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The Sword of Damocles

The Painting Center
547 West 27th Street, 5th Floor, 212 343-1060
November 29 - December 23, 2011
Reception: Tuesday, November 29, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

The Painting Center and Visual AIDS are proud to present The Sword of Damocles: Selections from the Frank Moore Archive a group exhibition of paintings presenting a range of work from twelve mid-career artists, who are also long-term survivors living with HIV. As we mark 30 years of AIDS, The Sword of Damocles contemplates the pandemic as seen through the transformation of these artists’ work over time.

Drawing exclusively from Visual AIDS’s Frank Moore Archive Project, for this exhibition curator Patrick Webb sought to find parallels in the evolution of long-term survivors’ paintings. The featured works, including paintings by Bradford Branch, Jerry Frost, Michael Golden, Frank Holliday, Martin Klug, Jonathan Leiter, Michael Lownie, Ricardo Morin, Joseph Stabilito, Pete Wyman, and Laurence Young, span the artists’ 20+ yearlong careers.

“In the 1980s my own work became a response to the horror and rage of the epidemic. It has followed a trajectory that explores various aspects of being a long-term survivor,” says Webb. “In 1992 I witnessed the death of my boyfriend of 14 years. I never imagined I would outlive him by almost 20 years. I am fortunate to be alive, though at times feel poised on the edge of an abyss. The experience has shaped my sense of self and the development of my work. I hope to bring that perspective as a painter to my selection of paintings.”

About the curator:

Born in New York City in 1955 Webb studied at Yale University , Skowhegan, and the Maryland Institute College of Art. He is a member of The Painting Center and of the Frank Moore Archive Project at Visual AIDS. He is well known for his on-going, “Commedia dell’Arte,” Punchinello series. He says, “I see Punchinello as an outsider whose adventures are a way of exploring the uncanny experience of difference and otherness. Punchinello, the trickster or fool from the Italian theatrical tradition of the ‘Commedia dell’Arte, entered my work in 1990 to become the protagonist for my contemporary narratives.” Patrick Webb lives and works in New York City and is a Professor at Pratt Institute.

About Visual AIDS:

Visual AIDS utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS is not over.

Visual AIDS is the only contemporary arts organization fully committed to HIV prevention and AIDS awareness through producing and presenting visual art projects, while assisting artists living with HIV/AIDS. We are committed to preserving and honoring the work of artists with HIV/AIDS and the artistic contributions of the AIDS movement.

For more information about Visual AIDS, please visit
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