June 13 – July 18, 2009
Carole Caroompas Kaitlynn Redell Aaron Sheppard Arne Svenson Liz Young
Western Project is proud to present Tales of the Flesh, a group exhibition examining the human figure as a narrative source. Each of these five artists work with the figure/body as an origin of story telling for political, social, historical and/or erotic purposes. Carole Caroompas has used the figure for thirty years to examine issues of power and gender between men and women. Her series, Before and After Frankenstein: The Woman Who Knew Too Much, reworks our assumptions of relationships and myths in ribald and collaged imagery. Her use of the figure is theatrical, incisive and verges on the taboo. Newcomer Kaitlynn Redell cuts and reassembles rock and movie posters to illuminate our notions of ‘the exotic’ and its racist implications in inherent in Western Pop culture. Redell’s constructions are unabashedly aesthetic and covertly seduce the viewer with tales of hubris and glamour. Arne Svenson’s forensic sculpture Portraits are both haunting and alluring. His subject is the dead and forgotten, and his images are strangely elegant reminders of the unfinished stories of real lives. Also included, Svenson’s book of genetically connected eyes is a slightly lighter kind of provocation; large color images floating in a text-less format. The cliché: the eyes are the windows of the soul, is charred with the artist’s new kind of taxidermy. Liz Young’s standing wood-grained male sculpture and small blood painted portraits are interpretations of family intimacy and history. Adept with materials, Young makes each work a loaded narrative, unveiled and raw. Aaron Sheppard’s elaborate paintings dredge Eros from the ether; monuments of erotic iconography, untamed and obsessive. His female imagery is Dionysian and fantastic, recalling William Blake’s dark and swirling watercolors, but huge in scale. Both Young and Sheppard navigate a territory personal and untamed.
Together these artists revel in the tradition of telling tales of what it is to be human in the 21st century.
Opening reception : Saturday, June 13th 5-8pm