Rosamund Felsen Gallery is pleased to present Notes on a Gathering Crowd, a new exhibition by Kathleen Henderson. This will be Henderson’s fourth solo exhibition at our gallery; the exhibition will be comprised of nearly 40 new oil stick drawings on paper.
Kathleen Henderson’s drawings assert themselves at the nexus of several simultaneous (and often conflicting) dualities. These works are both absurdist cartoons and topical polemics; they’re breezy sketches and deeply psychologized marks; they’re punctuated with odd smudges that are also assuredly representational, perhaps figurative. Even Henderson’s customary line quality, so informal, messy, and youthful, is soon revealed as hyper-intentional and loaded with significance. These sharp-tongued drawings contain nods to the lineage of artists like Daumier & Goya, who serialized and disseminated topical and biting works, but in Henderson’s drawings, the pictorial coherence is found in the gaps between overt meaning(s).
Each of the drawings in this exhibition fall under one of three project tracks undertaken by the artist over the last few years. The first, Peaceable Kingdom, is culled from from Edward Hicks’ famously painted-and-repainted picture of lion and lamb (plus humans and other creatures) coexisting peacefully in nature. Henderson’s drawings are similarly hopeful in imagining the outwardly impossible, while laying bare the yucky mucky path that leads to Elysium.
A second subset of this exhibition features Snow White’s dwarves, and Dumbo, and other Disney(-ish) figures, sullied and imperfect, reflecting not the gloss but the gloom of the modern media enterprise. The works from this series are centered around the marketing prowess and cultural contribution of the Disney Institute, a marketing and business training arm of the giant media corporation.
Lastly, Henderson exhibits a set of drawings under the purview of the exhibition’s namesake, Notes on a Gathering Crowd. These drawings depict large masses of people, mostly naked, bunched and overflowing, but the backdrop is only paper. Without the ability to place these masses, we’re left with another of Henderson’s simultaneities: are these hoards waiting to indulge, or waiting to die?
Kathleen Henderson lives and works in Berkeley, California. Henderson will be exhibiting her work concurrently at Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco, from June 6-20. For more information, please visit gallerypauleanglim.com.
Please join us for the opening reception on Saturday, May 26, from 5-7 pm
For more information, please call the gallery: (310) 828-8488
Gallery Hours: 10 am – 5:30 pm, Tuesday – Saturday