Circus Gallery is delighted to present Fey Fists and Pretty Things, an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Ami Tallman, which will open on Friday, September 11th, 2009.
Fey Fists and Pretty Things consists of paintings and drawings orbiting a central theme of charisma. The individual works are more often small than large, are colorful as a rule, and traverse a range of styles which include: casually expressive crowd scenes rendered in oil on paper; delicate, almost tidy, colored pencil portraits of Romanovs and Windsors on polypropylene; and geometric depictions of R.F.K. supporters in enamel on stretched handkerchief. Subjects also include: protesters in contemporary Tehran and 1968 Paris, Yippies, artists, Black Panthers, The RAF, Rolling Stones, grifters, Bowie, dealers, Iggy Pop, various Kennedys, Altamont, and several deposed aristocrats.
There is an emphasis in this body of work on the charming instigators, protectors, or popularizers of idealistic (usually eventually suppressed or abandoned) social movements and their young followers, particularly from the nineteen sixties and seventies, with emphasis on movements and figures with preferences for androgyny, radical chic and the fashionable aggrandizement of languor, dissipation, and danger.
On the whole, Tallman's work might be described as an exploded selection from a notebook which records her attempts at telepathy, inquiries as amateur historian, empirical observations as pseudo-scientist (of both the social and natural varieties), and poetic misappropriations of philosophical theories. She is generally in search of answers to questions on the nature of power, the mechanisms of social relations and structures, and the vulnerabilities of unsuccessful and exploited idealistic schemes.
Ami Tallman received an MFA in 2006 from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and her BFA from The San Francisco Art Institute. She has had two previous solo shows in Los Angeles, at See Line Gallery and Trudi. Tallman has shown extensively in Los Angeles, and throughout the US with shows in NYC, Portland, San Francisco, and Milwaukee. Last summer her work received critical success in “Against the Grain” at LACE. Her first book was released by 2nd Cannons in 2007.