Carrie Secrist Gallery is pleased to announce STAGE LEFT, our third solo exhibition with Chicago-based artist Andrew Holmquist. Holmquist’s newest body of work is presented in a dynamic installation that has been conceived and executed in a manner akin to the theatrical concept of dramaturgy. As the role of the dramaturge is to analyze, research and compose all the elements of theatrical play through shaping and composing a story into a narrative that can be acted, Holmquist uses composition, color and form as strategies for a structural narrative that can be seen.
In STAGE LEFT, painting is re-conceived as a tool or device for exploring the way that other mediums – film, costuming, comic books and ceramic sculptures – can meld together to assemble a fictionalized alternative to reality. These varied elements tiptoe between familiar settings like a men’s swimming meet to monochromatic alternative dimensions where figures mutate into the very landscape they inhabit. The resulting narrative is a parenthetical approach to shifting identity and concepts of staging and transformation, within a narrative without a clear beginning, middle or end.
With the interplay of colors, brush strokes, and scale, Holmquist’s new suite of paintings are populated by characters who frolic, interact and weave in and out of formal abstract mark-making, while using perspective to play with the senses. Glazed with solid colors, the ceramic sculptures on display may be construed as static representations of elements that populate the 2D work but also as stand-alone iconographic sentries poised for anything. “Magic Hands”, shot in lush 16mm color film, plays with the conventions of painting, early film special effects, and comic book super powers as disembodied and colorfully lit arms conjure overlapping ‘magical’ effects to create graphic pictorial compositions. The costume on display could be construed as an actualized uniform that a superhero from this narrative would wear, though the ‘super power’ it possesses is the transformation of the body into abstract compositional forms that expand into the space it inhabits.
A new artist publication made specifically for STAGE LEFT by Holmquist will explore this new visual narrative. The book will include an essay by David Getsy and be available in an edition of 500.