François Ghebaly Gallery is pleased to present Contract-W914NS-04-D-0009, a series of paintings by Dan Bayles that respond to the terminated reconstruction project of Khan Bani Saad Prison in Iraq.
Contract-W914NS-04-D-0009 was completed shortly after Bayles' series of drawings that were based off of leaked photographs of the construction of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Each painting in Contract-W914NS-04-D-0009 is based off of a specific inspection photo used by the building inspector to ultimately terminate the building contract from the Parsons Corporation (Pasadena) due to faulty workmanship. Left half built and unused, the prison can be seen as one of many costly Iraqi reconstruction failures by the United States. If there is success to be found in the project, however, it is to see the empty shell in the desert as an unintentional sculpture or earthwork, which in its failure accurately portrays America’s foreign policy and expansionist endeavors. Its physical space left as is can function as a true monument, one which is proposed, commemorated, and preserved through the paintings acknowledgment of the original sites existence and potential.
Paintings from the series have been exhibited at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, The Luckman Fine Arts Complex, and Illinois State University.
Dan Bayles past exhibitions include “Untitled, History Paintings” at the University Museum of Michigan, Ann Arbor curated by Jacob Proctor, “Glue, Paper, Scissor”, Luckman Gallery, Los Angeles; “Fantastic LA” at the Illinois State University Gallery ; “The Drama of the Gifted Child”, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, and an upcoming exhibition “Abstract America” at the Saatchi Gallery, London. Dan Bayles was a 2008 recipient of the California Community Foundation Emerging Artist grant.