Dark Entries

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Cake (Ethan), 2010 Oil On Digital Inkjet Print 37.5" X 47.25" © Jim Shaw
Dark Entries

2525 Michigan Avenue D2
Santa Monica, CA 90404
November 13th, 2010 - December 30th, 2010
Opening: November 13th, 2010 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

santa monica/venice
Tuesday–Saturday, 11:00am to 6:00pm
photography, mixed-media, digital, figurative


Dark Entries

November 13th – December 30th

Opening Reception:  November 13th  6-9 pm


Galerie Anais is pleased to present “Dark Entries” a group exhibition featuring works by Derek Albeck, Scott Marvel Cassidy, Sarah Cromarty, Llyn Foulkes, Jim Shaw and Dani Tull.  The six Los Angeles- based artists use the portrait in various forms as their point of departure, subverting and destabilizing the genre.  They investigate internal and external realms, the psychological and the physical, presence and absence, the psychic and the real. The works of the artists are characterized by a concern with memory, both personal and collective, often triggered by pop-culture references. Drawing upon a variety of fragmented narratives and appropriated source material, the images exist in a peculiar disjointed or dislocated space, invoking a sense of strangeness, unease and mystery. These artists, from several generations, share formal concerns, utilizing a variety of techniques from finely rendered detail in graphite and paint to assemblage, collage and the use of sculptural elements, creating evocative and powerful images.


Influenced by illustrated medical texts from the 1950’s and 60’s, Shaw creates paintings populated by shirtless "men in pain" who exist in a highly abstract space and exhibit physical and psychic pain in their contorted gestures.  Building up layers of imagery from inkjet prints of cakes featured in mid-century homemakers’ magazines, expressionistic gestural brushwork, the Surrealist technique of decalcomania, and contrasting carefully rendered detail, the works display Shaw’s ongoing interest in revealing the emotional and psychic depth of the individual within the formal confines of the portrait.



Similarly, Cassidy’s paintings draw upon pop culture, particularly mid 20th century illustration, to address underlying and hidden psychological and aesthetic developments drawn from the personal and familial.  Loosely based on the cut-up method of Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs, Cassidy’s approach expands and collapses space and makes the human morph with the inanimate resulting in tableaux that are at once familiar and inscrutable.


In Cromarty’s Dark Step, a lone figure in an urban landscape walks away from the viewer, going into a portal beyond, moving from the familiar to the otherworldly.  Feathers and the glitter conjure up notions of shamanism, magic and transformation, also bespeaking the passage from one realm to another.  The surface, built up from painted layers of sculptural materials, subvert pictorial space, giving the work a compositional dynamism and dimensionality, resulting ultimately in a profound sense of absence.


Foulkes has made a career of subverting the portrait throughout his long and varied career, destabilizing pictorial and compositional space and confounding viewers’ traditional pictorial expectations, while harshly critiquing contemporary consumer culture.  In Foulkes diminutive Mouschwitz, a monstrous portrait fuses with the immediately identifiable cartoon features of Mickey Mouse, the subject virtually obscured in a mummified mask-like state.


Works from Tull’s series “Stone People,” the only photo-based work in “Dark Entries,” obscures the subject’s identity and speaks of  “morphic resonance.”  Referring to the basis of memory in nature and to telepathic interconnections between organisms and collective memories, “morphic resonance,” as Tull notes, manifests what Jung called the Collective Unconscious within our species.


Albeck’s “self portraits” are highly abstracted objects of personal memory and identity.  His finely rendered, incredibly detailed flannel motifs create masks of a sort, and the mirror elements create a sort of “looking glass” into the masks, reflecting the viewer and interacting with the variable surroundings.  The notion of the flannel shirt as an identifying characteristic of certain youth subcultures taps into the artist’s personal history, memories, self-identity and social personas.


Special thanks to Jim Shaw, Craig Krull Gallery, and Patrick Painter Inc.