A Devastating and Breathtaking Vision of Climate Change, Gabrielle Selz, δημοσίευση στο Hyperallergic [21/12/2022]
SAN FRANCISCO — For the past decade, an element of the sinister has lurked in San Francisco-based artist Dean Byington’s elaborately fanciful, Beatrix-Potter-run-amok paintings. Look closely at his detailed collaged canvases — amalgams of images reworked from a plethora of sources that include refined 19th-century illustrations, historical photographs, wood engravings, and the artist’s own stylized drawings and paintings — and you’ll discover swarms of rats battling rabbits, gardens of uprooted turnips, and mushrooms with angry faces. In his most recent show at Anglim/Trimble, the delightfully incongruous qualities of his previous work have coalesced around a subject worthy of his obsessive imagination: The Anthropocene.
Cassandra: Truth and Madness reflects our current geological epoch: a time when humankind is witnessing its handiwork, with all its beauty and horror, threaten to destroy the earth’s species and habitats. Many of the exhibition’s 12 densely configured paintings were inspired by photographs of the two largest manmade mines in the world: the Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah and the Grasberg Mine in Indonesia, both visible from outer space. In Colossus 1 – 4 (2022), Byington drapes a Frederic Church pastoral scene from a frame atop a raised platform in the center of these leviathan sites. The Colossus series of images, with their historical and sociopolitical themes, set the tone for the show. Church’s idealized landscapes embodied concepts of Manifest Destiny as a way of obscuring the ugly truth of American expansionism. In Byington’s hands, the contrast of layering one manmade construct atop another — Church’s sublime horizons arrayed like a tiny curtain over the giant open pit of the mine — accentuates the devastation that political narratives seek to veil.
Η συνέχεια εδώ.