Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed
November 9, 2013 – December 21, 2013
Opening Reception With Artist in Attendance: Saturday, November 9, 7-10 PM
KM Fine Arts Los Angeles is pleased to present Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed, a solo exhibition of paintings and drawings by American artist Dana Louise Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick creates expressive large-scale drawings and paintings that command immediate attention. Classically trained, her oeuvre draws on the annals of art history. Art giants Picasso (b. 1881 - 1973), De Kooning (1904 - 1997) and Basquiat (1960 - 1988) live most fervently in Kirkpatrick’s work, and in so doing, she creates a vehicle for not only preserving their memories, but also breathing them new life. Her own milieu, living in New York City in the twenty-first century, both continues and updates their narrative, contributing to a visceral documentation of modern humankind and our culture.
There is honesty in Kirkpatrick’s work that resonates with her contemporary influences, such as Raymond Pettibon, who contributes in her forthcoming catalog “Dana Louise Kirkpatrick's work has the charm of its own distinction: individual in the best way, but also with an engaging openness and willingness to share, to communicate.” Like the characters that inhabit Pettibon’s paintings, amidst the angst and turmoil in Kirkpatrick’s work, serenity persists. She speaks of the artists she admires’ ability to translate their inner demonic dialogue into undeniable beauty and Kirkpatrick succeeds in doing the same.
Kirkpatrick’s energy and personal experience is ever-present in her work. Clothes filthy and covered in paint on the C train to a dirty warehouse in SoHo, she has seen a thousand images by the time she gets to her studio each day. “I pull from sources,” she says. “Other artists’ work... rip pages from art books... a drummer on the subway begging... It just happens. I don't think about it. I usually sit against the wall staring down a blank surface. Then it comes… Then it’s gone.” These things inform her creative process, as she channels and reimagines the phantasmagoria of her surroundings. Her nomadic, unsettled existence is evident in her choice of materials – house paint, scrap wood, raw canvas, flattened cardboard boxes –adding a grittiness unfamiliar to her German Expressionist compatriots. Instead of textbook oils, she has “fallen into the habit of using hard compressed charcoal, pastel, house paint and graphite on anything around…”
Not stopping at found materials, Kirkpatrick is preoccupied with found imagery and prevailing memes, referencing popular culture, the art canon, everyday iconography and banal objects.
Sports, music, popular culture, religion, war, race, poverty, love and sex are just some of the themes that abound, often contorted to point toward the darker side of human nature. Written language fills blank voids while creating giant chasms in the viewer’s sense of ease. But while her content is fraught with antagonism, there is almost always an underlying humor – a commedia dell’arte that turns her grim subject matter into wry, sardonic commentary.
Mimicking these contradictions, Kirkpatrick’s sure, confident linework oscillates between being hard and dark or shaky and scrawling, dependent on the attitude of each piece. Her later work speaks louder in its more minimalistic approach. Offsetting stark black and white, intense primary colors fill sections with color blocking, often dripping from her subjects, the paint visibly running down their forms. Using these striking contrasts she echoes her thematic concerns.
Kirkpatrick refuses to be a passive observer. The role of the artist is no longer merely craftsman, but producer of meaning in some as yet undefined way that is not delineated by a prescribed or set standard. As an artist, Kirkpatrick’s heightened sense of empathy, self-awareness and forthright disposition is supremely evident in her impassioned technique. Together with her rich knowledge of art history, this delivers a compelling combination of the familiar and the refreshingly unique.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Dana Louise Kirkpatrick (b. 1976, Cambridge, Massachusetts) is an artist gaining rapid renown for her bold, large-scale artworks in mixed media. Her work references elements of Modern art, in particular German and Neo-Expressionism. She grapples with the dichotomies and contradictions embedded in contemporary Western culture, religion and humanity, using forceful iconography and a highly expressive technique.
Raised in Washington DC, Kirkpatrick was educated privately but lived on the fringes, struggling to stay in school and at one point becoming homeless. She went on to study Fine Arts at Georgetown University, graduating with honors in 2001. Here she received the DaVinci Medal for Excellence in Studio Art and the Misty Dailey Award for Outstanding Work in Studio Art.
Kirkpatrick’s work is in a large number of private collections, including Lyndley and Samuel Schwab, Timothy Hutton, Flea, Anthony Kiedis, Tim Armstrong, Dana White, Gina Bellman, James D. Stern, Stephen Nemeth, Gabrielle Fialkoff, and Tony Hawk. She has held one solo exhibition in New York City, taken part in numerous group shows and donated work to many charity auctions for organizations such as the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, Silverlake Conservatory of Music, The MusiCares and GRAMMY Foundation, Surfers Healing and the Tony Hawk Charitable Foundation.
The artist currently lives and works between New York City and Los Angeles. She has trained at The Art Students League of New York and also consults for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles.
Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed – named after the 1969 David Bowie song – is Kirkpatrick’s first solo exhibition to be held in Los Angeles. It runs from November 9 to December 21, 2013.
ABOUT KM FINE ARTS
With locations in the John Hancock Center on Chicago's magnificent mile and in West Hollywood, CA, KM Fine Arts showcases the very best in modern, postwar and contemporary paintings, sculpture and works on paper. KM was recently included in Blouin ArtInfo Modern Painters 500 Best Galleries in the World 2013 issue.
For further information and visuals, please contact: Anna Hollinger, Director and Managing Partner (312) 255-1319 or visit www.kmfinearts.com
Press Inquiries, please contact: Naheed Simjee firstname.lastname@example.org
Los Angeles Gallery Address: 814 North La Cienega, Los Angeles 90069
Los Angeles Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Friday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM