Joshua Liner Gallery presents an exhibition and project by Dennis McNett, Reaping Waves, Vital Vessels, and the Passing of the Wolfbats
Dennis McNett’s Viking ship procession kicks off an exhibition of new works by the artist at Joshua Liner Gallery. The show will include wood- and linocut works on paper and muslin, as well as large carved-wood panels that are hand-colored in acrylic, inked, and finished. Also included will be freestanding sculptures papered in McNett’s prints, such as “Santa Muerte,” more hanging wolfbats, and animals that carry personal and mythological significance for the artist.
Throughout, McNett focuses on storytelling in images expressed by the bold, saturated line unique to relief printmaking. The artist’s vocabulary of images borrows freely from Greek and Norse myths, Mexican muertos, and the animal kingdom, all synthesized into an idiosyncratic style that is deeply heartfelt. Other characters and creatures include eagles, wolves, owls, and skeletons, some of which have been developed into live, impromptu performances in the public sphere.
McNett will also unveil a series of Viking ship sculptures emblazoned with patterns and images from a variety of printing processes.These are memorial sculptures recognizing deceased friends and heroes from the artist’s past. Among the remembered are the late Andy Kessler, New York City skateboard pioneer; Richard Mock, the celebrated painter and linocut printmaker regularly featured by the New York Times; and the master print- maker and Kent State instructor, Tom Little. The ships represent each person with specific patterns, symbols, and imagery either carved into or printed onto the wood surface and sails.
As McNett states,“The body is like a vessel, navigating water and waves. Ships have character: some know how to navigate the seas better than others. Some ships are driven by skilled and experienced captains. Some ships are beaten and weathered. Some have carried many passengers. Some show the way. Some vessels work together for a common goal or to form a stronger force.”The emotional tumult around these themes is faith- fully evoked by the memorial ship sculptures and a crashing wave installation in the gallery.
Born in 1972 in Virginia Beach, VA, Dennis McNett received a BFA from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, and an MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn. Solo exhibitions of his work include: Year of the Wolfbat, Fecal Face Dot Gallery, San Francisco (2009); and Driving Through, The Life Art Gallery, Portland, OR (2008). His work has been featured in the following selected group exhibitions: Barnstormers, Joshua Liner Gallery, New York (2010); Outlaws and Wild Animals, Rebus Works, Raleigh, NC (2009); From the Streets of Brooklyn, Thinkspace Gallery, Los Angeles (2009); Titanium Exposed, Fecal Face Gallery, San Francisco (2008);