EREMY BLAKE (1971-2007) was an artist of recognized accomplishment and
promise. His artistic achievements and career were fast on the rise. He
was considered influential and iconoclastic. Sadly, Blake committed
suicide on July 17, 2007 in New York City one week after his beloved
companion of 12 years, Theresa Duncan, committed suicide--the reasons
for which remain open only to conjecture. His sixth solo exhibition at
Kinz, Tillou + Feigen was scheduled to showcase Blake's latest film
"Glitterbest", a collaborative "portrait" of cultural impresario
Malcolm McLaren, soon after its premier in a current solo exhibition of
his narrated films at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
However, "Glitterbest" was incomplete at the time of Blake's death. The
memorial show at Kinz, Tillou + Feigen includes a selection of wall
works, a retrospective of daily screenings of his 21 short animated
films (a schedule of which is posted here
), as well as documentation of his unfinished last film.
Blake first garnered attention in the late 1990s with his large-scale,
semi-abstract digital C-prints that rendered the appearance of being
paintings and photographs, but were neither. He then began to animate
sequences of such images to create continuously looping digital video
works that emulated paintings and film, but were neither. His visually
dense images often incorporated both abstract and representational
expressions through the language of Modernism and voices of Film Noir.
Blake's aesthetically stylized works addressed a range of subjects from
violence and terrorism to desire and decadence, from metaphors of
architectural spaces to profiles of cultural personifications.
Blake's works have been exhibited internationally. They were included
in three Whitney Biennials, are represented in 12 museum collections,
and are a topic of dissertations and textbooks. He is widely acclaimed
as a pioneer in merging the traditions of painting with a new digital
world. He created hybrids of new media works, new genres, and a new
kind of art experience. He made "paintings" that were digital prints
and films that were "moving paintings". He was an innovator who opened
doors as to how others will express themselves long into the future.
Blake continued to challenge our expectations, as well as his own. He
dissolved the distinction between object and time-based art while
combining abstraction and representation in fresh and exciting ways. He
used the most eloquent of formal vocabularies to illustrate hidden
stories, present cinematic portraits and portray social perspectives.
He was a narrative abstractionist who embraced history, pop culture,
biography and fiction, and he always made things to be beautiful. His
works are seductive; his subjects are provocative; his meanings are
Jeremy Blake opened our eyes and expanded our ideas as to what art can
be and how we see and think about the world. His contributions will be
forever remembered and his legacy everlasting.