Garis & Hahn is pleased to announce a special pop-up exhibition in Oklahoma City, OK. This Land Is Your Land will feature new paintings, prints and a limited edition poster series by New York based artist, Zefrey Throwell, inspired by an outsider's perspective of Oklahoma. The gallery will host an opening reception on September 25th from 7 to 11 p.m. at 415 NW 7th, to coincide with the H&8th Festival.
This exhibition was organized by Mary Garis, a native Oklahoman and co-founder of Garis & Hahn, which has presented Throwell in two, earlier solo projects at the gallery. Garis was inspired to coordinate this Oklahoma pop up when she had noticed her home state referenced by Throwell in some of his previous work, and suggested he more fully examine his fascination with the state. The subsequent series of work, an ultimate homage to a place not yet visited, was drawn from Throwell’s observed impressions of Oklahoma filtered through various media heavily referenced throughout the show.
The prints and original paintings in This Land Is Your Land present a duality of true and artificial Oklahoman perspective: Woody Guthrie, from Oklahoma, is referenced in the show’s title and in a portrait, as is native son, Will Rogers, with John Wayne inserted to underline the Western genre that has defined the state in film. Other pieces, 301 MPH, a diva of a twister overlain with Prince lyrics, and 14.41 Inches (May 2015), referencing the amount of rainfall that recently ravaged the area, emphasize the physicality of the territory.
The impression of a wholesome, rugged lifestyle that informs most depictions of the state has lingered in the artist’s mind since first seeing Oklahoma!, the two-time Academy Award winning musical written by New Yorkers, Rogers and Hammerstein. Intrigued by the fetishization that city dwellers have for places of vast nothingness, Throwell has set out to delve into the media mélange that informs this point of view. A natural fit for the artist, who often makes use of appropriation and pop-culture narratives in his paintings, the resulting inquiry into the romanticized ideal of Oklahoma became an examination of the ultimate American persona–Cowboy, Indian and the Girl Scout cookie combined.
About the Artist
Zefrey Throwell was born at home in rural Oregon and raised in Alaska. He received his B.A. from San Francisco State University. A multi-media artist working in film, performance and visual art, his work has been exhibited in international institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Cannes Film Festival, France; the Venice Biennale, Italy; the Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), CA; the Leopold Hoesch Museum, Dueren, Germany; The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; with solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA; This Red Door, Berlin, Germany; the 92 Street Y, New York, NY; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; among others. Zefrey Throwell currently lives and works in New York City.