Art News: Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart’s Renaissance at The Met & Erik Parker ‘Endless Anytime’ Exhibition

1 Nov


Cuurrently on show through January 17, 2011 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is the first major exhibition in forty-five years devoted to the Burgundian Netherlandish artist Jan Gossart (ca. 1478-1532). Man, Myth and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart’s Renaissance brings together Gossart’s paintings, drawings, and prints and places them in the context of the art and artists that influenced his transformation from Late Gothic Mannerism to the new Renaissance mode.

Gossart was among the first northern artists to travel to Rome to make copies after antique sculpture and introduce historical and mythological subjects with erotic nude figures into the mainstream of northern painting. Most often credited with successfully assimilating Italian Renaissance style into northern European art of the early sixteenth century, he is the pivotal Old Master who changed the course of Flemish art from the Medieval craft tradition of its founder, Jan van Eyck (ca. 1380/90–1441), and charted new territory that eventually led to the great age of Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640).


Honor Fraser’s exhibition of new paintings by New York based artist Erik Parker entitled Endless Anytime is currently on show now through December 18, 2010. This exhibition marks the artist’s second with Honor Fraser and will be on view October 30 – December 18, 2010.

Erik Parker is known for his meticulously painted and methodically curated worlds of chaos within brightly colored, highly saturated canvases depicting unique worlds of anthropomorphic figures and psychological portraits. Parker obsessively paints layer upon layer of amorphous shapes, globules and drops, pushes each composition to the optical extreme and suggests madness through bold and fragmented forms while still maintaining a strong sense of premeditated order, space and composition.

Parker’s biomorphic subjects have not only referenced the hallucinogenic psychedelia of American culture in the 1960′s, but also have addressed broader historical and contemporary socio-political issues. Informed by a variety of sub cultural themes, including music, graffiti and illustration, his work offers a profound visual experience beyond his intensely layered forms of text and imagery.

Parker’s exhibition Endless Anytime marks a shift in the artist’s subject matter moving away from the amorphous figure and psychological portrait, and towards the long standing art historical tradition of still lifes, nudes and landscapes. Throughout his oeuvre Parker has been influenced by greats like Picasso and Francis Bacon, but here he channels the influence of nearly every great artist as these traditional genres have existed since ancient Greek and Roman eras.

Parker’s recent paintings look to the modernists Georges Braque, Henri Rousseau and Roy Lichtenstein. Just as Lichtenstein paid homage to the still lifes and nudes of Picasso and Matisse, Parker does the same. Pulling from the allegorical iconography of table-scapes and flower arrangements and the symbolism of abundant assemblages of fruit Parker continues in this classical tradition, yet his unmistakable palate, style and compositional psychology is ever present. Here he deconstructs these objects, fragments the forms and shifts geometric grounds and planes.

Parker also reintroduces the figure, yet instead of painting his typical fragmented and oftentimes tortured anthropomorphic portraits, here he presents the viewer with a classical nude. Yet, there is still a sense of madness and chaos in these obsessively rendered worlds, a hallucinogenic order juxtaposed with a historically traditional subject matter.

Erik Parker was born in Stuttgart, Germany and studied at the University of Austin, Texas and then at SUNY Purchase. Parker’s work has been widely published and has earned him several awards. He has exhibited in solo shows in Tokyo, Milan, Manchester, Cologne, New York, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Los Angeles, as well as in group shows around the world. Parker will have a solo exhibition at the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas in December of 2010 and currently has work on view at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Phoenix Art Museum.

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