Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present recent works on paper by David Dupuis.
For this exhibition, Dupuis expands upon his exploration of mortality and the human condition by incorporating personal reactions to current events, specifically the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A few years ago, the artist found himself at the Atlanta airport, a hub for military deployment overseas, in the midst of hundreds of soldiers in camouflage. Awakened from a state of denial about the United States and war, Dupuis was inspired to begin integrating real world affairs into his art practice. Where once skulls and self-portraits populated his drawings, now the bodies of anonymous young soldiers clad in uniform have become the basis of his visual language.
Named for a poetic folk song from the 1960’s, Green, Green Grass of Home has four monumental color pencil and collage drawings at its foundation. Emotional and visually erotic, these works overwhelm with their massive scale and dense patterning. One work, entitled Young Americans pictures collaged heads of young men engulfed in a swirling blue inferno which references the flames of war. Another, called Tomorrow Never Knows, depicts bright pink poppies and a hint of camouflage in a sea of green grass, an allusion to the destruction in Afghanistan, both through the war and the burgeoning heroin industry.
A work entitled Green, Green Grass of Home as well as one called Idumea depict the bodies of camouflaged soldiers immersed in dense fields of grass. In these dream-like scenes, an immense and untamed landscape swallows up the human forms. It’s almost as if the sheer force of nature is capable of overwhelming man’s petty grievances made manifest through war and violence. This notion, espoused by filmmakers like Werner Herzog and Terrence Malick, is a central theme in Dupuis’ work and lends a cinematic quality to his vast panoramas.
David Dupuis’ work was recently featured in Other People: Portraits from the Grunwald and Hammer Collections at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. His work is included in a number of museum collections including New Museum of Contemporary Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Dupuis lives and works in New York City. This will be his seventh solo exhibition at the gallery.