Alderman Exhibitions is pleased to present The Real Problem, an exhibition of paintings by Joel Dean. In this new body of work Dean uses the utilities of painting to explore the territory between the psychological space of a constructed image and the drama of the material used to build that narrative. Drawing on the mise-en-scène techniques of early 20th century German film and the writings of Jean Baudrillard, The Real Problem revolves around four large canvases depicting a pair of graphic cactuses isolated in front of a surreal and barren landscape stretching away to an empty horizon. These scoured scenes are joined by sculptural elements including an oasis in the form of a water pitcher with glasses and a tessellated installation of one hundred variously degraded paintings of Pokey, the shape shifting sidekick from Art Clokey's Gumby. A brooding rumination on flatness, Dean’s paintings use an emotive, yet removed quality that delineates their constituent parts while subversively volunteering the seduction of illusion as an essential but ruinous condition of the 21st century.
Joel Dean (b. 1986, Atlanta, GA) lives and works in Oakland, CA. He received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009 and studied at the Yale University Summer School of Music and Art. He is a co-founder and director of the artist-run exhibition space Important Projects and is a co-manager of Real Time and Space, a residency program located in downtown Oakland. Past exhibitions include Alter Space in San Francisco, The Elipsis Space at Triple Base Gallery in San Francisco, Macarthur B Arthur in Oakland, Sight School in Oakland, Monument 2 Gallery in Chicago, Hungryman Gallery in San Francisco, Kruger Gallery in Chicago, Extra Extra in Philadelphia, Sutton Gallery in Melbourne, AU, Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan, Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, and Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery in Chicago.