Apalachicola to Zirconia
Victoria Miro is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Verne Dawson, the artist's third with the gallery. An inherent storyteller, Dawson is a painter of landscapes, portraits, calendars, allegory, myth and pre-history - often in regard to astronomy and mathematics. He weaves together elaborate narratives in his paintings that entwine the legend of the past with a discourse of the present, and in the case of the works on view here, a glimpse of a possible future.
The paintings and works on paper in Apalachicola to Zirconia are reflections on the geographic region and route taken by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto on his second and fatal expedition through the American Southeast, ostensibly searching for a fountain of youth. Time collapses as past, present and future are represented in oil paintings that obey a non-linear chronology; they stand simultaneously as a visualising of the past, and as a perception of the present from an imagined future, where the natural and man-made retain a more balanced co-existence. Some of the works' imagery springs from the artist's imagination, while others are unmediated observations of intimates: a self-portrait, or one of his wife beside a stream. Characteristic of Dawson's practice, these works present an exploration of the continuities of nature and civilization, and a belief in the enduring vitality of beauty and painting as a primary form of visceral and visual communication.
Born in 1955, Verne Dawson divides his time between New York and North Carolina. In recent years he has been the subject of monographic shows at Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Le Consortium, Dijon, Camden Arts Centre, London and Kunsthalle, Zurich. Dawson's work has been featured in significant international exhibitions such as 2011 Yokohama Triennial, the 2010 Whitney Biennial, the 2006 Lyon Biennial, and has been presented in shows at venues such as Palais de Tokyo, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Forthcoming exhibitions include a solo show at Galeria Il Capricorno in Venice, and Dawson's acclaimed suite of paintings Cycle of Quarter-day Observances, circa 23,800 BC will be featured in Paisaje 1969-2013 at Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.