Marching, running, creeping - the characters in Duston Spear's current show of paintings, "Delivered" are always in motion. In the viewing room: The accidentally real. Works by: Susan Crile, Reuben Negron, Ward Shelley, Nancy Spero, Eve Sussman and Amanda Williams.
Duston Spear: Delivered + The accidentally real: Susan Crile, Reuben Negron, Ward Shelley, Nancy Spero, Eve Sussman and Amanda Williams
Sara Tecchia Roma New York is proud to present Delivered, Duston Spear's second solo exhibition of paintings with the gallery.
Families fleeing to escape combat zones. Soldiers alone, or with comrades, on their way to the fight. Marching, running, creeping—the characters in Duston Spear's current show of paintings, "Delivered" are always in motion. Taken from photographs which originally appeared in the New York Times, these images are delivered daily, and become part of the public's awareness. Spear allows her subjects to sublimate into something bigger.
She states: "I work in series. One group of paintings grows out of the other, or sometimes alongside. Over the summer these images from the Times changed from guarded versions of the conflict in Iraq to Caravaggio-like vignettes of the war in the Middle East. I responded by painting them—taking what would be tomorrow's garbage and turning these images into heroic paintings.
Spear also continues her use of graffiti writers' tools by bringing stencils into play to double, even triple her players. The text of her recent work is missing, replaced by working palettes that form an abstract chorus to the right of the figurative images on each canvas—a visible notation to the medium and it's plastic ability to replicate and stain its way into our collective memory.
Spear goes on to speculate that these paintings become something else altogether. "A photograph convinces the viewer of its legitimacy in the context of the paper, and the event it records. A painting brings a deeper emotional investigation to the picture and in the picture's double it becomes the accidentally real."
Taking this one step further, Spear has also curated a consecutive group exhibition in the viewing room of the gallery, which posits image-making versus photojournalism. THE ACCIDENTALLY REAL, featuring the work of Susan Crile, Reuben Negron, Ward Shelley, Nancy Spero, Eve Sussman and Amanda Williams, further illustrates the power of representation. Spero rips images out of historical missiles and tattoos her paper with the currency of human struggle. Williams uses the gallery wall to scratch out a soldier's atlas of the streets of Baghdad. Sussman uses reenactments to create a new kind of verité.
Spear explains: "Something significant has been happening in the last several years. While the political discourse of the mainstream media has skirted scandalous actions and regurgitated rhetoric, a vigorous political criticism has increasingly been voiced in the arts. In films, plays, the visual arts, music, poetry and novels, contemporary politics is being either analogized or symbolized in scarcely disguised form. Indeed, we are seeing a sort of samizdat for our time and place."
Reception: Thursday, March 1, 6 - 8pm
Sara Tecchia Roma New York
529 West 20th Street, between Tenth Avenue and Eleventh Avenue - New York