NEW YORK, NY – Collective by Jeff Lincoln in Southampton, N.Y., brings together in one powerhouse show eight titans of American art: Billy Al Bengston, John Chamberlain, Eric Fischl, Alice Neel, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, John Wesley and Christopher Wool on view at 200 North Sea Road from July 29th through September 30, 2016.
Despite a widely disparate visual language, these artists all engage with the numerous and varied aspects of American popular culture. From the California motorcycle imagery of Billy Al Bengston’s Busby, 1963, where the acid yellow rendering of the BSA motorcycle logo is elevated to Pop iconic status, to the Abstract Expressionist and Pop Art gestures of seminal sculptor John Chamberlain, American Icons traces the compelling, myriad of subjects that make up the American experience. From teenage sexual angst, a recurrent meme throughout Eric Fischl’s oeuvre that’s demonstrated in Boy’s Toys, 1981, to the power of celebrity culture in American society as adroitly referenced by Cindy Sherman’s early Film Still, 1979, psycho-sexual imagery of John Wesley’s Alice, 1965, and the unflinching mirror Alice Neel’s points on the subject of sexual expression with her 1982 searing portrait a powerful portrayal of the pioneering feminist Annie Sprinkle – each of these artists are uniquely adept at exploring the dark and disturbing underside of American life.
Mining the vast territory of American media and popular culture, advertising and entertainment, Richard Prince has engaged wide ranging issues from sexism and racism to the iconography of popular American visual tropes of cowboys and cars, pulp fiction and Borscht Belt humor, to create through the appropriation of images and other cultural ephemera his own visual language. His paintings Skull and O Henry are examples of this wide-ranging vision.
Popular culture is treated with yet another unique approach in the process works of artist Christopher Wool. Warholian in his Pop Art sensibility and engagement with the issue of process through the techniques of silk screening and roller printing, Wool explores the use of pattern and decorative elements in his art to create a distinctive visual imagery that can best be described as Neo-Pop.