Disharmony in Blue and Gold
September 5th, 2014 – October 5th, 2014
Opening Reception, Friday, September 5th, 7pm-9pm
The Lesson, 2014, 16 x 20, Silkscreen and embroidery thread on canvas
The sky is falling- or so it would appear in Kent Henricksen’s upcoming exhibition, Disharmony in Blue and Gold, at The Lodge Gallery.
Known for creating fraught environments that are both inviting and menacing, Henricksen’s work is the combination of opposing forces- the past and present, horror and absurdity, the comic and the tragic, high and low culture. The exhibition presents an immersive installation within midnight blue gallery walls glimmering with thousands of hand stenciled gold dots reminiscent of a mythic celestial heaven. Dark blue canvases hang directly on the stenciled walls where images of discord prevail. Throughout the gallery stoneware face jugs are ominously impaled upon golden stakes that seemingly thrust upwards from the floor.
Race and gender, power and conflict, these are just some of the transcultural archetypes Henricksen explores by manipulating images that are sourced from biblical illustrations, newspapers, old master prints and esoteric Hindu symbolism of the Trimurti (the creator, the preserver and the destroyer). The thread and ink of his canvases are imbued with a complex ambiguity that pushes the images beyond any definitive cultural context. Juxtaposing illustrations of historical events with familiar contemporary images, Henricksen’s work invites you to step into a shamanistic world of non-linear narrative and mythic time. Each canvas is a silkscreened fable in gold ink and meticulously hand embroidered thread.
Henricksen explains, “Combining eastern ideas with western images- the large canvases are symbolic labyrinths of the cosmos. The western images loosely represent the Hindu Trimurti- with a creator, a destroyer and a maintainer. They are representations of a troubled world with disturbing human behavior- destroying the unknown, protecting or creating the familiar, and maintaining the balance of disturbance”
Also, included in the show is a new body of work based on sacred geometric patterns. Here Henricksen evokes the Sri Yantra in gold thread. Formed by nine interlocking triangles that surround and radiate out from the central (bindu) point and balanced against the familiar blue and gold celestial backdrop, we are presented with the symbolic womb of creation. It is the symbol of the universe as a whole and the reconciliation of the divine masculine and feminine principles, a process and philosophy not at all unfamiliar to western culture through illustrations of the chemical wedding in European spiritual alchemy.
Kent Henricksen is an American artist based in New York whose work explores race, violence and identity through sculpture, painting, drawing, and installation. Henricksen came to prominence in 2005 for his work in the MoMA PS1 Greater New York Show. His work is in the permanent collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., The Fogg Museum at Harvard, and the Collezione Maramotti. Henricksen has shown internationally including Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, John Connelly Presents, New York, hiromiyoshii, Tokyo, Arario, Seoul, and Gerhardsen Gerner, Berlin. Solo museum shows include Bass Museum Miami and the Contemporary Gallery of the Nassau County Museum of Art, New York.