Fishing For Knick Knacks
PAVEL ZOUBOK GALLERY invites you to an exhibition of new mixed-media collages by DON JOINTthat combine painterly abstraction with found objects, fragments of 18th century French engravings and images of play. Please join us at the opening reception on Thursday, April 19, 2012 from 6-8pm or during the run of the exhibition, which continues through May 19.
DON JOINT’s newest series of mixed-media collages continues a painterly exploration of the Carnivalesque that began with the 2010 exhibition Waldameer, a visual return to the artist’s boyhood memories of the historic Pennsylvania amusement park. In Fishing for Knick Knacks, Joint expands upon a series of intimate, poetic collages that share the name of the current exhibition. Gestural washes of paint and ink abound in a decidedly high-key palette of vibrant jewel tones intersected by sharp lines of saturated color. Joint layers pasted images of exotic fish, carnival tickets and other printed evocations of play, along with the actual plastic prizes handily won at carnival games. Toy soldiers, pink elephants, Tommy guns, and the like project from the picture surface giving physical and metaphoric dimension to the collages. In her introduction to the exhibition catalogue, artist Susanna Coffey writes:
“Fishing for Knick Knacks” is the name a very young Don Joint gave to an ordinary carnival game. These vivid, gestural and beautiful collages can be traced back to that game of chance. A line was cast, the hook sank, magnetic hook met metal tab, and the rod reeled in one of the numbered, tagged fish. They were wooden fish, tokens; just stand-ins for prizes set alluringly on shelves above the “fishpond.” Once caught, they were traded for a knick knack bearing the same number. We all know the possibilities. As a boy Joint often angled the waters of Waldameer's midway and won loads of colorful, cheap, decidedly unfishy "objets." Here they reappear in this exhibition and it's quite the catalog! But like the costumes, masks and puppets of James Ensor, our knick knacks appear not only as delightful playthings as they have meanings to deliver. Skillfully redeployed in these collage paintings we see them acting in narratives so well-known to the "child who is the father to the man." Commonplace dramas of winning and losing, appearance and disguise, attraction and indifference, sinking and swimming, escape and entrapment are alluded to. These images offer no conclusions but instead resolve in worlds of pure visuality.
Don Joint has exhibited internationally since 1992. His work is in numerous private and public collections including the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Oklahoma Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art. The artist lives and works in New York City and Milton, Pennsylvania. A full-color catalogue with essay by Susanna Coffey accompanies this exhibition.