A group exhibition of work employing text and diagrammatic imagery which addresses current and historical political issues. In a time when opposing views and dissent are frowned upon in the halls of government and corporate greed and fraud reach new heights, the works of these artists strike an ever more pertinent note of discord.
Joseph Helman is pleased to present OVERT OPERATION, a group exhibition of work employing text and diagrammatic imagery which addresses current and historical political issues.
In a time when opposing views and dissent are frowned upon in the halls of government and corporate greed and fraud reach new heights, the works of these artists strike an ever more pertinent note of discord. The intent behind the works in OVERT OPERATION is not hidden. In fact, it is the exposing of the nefarious dealings of banks and politicians by connecting the dots in a diagram of deviance that is the core of Mark Lombardi's conceptual drawings. Similarly, David Opdyke reveals the absurdity behind many politically motivated slogans and policies. His kinetic verbal slot machine Guns and Butter, 2002, couples culinary terms with political buzzwords in darkly humorous phrases such as "Rebel faction serves up apple pie."
By placing "the writing on the wall", so to speak, each of the artists in OVERT OPERATION uses text or diagrams to make strong political statements. Taking cues from politicians and their verbal stratagems, words and their perceived meaning play potent roles for these artists. Hand painting quotations from Bush, such as "The Evil Doers", in fonts similar to those in newspaper headlines and campaign posters, Joe Amrhein deconstructs the meaning and the symbolic power behind political jargon. The true definition behind a word also influences David Schild, who paints hot button terms such as "terrorist", "patriot" or "revolutionary" against candy striped backgrounds in correlative color combinations. His handling of these charged words in flowing script or stenciled lettering tend to shock while simultaneously demanding one to confront the real meaning that lies behind them.
Other works in OVERT OPERATION call for a conscience and reflection. In what appears to be an alluring and glowing, comfortable beach chair, Ivan Navarro hides a dark secret. Made of electric fluorescent light tubes this brightly shining chair sculpture, titled You sit, you die, 2002, lists the names of the people executed by sentence of electrocution in the United States within the seemingly pleasant pattern of stripes that run down the seat of the chair. A more direct meditation on ethics occurs in the poetic pieces of Xu Bing, in which he prints texts from past political writings directly onto Chinese cigarettes cased in their colorful tins. These delicately printed excerpts drape over the slim cigarettes, demanding tolerance and vision for the workers of China - timeless words of wisdom for us all to contemplate.
Special thanks to Roebling Hall and Pierogi for their assistance in making this exhibition possible.
Image: Mark Lombardi, george w. bush, harken energy, and jackson stevens c.1979-90, 5th version, 1999 graphite on paper
For further information or images, please contact (212) 929-1545
601 West 26 Street 14 Floor New York New York 10001
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10AM - 6PM