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Christopher Tanner, The Queen of Hell & The Horn of Plenty


Pavel Zoubok Gallery
533 West 23rd Street, 212-675-7490
February 11 - March 13, 2010
Reception: Thursday, February 11, 6 - 8 PM
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PAVEL ZOUBOK GALLERY invites you to an exhibition of new mixed-media sculptural reliefs and works on paper by New York artist and performer CHRISTOPHER TANNER. Please join us at the opening reception on Thursday, February 11, 2010 from 6-8pm or during the run of the exhibition, which continues through March 13.

The Queen of Hell & The Horn of Plenty finds CHRISTOPHER TANNER moving away from the glittering, sequin-encrusted surfaces of his past exhibitions toward a decidedly sculptural and organic network of forms that simultaneously reference nature and the body. These intimately scaled works are built up from carved canvases whose twisting curves are inspired by hallucinatory dreamscapes and biomorphic fragments of driftwood found in the California forest of his childhood home. Tanner imbues these strangely erotic, encrusted “bodies” with a demonic life force that is as seductive as it is sinister, recalling the mixed media assemblages of Alfonso Ossorio, Bruce Conner and Arch Connelly.

A residency at Yaddo inspired Tanner to use more natural materials in these works, which blend abstract shapes with dense accumulations of leather, paint, colored sand and objects from nature (shells, crystals, bones, driftwood) as well as coins, bullets, and cast-off bits of old jewelry, etc. Tanner’s prominent use of leather references his heritage – his grandfather was a cowboy in the Rodeo! But in Tanner’s unapologetically over-the-top style, the leather is sculpted in vibrant shades of red, green, white and gold, spun around the carved canvas like the seductive curves of a sexy man or woman – the body as a horn of plenty!

The eroticism of Tanner’s sculptures is more directly articulated in a series of semi-abstract nudes drawn in colored sand on grids of vintage wall paper. These voluptuous “portraits” of friends and collaborators, which recall the artist’s abstract glitter drawings, evoke their subjects through intimate fragments – a breast, a seductive pair of eyes, or a bulging muscle.

CHRISTOPHER TANNER has exhibited both in New York and abroad since the mid-1980s. This is his fourth solo exhibition with PAVEL ZOUBOK GALLERY. In 2005 he had his first museum exhibition at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (Boulder, CO). His performance work includes collaborations with Penny Arcade, Bloolips, Karen Finley, Cyndi Lauper, David Lynch, The Wooster Group and the New Stage Theatre Company.
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