In Defense of Ghosts
Angles Gallery is pleased to present, In Defense Of Ghosts, an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles artist Erin Cosgrove. This is Cosgrove's first solo exhibition with Angles Gallery. The forthcoming exhibition will open with a public reception for the artist on Saturday, September 8, 2012, 6-8 PM.
In Defense of Ghosts is an exhibition of new videos, sculpture and drawings. The Urfathers are five low-relief, polychrome wood sculptures depicting the Founding Fathers and Abraham Lincoln as violent, celestial deities. Each figure-Washington, Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, and Lincoln-is carved in a slurry of ancient and colonial styles, as the Ur- ("first," "oldest," or "primal") fathers of the nation. Ancient Assyrian bas-reliefs, Japanese Yokai, gothic grotesques, and Himalayan Buddhas are referenced in the brightly painted sculptures, which are standing on, or supported by, a cast of unfortunate mortals and downtrodden souls. No longer leaders of the Enlightenment, these founding deities are mooning us-in some cases "tea-bagging" the very people supporting their weight. TheUrfathers reflect the fractious political zeitgeist. Two new videos, In Defense of Ghosts and The March of History, will be screened in an adjacent gallery. The video works challenge Western notions of the basis of social and political order. Narrated in PBS-style, or borrowing the teachings of Chinese philosopher Mo Tzu, the videos satirize the ruling class. The Urfathers, ancient deities updated in the forms of the Founding Fathers, step out of the video works, straddling the content of both.
Cosgrove's new works continue her ongoing investigation of political themes. Her practice aims to move beyond reductive bumper sticker clichés and the commodification of protest, to challenge the propensity of political rhetoric. Her work in all media, from drawing and video, to colorful sculptural forms, strives to be inviting to the viewer, but still pointed in tone and ambition.
Erin Cosgrove's work has been included in solo and group exhibitions and screenings nationally and internationally, including UCLA/Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, Los Angeles; Espace Croisé Centre d'art Contemporain, Roubaix, France; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Santa Barbara Museum of Art; and Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, among others. In addition to working in video, sculpture and drawing, Cosgrove has authored The Baader-Meinhof Affair, published in both English and German. Her work is included in the collections of the Hammer Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Cosgrove studied at University of Minnesota (BFA), and University of California, Los Angeles (MFA). She lives and works in Altadena, California.
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