Damian Loeb, ‘Exquisite Corpse 53’, ca. 2011, Mana Contemporary


More than 180 internationally recognized visual artists, architects, designers and photographers participated in the Armitage Gone! Dance Exquisite Corpse Project, beginning in 2011. The artists created one hundred and thirty nine artworks to benefit Armitage Gone! Dance, an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company under the direction of renowned choreographer Karole Armitage. Using the 1920's surrealist parlor game "cadavre exquise," a drawing that combines words and/or images by multiple artists on one sheet of paper, the project celebrates the theme of chance encounters, surprise and radical juxtaposition. Each artist adds to the composition, in sequence, without seeing the contribution of the previous person. The chance juxtaposition of images and styles results in a work that is both unexpected and amusing. Each drawing is a combination of the work of three or four artists.

The Exquisite Corpse project is a way for a wide range of artists to express their support for Armitage’s work and also a way for her to acknowledge artists who have played such a large role in her career. The project also highlights the “performative” aspect of art-making by demonstrating that drawing, performance art, and dance all have in common spontaneity and an unpredictable nature. The evanescent quality of dance is mirrored in the surprising juxtapositions of the Exquisite Corpse.

Image rights: (Top-Bottom) Damien Loeb - Watercolor; Alison Fox - Pencil, Watercolor; Verne Dawson - Black Pen, Pencil, Acrylic, Watercolor

About Damian Loeb

Damian Loeb draws from our visually saturated contemporary culture to create hyperrealist paintings based on images appropriated from advertising, photojournalism, and film. In one series, sequential stills from movies like Rain Man, The Shining, and The Graduate were stripped of their protagonists and compressed into interior landscapes of surprising emotional and narrative weight, while recent works use Loeb's own photographs of his wife to generate similarly cinematic, fastidious compositions. The artist has famously been the subject of multiple copyright infringement suits.

American, b. 1970, New Haven, Connecticut, based in New York, New York

About Verne Dawson

In his still lifes, portraits, allegorical scenes, and abstract works, Verne Dawson investigates the continuities that persist in human nature and culture, exploring how they are chronicled through narrative and visual representation. Examining the subjects of myth, folklore, astrology, and pagan spirituality, Dawson attempts to re-forge the connection between humanity’s past and present and depict a world in which the human race exists in harmony with the natural world. Dawson’s childlike technique and naïve approach have prompted comparisons to Outsider Art, though Dawson’s compositions are carefully crafted rather than generated intuitively or compulsively.

American, b. 1961, Meridianville, Alabama, based in Saluda, North Carolina and New York, New York