How Is The Empire?
May 15, 2010
through June 12, 2010
NEW YORK, NY (April 16, 2010) — Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present How Is The Empire?, an exhibition of new paintings, sculptures and drawings by Seattle-based artist Scott Musgrove, in what will be his second solo show at the gallery.
Musgrove’s style of figural surrealism carries themes of environmental issues and endangered wildlife concerns with unique humor, depicting anomalous extinct (and fictitious) animal species. The artist’s imaginative work is painted and sculpted with inventive attention to the anatomical details of his subjects. Through a combination of biological attributes both real and imagined, Musgrove’s work illustrates his creative take on evolution, presenting an alternative theory of un-natural selection that would conceivably cause Charles Darwin to turn over in his grave.
While he often titled previous work using the formal “binominal nomenclature” system of latin-based scientific species classification, the artist chose to title some of the works in this show with famous last words of historical figures, instead. For example, How Is The Empire?—the title of one painting and of the show itself—happens to be the final words (inaccurately) attributed to King George V of England. Musgrove felt it fitting to use final words of illustrious characters as titles since much of his work is about extinction, believing that giving a voice to the deceased creatures themselves might dignify their passing, rather than simply naming the beasts as they silently await their inevitable demise.
Measuring 5-1/2 feet tall, the largest work in the show entitled The Great Lesser Plant Sampler, made it’s debut in December of 2009 during Chimera, an exhibition curated by David Hunt as part of the Scope-Miami International contemporary art fair. This large-scale bronze with green patina appeared in the sculpture garden of the fair and was also featured in a full-page story about Jonathan LeVine Gallery published in the Sunday Arts & Leisure section of The New York Times.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in 1966, Scott Musgrove received a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington. His influences include historical artists such as Hudson River School painters Frederic Church, Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran, as well as naturalist artists including John James Audubon. The artist’s paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States and Europe. His new book The Late Fauna of Early North America features lush, highly detailed landscapes and close encounters with many of his strange and beautiful creatures. Musgrove’s carved wooden and bronze sculptures, oil paintings, watercolors, ink drawings, and pencil renderings from the field are further complemented by fine details including antique frames and custom gold engraved nameplates to label and identify his specimens.