments, pieces of images and ideas, to make something new that remembers (re-members). I create staged photographs and videos and supplement those with screenshots, art historical references, and collage. I am specifically interested in figures or elements in landscapes and spaces, and in the implication of a kind of storyboard, a before-to-after. Because the process of painting itself feels necessarily perfomative and vulnerable, I try to communicate this through both content and approach. I have embraced traditional, old master forms of construction, with a method in place for the breakdown of those processes to occur, so that the paintings themselves are like landscapes and bodies- a physical manifestation of interruptions, scars, layers, and time.
In my work I seek to articulate distinctions between habit and ritual—the frivolity of the former countered by the intentionality of the latter.
The paintings are made from the dense comingling of paint and hand-sewn remnant fabric. In the finished work, as well as the practice by which it is made, I wish to give credence to inefficiency and labor intensiveness, and to elevate these notions by pursuing them with a purposiveness that bears the gravity of ritual.
It is my hope that rigorous intentionality can give meaning to the most banal of daily tasks, that my life need not participate in the binary of “important days” on one hand and the “commonplace days” on the other. I hope to show that, in the right light, poetry inhabits the mundane and the commonplace is full of consequence.
My work has always circled around the landscape. At times my paintings are more directly derived from images of the land. Other times they are more oblique in their reference to the land and landscape. However, my work always uses the landscape as a metaphor for an internal landscape of the self. The work in this exhibition uses imaginative landscapes to ask questions about this moment in time and history. I use the river, slowly traversing water, as a metaphor for the passing of one’s life and time. The moon and water become about all the unseen forces, internal and external, that influence us.