APRIL 2011 Newsletter

DARREN WATERSTON
KINGDOM
April 7 - May 28, 2011
Opening reception: Thursday, April 7, 6:00 - 8:00
Artist talk on Saturday, April 9, at noon



An opening reception for the artist will be from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., April 7, 2011. Please join us Saturday, April 9th, at noon for our “Saturday After” talk, as Darren Waterston and Joseph Biel each give an informal walking tour of their work.

Greg Kucera Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent oil paintings on panel, sculptures and gouache paintings on paper by painter Darren Waterston. The exhibition, titled KINGDOM, will feature several large scale oil paintings depicting animals, some realistically rendered, others ghostly or minimally suggested, in abstracted, open landscapes alluding ambiguously to water, earth, and air. The works use the form of the animal to explore states of being and becoming, metamorphosis, dematerialization and decay.

DARREN WATERSTON
FALCON, 2011, oil on wood panel, 60 x 48 inches


The animals appear in landscapes that are in constant flux, the materiality of the animal’s body always marking the paradox of a being’s concrete existence in inherently unstable time and space. Freed from predictable cycles of birth, life, and death, the animals in the paintings may be victims of the atmospheric upheaval that surrounds them, or they may be products of it; but they are never ontologically apart. - Darren Waterson



The exhibition’s sculptures and in the twenty-three works on paper constitute the bestiary, derived from the medieval bestiary tradition, in which a finite number of known species—as well as mythological creatures—were catalogued encyclopedically. Here the animal body itself is in a state of transition, in flux, and without boundaries. While the shapes of these animals are individually recognizable, their forms are stacked and tangled and begin to meld into one another.

By turns monstrous, fanciful, or abstract, the animals merge into composite forms bringing forth strange fellowships between species normally separated by geography, time, or the line between fact and fiction.

As a genre, the medieval bestiary not only constituted a natural history of creation, but also participated in a rich tradition of the moralizing allegory, the animal kingdom providing apt figures for human behavior, human folly, and the stark reality of the post-lapsarian human condition.
- Darren Waterson



DARREN WATERSTON
LEO, 2011, oil on wood panel, 72 x 60 inches


BIOGRAPHY
Darren Waterston was born in Fresno, California in 1965. His work is in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Orange County Museum of Art; Long Beach Museum of Art; Boise Art Museum; Contemporary Museum of Honolulu; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Oakland Museum of Art; Berkeley Art Museum; UCLA Hammer Museum; Tacoma Art Museum; Fresno Art Museum, and Seattle Art Museum.

See more Darren Waterston's artwork







Joe Biel
Recent Work
April 7 - May 28, 2011
Opening reception: Thursday, April 7, 6:00 - 8:00
Artist talk on Saturday, April 9, at noon


An opening reception for the artist will be from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., April 7, 2011. Please join us Saturday, April 9th, at noon for our “Saturday After” talk, as Darren Waterston and Joseph Biel each give an informal walking tour of their work.

Greg Kucera Gallery is pleased to announce our third one-person exhibition by Los Angeles artist Joseph Biel. Biel’s previous exhibitions in the gallery have consisted of spare and refined drawings where the human protagonist operated in an often humorous, sometimes macabre world. Whether suffering from mild trauma or conflict, Biel’s subjects seemed autobiographically driven, but spoke to universal experiences and anxieties.




JOSEPH BIEL
MONKEY (Couple), 2010, watercolor and latex on panel, 12 x 9 inches


Intimate in scale (12 x 9 inches for most works), these oil on panel paintings are Biel’s first in several years. In this series, the artist replaces the human characters in his vignettes with various species of monkeys. By juxtaposing the monkey with a man made object, the paintings invite the viewer to make connections between what we know to be the object’s use and what we read in the monkey’s expression.
I became aware of relationships to the history of portraiture- both in painting and photography- I thought about the German photographer August Sander and how his work seemed to be a sort of collection of emotional types. I felt that painting, which I had largely abandoned for several years, was a more direct vehicle of expression. Color and mark seemed to add layers.

I feel, that the sense of vulnerability is under the surface of this series, and strangely, though animals were the subject, the real substance of the series is in it becoming a sort of lexicon for human expressions, attitudes and psychological states of being
. - Joseph Biel


JOSEPH BIEL
MONKEY (Tuning Fork), 2010, Watercolor and latex on panel , 12 x 9 inches

BIOGRAPHY
Biel received his BFA in 1988 from Drake University in Des Moines, and his MFA in 1990 from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His ties to the Northwest stem from a teaching position he held in Portland from 1993-1999 and an installation in our Gallery in 2000 with long-time collaborator, Richard Kraft. He has shown widely around the U.S. and had European solo-exhibitions in Munich, Berlin and London. He received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award in 2003 and 2008. His work is in the permanent collections of: Contemporary Museum of Honolulu, HI; Weatherspoon Museum of Art, Greensboro, NC; De Young Museum, San Francisco, CA; and Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany.

See more Joe Biel's artwork