11R (New York, NY)
Stones for Sandman
December 8, 2016 – January 15, 2017
“From my little chamber I could hear how he entered my father's room, and then it was that I seemed to detect a thin vapor with a singular odor spreading through the house. Stronger and stronger, with my curiosity, grew my resolution somehow to make the Sandman's acquaintance.”
(E.T.A. Hoffmann, The Sandman)
This suite of paintings read as enclosures for worried fables, walled up by henges built from faux bricks, soapstones, and desiccated wood. As though reassembled by some benevolent tornado, scale, atmosphere, and volume have all been altered but remain intact: pillows seem heavy with clay dust, cornucopia horns have upended releasing sinkholes instead of fruits, while the phantoms of Mike Kelley and a 15th century noble stare out from starburst abstractions.
Monikers for the transformative effects of prolonged emotional states; eel-faced mannequins, patinated goblets, and a knowing tabby cat, lead us like false guides through a labyrinth, confidently showing the way while glancing down at a broken compass.
– Owen Westberg