Pathetic Fallacy

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First Kiss (detail), 2011 Graphite And Ink On Mylar 42
 X 22 Inches © Courtesy of the artist & Postmasters
Pathetic Fallacy

54 Franklin Street
New York, NY 10013
September 10th, 2011 - October 15th, 2011
Opening: September 10th, 2011 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Tue-Wed, Fri-Sat 11-6; Thu 11-8


Postmasters is pleased to present Pathetic Fallacy, an exhibition of new drawings and photographs by ANTHONY GOICOLEA. This will be the artist's fourth solo show at the gallery. Central to the exhibition is a forty-foot long wall of layered drawings, large and small, rendered in graphite and ink on mylar. 

The term “pathetic fallacy,” coined by John Ruskin in Modern Painters (1856), describes the treatment of inanimate objects and places as if they had human feelings, thoughts, or sensations. 

In this new group of photographs and drawings nature takes on anthropomorphic characteristics. A new, uneasy equilibrium is created as human and animal bodies merge, trees grow hair and pump blood, flies multiply into tornadoes and wild dogs settle in the ruins of a home. Anthony Goicolea’s version of pathetic fallacy becomes an atmospheric elegy of passing time, transition, loss and decay. In new hybridized world of man and nature nothing is permanent and nothing is safe. Humans, plants and animals have cross-pollinated; they have merged, evolved and adopted different features from each other. 

Objects acquire pathos and empathy while the decomposition of material things reflects the  the world in flux. 

Oftentimes we celebrate life with beautified images, but Goicolea portrays life as a riot of organic forms, each grasping for light and air with an almost violent greed. Nature is economical in the structures it uses: vascular forms repeat in bundles of nerves, blood vessels and rivers when seen from above.  In his drawings Giocolea superimposes these forms, transitioning from one to the other in a seamless manner that casts an unflinching eye on anatomy.

Goicolea practices a nominal realism in his photography, but each scene gathers farflung elements that generate subtle cognitive dissonances.  As signs, these images generate a primary emotion, often sadness, loneliness or a sense of a lost past, but underneath them is a geographic surrealism, a nagging impression that these places do not really exist.  Or that they exist in many places, though perhaps only in the imagination.

Anthony Goicolea lives and works in New York City. Most recently a large scale survey exhibition “Alter Ego: a decade of work by Anthony Goicolea” was presented by North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC (April - June 2011). It is currently on view at Telfair Museum in Savannah, GA and will travel to 21C Museum in Louisville, KY (January 2012). Goicolea was included in “Hide and Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. This show will open at the Brooklyn Museum in New York in November 2011.