Dean Project presents Recent works – Antibiosis features new and recent works by Bryan Drury. The artist’s body of work, all oil paintings completed within the past 2 years, confronts the incongruous relationship between humans and the natural world. This comes into light not by pairing two extremes against one another or by making pictorial juxtapositions. Instead, it subtly poises their contrived – and growing – separation head on with a realism that marks humanity’s detached fetishization and exploitation of nature.
In the large-scale oil painting Feast, the artist offers a rebuttal to this incongruity by culling a set of animals with historical, mythological, political, or anthropomorphic ties to humans. Yet in Drury’s scenario, the animals show their gratitude as they gnaw away on the corporeal flesh of a person. The painting could imply that even if humans assume dominance – through their technological advances or by mining animal (fossil) fuels as resource energy, for example – they ultimately return to earth as ordinary animal and organic material.
In the other paintings in the exhibition, such as Nexus (2010), the artist extends this sense of allegorical painting as an instrument to further untie the precarious relationships between the human, animal, and natural worlds.
Bryan Drury was born in 1980 in Salt Lake City, Utah and relocated to New York in 2001. He received his MFA from the New York Academy of Art and a BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art. He has exhibited and received awards throughout the US and Europe. This is his first solo exhibition with the gallery.