A formidable 1-2 punch opening this Saturday at Joshua Liner in NYC. Both from the West Coast, Josh Keyes and Jeremy Fish will hold down Liner’s space with respective solo shows, each displaying their most accomplished work to date. Keyes’ paintings and Fish’s carvings deserve a standing ovation, and you can do just that on Saturday night. Press releases after the jump.
June 21–July 26, 2008
Opening reception, Gallery II: Saturday, June 21, 6–9 PM
New York, NY May 27, 2008 — Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to present Side Effects, an exhibition of new
paintings by the Oakland-based artist Josh Keyes. This is Keyes’ first solo show with the gallery.
Keyes’ fantastically altered landscapes reveal the intricacy of Earth as a natural system, and the complexity of our responses to it. Literally platforming nature, the artist’s satirical chunks of earth, sea, and space painted on white fields painstakingly depict the plant, animal, and human realms, all interacting and reacting. Deer, war memorials, grass, hyenas, street signs, whales, fast-food containers, and myriad other subjects are forced into intimate encounters atop these tiny stages, intensifying their real and symbolic interactions. Keyes’ platform strategy emphasizes the notion of Earth as a fragile “garden planet” floating in space. It also critiques the human fallacy that nature can be contained, a mythology of First World progress divorcing civilization from nature.
Side Effects investigates the artist’s ongoing interest in animal myths and folk tales, including Ovid’s Metamorphoses and American Indian legends. Some of these stories convey cautionary lessons about the importance of respecting nature. Elsewhere, Keyes’ “interlock” series uses an ingenious visual analog to show how the built environment is directly linked with the natural world, also displaying the artist’s fascination with scientific and textbook drawings.
Another central topic is Keyes’ speculative imaginings about a dystopian future, where the United States
operates on the world stage as a political and environmental tyrant (whether these works are perceived as
speculative or futuristic depends on the viewer’s point of view). Here, Keyes’ sculpture and objects serve
primarily as “sketches” for thinking about form, space, and light in the execution of his paintings. The
installation A Thousand Points of Light, a reference to the administration of George H. W. Bush, creates a new American flag revealing the United States as both predator and prey in the political and economic “oceans” of the world.
A native of Tacoma, Washington, Josh Keyes received a BA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Yale School of Art. Solo exhibitions of his work have taken place at Hang Gallery, San Francisco; George Billis Gallery, Los Angeles; Nexus Gallery, Berkeley; Hey! Gallery, Oakland; and the Commencement Art Gallery and Penny Lucas Gallery, Tacoma. Selected group exhibitions include Contested Ground: The Landscape Redrawn, Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane (2008); John Casey and Josh Keyes, TAG Art Gallery, Nashville (2008); Gold Rush, Okay Mountain, Austin (2008); Picks Of The Harvest, Thinkspace Art Gallery, Los Angeles (2007); Elevation, Limited Addiction Gallery, Denver (2007); Oakland – East Side Story, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Monster Drawing Rally, Southern Exposure, San Francisco (2006); Natural and Unnatural, Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ (2006); Drawn, Art Murmur, Los Angeles (2006); The Human Zoo, Lobot Gallery, Oakland (2005); New Tales to Tell, San Luis Obispo Art Center, CA (2004); among others. Josh is the son of artists Barbara Minas and David Keyes.
Seasons of Change
June 21–July 26, 2008
Opening reception, Gallery I: Saturday, June 21, 6–9 PM
New York, NY May 27, 2008 — Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to present Seasons of Change, an exhibition of new work by the New York-born, San Francisco-based artist Jeremy Fish. This is Fish’s first solo show with the gallery. “Somewhere between full-blown, howling death and a basket of newborn kittens exists a climate where malice and mirth can mingle,” writes hip-hop artist Aesop Rock about the work of his friend and sometime collaborator, Jeremy Fish. By fusing the cuddly and the macabre, Fish creates a unique urban folklore replete with grinning skulls, body parts, and hat-wearing worms, all carefully depicted with a clean, voluptuous line. The artist pulls inspiration from a grab bag of folk and pop-culture sources, including Balinese fairy tales, Goth jewelry, children’s book illustration, tattoo and biker culture, Mexican muertos, tramp art and other craft traditions. Across all is an exaggerated depiction of innocence and its loss.
Seasons Of Change features drawings, paintings, and sculpture that tell a personal tale of physical and emotional transformation. Through quirky symbolism, Fish builds a coded narrative that is both grim and gentle. The four seasons are evoked to represent the phases of life, as well as motivations and moods (i.e., seasonal depression, “spring fever”). Objects, animals, architecture, and the human body merge into dynamic hybrids. In works with hand-carved frames, for example, painted images of human hearts sprout wings, worms, personalized cityscapes, plumbing, and umbrellas, all superimposed on a silkscreened ribcage and ringed in carved skulls—it’s a “dance of death” viewed through the lens of Richard Scarry or Dr. Seuss. The beautifully carved frames and sculpture were created in Indonesia from Fish’s designs by the Balinese artist Nyoman Sedayatana.
Jeremy Fish is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute. Solo shows of his work have taken place at Space
1026, Philadelphia (2006); White Walls Gallery, San Francisco (2007); BeCool’s Undercool exhibition space in Rome (2007); and FIFTY24SF Gallery, which has published two books of Fish’s work, I’m With Stupid (2005) and Once Upon A Time (2008). The artist has been featured in group exhibitions, including Modart ISPO, Munich (2004); BEAMS, Tokyo (2004); WORDLESS, the Swiss Urban Art Show, Zurich (2005); Low Tech High Life, Art Prostitute Gallery, Dallas (2006); and Bestial, Iguapop Gallery, Barcelona (2007). Fish’s SuperFishal brand includes T-shirt and skateboard designs.