Cade Tompkins Projects is pleased to present Paradise, a group exhibition of paintings, drawings and prints by Allison Bianco, Donnamaria Bruton, Bob Dilworth, Nancy Friese, Lois Harada, Daniel Heyman, Orit Hofshi, Justin Kim, Michael Krueger, Serena Perrone, and Thomas Sgouros.
The entire world, as of late, feels like a state of suspended animation due to the pandemic. The pause and warping of time is deeply felt and has affected every person on the planet earth. For many, nature has been critical to our very happiness and well being. During this cycle of renewal, regeneration, and repair, paradise is preserved in nature and in art in the hands of these outstanding artists.
The process of creating art is a way of remembering and preserving. Paradise in landscape typically shows us the outstanding bounty and beauty of nature as in the case of Nancy Friese's monumental en plein air painting Long Light of Summer 2020. Lush green pastures, large majestic trees and glowing wheat fields all combine to create a sense of grandeur and delight. Michael Krueger's The Owl and the Orchid and The Optimism of Trees 2020 refresh our weary psyche with vibrancy and hopefulness. Justin Kim's The Garden, Deep Springs, CA 2020 employs bold strokes of color that illuminate and reflect the intense sunshine washing over barn buildings, chickens, rows of plants, with a view of a majestic tree and the California mountains. Thomas Sgouros' Remembered Landscape 2009 reminds us to look up at the vast arc of the sky.
As counterpoint, Paradise can also be of the past and forgotten, albeit intensely felt by the humans that occupy that space. Works such as Orit Hofshi's monumental woodcut Time…thou ceaseless lackey to eternity 2018 depict the historic nature of humans on the land where figures traverse wide expanses amid crumbling ruins and yellow lakes. Bob Dilworth's painting Maria 2019-2020 wraps and enshrines a Black female figure which appears in double exposure with just her head coming through the layers of swirling paint, glitter, and fabric. Is she a form of the Virgin Mary with her knowing gaze looking down upon the viewer? Daniel Heyman approaches the mythic figure in Janus Kuya-Shonin 2020, a large gouache and pencil drawing on handmade mulberry paper. Heyman reflects upon his interest in Japanese sculpture from sacred Buddhist temples, specifically the Kuya-Shonin of Kyoto, and has combined ideas with the double-headed Janus. Janus, of Roman mythological realm, is both looking back in time and forward to the future. Donnamaria Bruton's long horizontal painting Memorial for Edward II 1995, lays out a decorative and festooned coffin-shaped painting and collage with one arm or leg appearing in the bottom portion while a table is laid out for tea and eating pleasures. Serena Perrone presents gum-bichromate prints on a circular wooden structure in the work entitled Something is About to Happen 2016 — symbols of trees, the human hand, and star forms collide in dream-like colors. Allison Bianco's melancholy Golden Hour 2020 captures the beauty of the sun on the rocks at the end of the day and the impending darkness of night fall in her new etching. Lois Harada's Meandering 2021, a screen print monotype with hot foil stamped dragonflies, speaks to the delicate nature of life.
In Paradise, we remember that art is here to show us beauty and to preserve our memories of the most fleeting moments.