ACEDIA: DEAD DANES
November 8 - December 20, 2014
Paul Loya Gallery is proud to present Russell Nachman’s solo exhibition, ACEDIA: DEAD DANES.
A face blooming in the orange glow of a cigarette, the crackling spray of a fresh beer, your cluttered bedroom, a skittering riff on a tinny radio. Western metaphysics on the wane, meaning must be individually reclaimed—the church of rock and roll becomes no less sacred than Stonehenge or a clapboard suburban cathedral. Worn by repetition and sapped by the enlightenment, our debunked myths and hollowed rituals evolve into accessories, pentragrammed t-shirts and ankh tattoos.
The birth of subculture was an aftershock of the failed utopianism of the historical avant garde, one last wild exclamation of what every boot-lacing, hair-coiffing, suit-pressing, vinyl-fingering wayward charlatan unwittingly affirms: a different way of life. Having questioned the technological promises of sci-fi literature and early Modernist architecture, Russell Nachman’s latest series of watercolor and acrylic paintings cite the Black Metal disciple as a fitting figure for our time—a modern day jester steeped in individualism and religious malapropisms.
The paintings in Acedia: Dead Danes situate the gregarious, corpse-painted figures on pages seemingly torn from illuminated manuscripts and ancient dog-eared prayer books, collapsing these antithetical elements into a post-religious tableau; dour Netherlandish Christs replaced by would-be antichrists and guitar heroes. Louche, doofy danes drink, smoke, laugh, and lounge in a space where The Ecstasy of St Theresa is both orgasmic and spiritual, and Yorick’s skull a fitting symbol for both the illusion of human hierarchies and the promise of subcultural ascendancy. Shakespeare’s Danish Play obliquely frameworks the succession of haloed pagans suspended in innocent hedonism.
Paul Loya presents New York based painter Russell Nachman’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
Acedia coincides with the release of limited-edition artist book with an introduction by LMAK Projects co-director Bart Keijsers Koning and an essay by the artist. The book will be available for sale at the opening and throughout the exhibition.
Russell Nachman holds a BFA from Colorado State University and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Recent solo exhibitions include Prayer Book For a Drunk Noah Hans at Alf Gallery in Copenhagen, and Palimpsest III at LMAK Projects in New York. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times and Art in America, and was recently interviewed at length for Monster Children.