Opening Reception: Thursday, November 9, 6-8pm
DC Moore Gallery is pleased to present Embodiment, a group exhibition spotlighting new explorations in figurative painting by four emerging artists: Louis Fratino, Cindy Ji Hye Kim, Danielle Orchard, and Michael Stamm. The exhibition will be on view from November 9th through December 22nd.
The way we conceive of “the body” has dramatically shifted since the turn of the new millennium. Gender, sexuality, and personal identity—all subjects that pertain to the corporeal and have long been considered taboo in certain public forums —are now a growing part of an ever more candid national conversation on human rights. These artists, all raised in the 1980s and 1990s, are at the forefront of this discussion, questioning common tropes of figurative art and exploring what it means to embody a human vessel.
Louis Fratino (b. 1993) roots his work in personal memory. The nude male bodies he depicts are caught in everyday moments: shaving, watching television on a smartphone, lounging on a bed. There is an element of the vernacular to his work—we feel as if we know these people going about mundane, everyday activities. Yet, through lyrical brushwork and unexpected framing devices, Fratino elevates these quotidian moments to the sublime.
Cindy Ji Hye Kim (b. 1990) draws from the graphic arts to create paintings that, at first glance, suggest isolated frames of a noir comic. A more sustained look reveals a darker side: a disembodied ponytail just before it gets snipped off with a pair of scissors, a floor mop smothering a woman on the floor. These macabre domestic scenes are layered with suggestions of bodies subjected to looming scenes of violence. With household items becoming tools of brutality, Kim unpacks concepts of traditional women’s roles and reveals a shrewd feminist stance that speaks out against convention.
Danielle Orchard (b. 1985) work questions both the female body and the very ideals of femininity itself with a unique style that draws on early modern influences such as Matisse and Modigliani. Her nudes, often pictured alongside a rose or male partner, gaze beyond the image’s frame as if they are suspicious of the motives of these accessories. Orchard’s women are at once assured of their physical presence and yearning for something beyond it.
Michael Stamm (b. 1983) explores the notion of personal wellness in his current paintings. Emblematic of society’s collective anxiety about longevity and natural versus chemical remedies, Stamm frequently references potions and elixirs in his work along with the bodies that presumably will ingest them. Stamm homes in on our cultural fear of death and the desire to subvert it as long as possible and asks why we fear this final unknown so much.
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