Fredericks & Freiser is pleased to present Hospital Works, an exhibition of new works on paper and wall drawings by Douglas Kolk.
With Hospital Works, Kolk has created his darkest, most immersive artistic world yet. This torrent of 8x11 drawings features recognizable elements from his earlier works—ghouls, mutants, children and teens, many wearing masks or with indifferent expressions on their faces—but this series has been rendered with a new obsession to detail and utilization of space. Listless white spaces are rare, replaced by manic mosaics, violent etched patterns and undecipherable gibberish, languages ostensibly only understood by the tortured beings that inhabit these environs.
The overall effect is miraculously cathartic. As always, the tragedy in Kolk's work is imbued with a sympathy for the human spirit. Hands reach out for one another, friendships are struck up or maintained in the midst of the madness, and companions stand side-by-side, resolute and fearless in the face of industrial forces seemingly too great to overcome. Though the characters in these works seem to teeter on the edge of a great precipice, we feel strangely certain they won't fall. Like the artist himself, these subjects have toiled and triumphed on the very edge of death, achieving new feats in the face of the harsh world around them. –Logan McHenry
About the Artist
Douglas Kolk (born 1963, Newark, NJ) grew up near a nursing home headed by his father, a Baptist preacher. In the early 90’s he had solo exhibitions at David Zwirner, New York; and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. He ceased his artistic practice as a result of drug addicition and started working again in 2004. Since then he has been included in group shows at Kunsthalle Manheim; galerie du jour agnès b., Paris; and The Royal Academy of Arts, London, and the Saatchi Gallery, London. He has had solo shows with Arndt & Partner, Berlin and Zurich (who began showing his work in 1994) and the Kunstlerverein Malkasten, Dusseldorf. He is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and is the subject of a self-titled monograph published by Hatje Cantz. This is his third solo exhibition at Fredericks & Freiser.