SEAN LANDERS ‘AROUND THE WORLD ALONE’ EXHIBITION AT FRIEDRICH PETZEL NYC
Sean Landers’s newest body of work, which opens May 6 and runs through June 18, 2011, depicts a lifelong journey at sea of one of his signature characters, the sailor clown, and brings together elements of the artist’s working practice that have defined his career.
In Around the World Alone Landers has once again returned to the solitary clown in the boat from his 1996 painting, Alone. Invoking Manet’s Rochefort’s Escape, Alone depicts a diminutive clown in an insufficient rowboat. At its core, Landers’s clown character, then and now, is a poignant symbol of his stream of consciousness.
The paintings included in Around the World Alone depict the solo-circumnavigating sailor-clown ranging in age from young boy to old man. Punctuated by contemplative scenes, the hero can be seen progressing in age as he battles the ferocious seas and weathers storms in his seaworthy boat S.V. Monos.
At its core, Landers’s clown character, then and now, is a poignant symbol of his stream of consciousness. It represents Landers’s interior life and, in his words, “broke the mold of people’s perception of me as the ‘text painting guy,’ helped me define myself as an image maker and emancipated my future as an artist.” The metaphor of artist as a solo sailor, one who risks everything to achieve a life’s work, is a central and recurring symbol throughout Landers’s work and figures prominently in this show.
In Katherine Bernhardt’s second solo exhibition, the style is still ultra-fast and super-furious, never slowing down, dashing forward all the time, crossing conventions, deconstructing, reconstructing. Models, watches, and henna: uber-beauty and glamour, the pulsating rhythm of consumerism, ephemeral states of fragile entities.
Actresses and singers, rappers and models, ultra-western ideas of beauty are presented in opposition to the North African tradition of henna, are seen in this new series, either applied directly on raw canvas, or with paint on gessoed canvas.
The exhibit runs through May 22, 2011.
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