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Chris Duncan, The Continued Exploitation of Pink and Brown

Jeff Bailey Gallery
625 West 27th Street, 212-989-0156
November 15 - December 22, 2006
Reception: Thursday, November 16, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

In Duncan’s installation of drawings, paintings and sculpture, the material and the abstract are joined together in a kind of cosmic craft. Like pieces of a puzzle, each work hovers between a world of alienation and uncertainty, hope and transcendence.

Duncan’s innovative combination of materials gives structure to motifs that he considers forms of energy, rather than images. In the drawings Earth and The Continued Exploitation of Pink and Brown, stitched thread, wood putty, paint, graphite and colored pencil are used to make forms suggesting sunbursts and constellations. Tones of pink and brown join together and separate, colors that Duncan uses as signifiers of race. Tiny enamel dots are arranged in multi-colored grids that are simultaneously ordered and chaotic.

There is both a robust and delicate aspect to Duncan’s work. The materiality of wood putty combined with the lightness of stitched thread act as competing forces: masculine and feminine, but inexorably joined together, as in the drawings We Simply Do Not Relate and World War We.

In Oh My God, Welcome to the Terror Dome, a found object resembling an Easter Island sculpture is painted with thousands of tiny dots: a kitsch object transformed into something both playful and frightening.

The largest work in the exhibition, One Hundred Years, is one hundred drawings sewn together into one drawing. Duncan began the work this past summer, to commemorate his grandmother’s 100th birthday. Composed of many different pieces, but unified as a whole, it is both an acknowledgment and celebration of the passage of time.
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