Dust of Oblivion
Opening reception - Saturday, May 13th, 6pm-9pm
May 13, 2006
through June 10, 2006
"Dust of Oblivion"
On View May 13th - June 10th, 2006
Opening Reception Saturday May 13th, 2006 from 6 p.m - 9 p.m.
New York, NY May 2006 – Pop culture icons resurface in artist Dan Kennedy’s solo exhibition Dust of Oblivion, a saturation of phantasmagoric landscapes illustrating the depths of the human collective unconscious. Kennedy expands upon the explorations of previous projects, delving into an earlier history of the construction and expansion of a mass commercial culture, where text and image are suspended in a world of memory and dream. An archeologist of visual language, Kennedy incorporates a conglomerate of vocabulary straddling 19th and 20th century, architectural images, and characters to create new, mysterious narratives and dense pictorial realms. The opening reception for Dust of Oblivion is on Saturday, May 13th, from 6pm-9pm at Jonathan LeVine Gallery. The exhibition will be on view through June 10th.
Excavating types of chromo lithography from early and mid 19th century advertising, Kennedy references a multiplicity of sources and historical materials such as song sheets, Farmer’s Almanacs, gameboards, paint by numbers, and both obscure and recognizable commercial characters. An avid collector and archivist of words, imagery and language, Kennedy’s new works are influenced by a diversity of readings from Milton’s Paradise Lost, Mark Twain, Robert Coover and Joe Hill. Kennedy builds layers in oil and glazes, pinning down his findings like specimens offering a poetical potential. From this ephemera of commercial culture of the past, emerges a beautiful and evocative world, a museum of language and archetypes loaded with ambiguities.
Kennedy identifies his paintings as having theatrical qualities, where visual text and commercial characters substitute props and actors. However, the stage is intangible and the dialogue in a constant state of flux. For example, images by an unknown pool of illustrators are juxtaposed with a terrified Snow White or a drowned Pinocchio. His mysterious, graphic narratives invite the viewer to engage in the absurd, dark and surreal qualities of his work. Rich layering of lush paint, texture, and text combine to create a dense labyrinth, or abstract plane upon which, Kennedy says, “project a hallucinatory spectacle of history, anxiety, parody, commerce, defiance, and beauty.” Images appear like mythical icons, permeating into the collective language and culture we share and inhabit to become a Dust of Oblivion.
Dan Kennedy studied at the Ontario College of Art, A.O.C.A. His works are in numerous public and private collections in the U.S. and Canada, including the Canada Council Art Bank, in Ottawa. Kennedy is the recipient of the Canada Arts Council B Grant, and both Ontario and Toronto Arts Council Grants. His recently acclaimed shows include Kidnapped, Factory Broken Melody, and Shack of Deals. Kennedy’s works have appeared in Juxtapoz, Canadian Art Magazine, Border Crossings, Toronto Life, Vancouver Sun, National Post, MIX Magazine, LOLA Magazine and Parallelogram. Kennedy currently lives in Toronto.