Mark Moore Gallery proudly presents "Hope I’m Never That Wrong Again," a solo exhibition of recent watercolor paintings by gallery artist David Rathman. Heralded for his critical analysis of masculine iconography, the artist has gravitated towards maverick characters such as athletes, rock stars, race car drivers, and ranchers. Concurrently, "Bright Mint Virtue - an inaugural exhibition of work by painter Annelie McKenzie - will be on view in the Project Room. Working in heavy oils, playful craft materials, and found frames, McKenzie's work explores the tensions and stereotypes associated with identity. Hinging primarily on the vernacular of gender, her work is an expression of developmental process in both art and selfhood.
In a monochromatic sepia-toned palette, David Rathman's work depicts ghostly silhouettes of ambiguous gunslingers in Stetsons riding their trusty steeds across a barren landscape. Reminiscent of old shoddy film stills, the loose qualities of his painting technique evoke a shadowy nostalgia culled from pooling whiskey on an aging oak tabletop. Lonely as they seem, these romanticized figures of the past seem at home within the environments that echo their existence; hazy and ephemeral through the eyes of the viewer. Oftentimes these human mirages fuse into their backgrounds, as if struggling for sovereignty from their dusty tension-filled environments. The effect is one of haunting wistfulness for the historical narratives associated with “manifest destiny,” or for the fictionalized storytelling of Hollywood cinema as remembered by a young child. Rendered in the contrasting depth and frailty of watercolor, Rathman’s cowboy vignettes grapple with notions of sexuality, faith, mortality and melancholy. Similarly, Rathman's second video work debuts after working eighteen months with four collaborators. "Strange Arithmetic" revisits the artist's reminiscent panoramas in the form of a moving narrative—complete with foreboding soundtrack. In tandem with the video, the paintings appear as stills from an enduring adventure fraught with yearning and peril – an astute allegory for the modern plight of male selfhood.
The fashioning of one's identity is a clumsy series of trial and error. Pushing through childhood, adolescence, token "awkward phase," and subsequent adulthood, we contextualize ourselves by referencing alternatives – engaging in a lifetime comparison between self and other. Annelie McKenzie's gloppy, candid, and purposefully unpolished assemblages and paintings typify the awkward plight of realized versus imagined personage. Haphazard rhinestones are embedded in stylized reproductions of Fragonard, Vermeer, and O'Keefe works, the details of which are obscured by McKenzie's abstract-impressionistic dabs, blobs, and smears. In another dialect of the same language, she explores the arbitrary emblems associated with gender constructs through diptych installations of original and simulacrum works. Rainbows, unicorns, bows, and clouds are assembled on the wall, then meticulously imitated in a sister painting – as if demonstrating the diligent mimicry exercised in creating the projected ego. While riddled with intentional imperfections and inelegance, McKenzie's paintings bespeak the innocence of a shared desire for acceptance or self-fulfillment, and the cultural motifs that shape its incarnations.
Rathman (b. 1958) received his BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MN). He has exhibited as such institutions as Larissa Goldston Gallery (NY), Contemporary Arts Museum (TX), Walker Art Center (MN), Arts Center of St. Petersburg (FL) and Mary Goldman Gallery (CA). His work is featured in fifteen public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art (NY), J. Paul Getty Museum (CA) and the Art Institute of Chicago (IL), to name a few. Rathman will be the subject of a career survey at the Rochester Art Center (MN) opening September 21, 2013. Rathman is also represented by Larissa Goldston Gallery (NY). He lives and works in Minneapolis.
McKenzie (b. 1974, Montreal) will graduate from the MFA program at California State University, Long Beach (CA) in May of 2013. Prior to this exhibition, she has exhibited at the Angel's Gate Cultural Center (CA), Torrance Art Museum (CA), Den Contemporary (CA), and other spaces throughout Southern California. This is her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, and with the gallery. The artist lives and works in Long Beach, CA.