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Chris Duncan, The Faith Void Split

Jeff Bailey Gallery
625 West 27th Street, 212-989-0156
September 4 - October 4, 2008
Reception: Thursday, September 4, 6 - 8 PM
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Jeff Bailey Gallery is pleased to present, Chris Duncan: The Faith Void Split, featuring paintings, drawings, sculpture and site-specific installation.

The exhibition title is taken from the album The Faith/Void Split (1982) by Washington D.C. hardcore groups The Faith and Void (Dischord Records). Faith’s music is introspective and hopeful, while The Void’s is dark and wildly chaotic. The album was released when Duncan was eight years old, but he heard it for the first time several years later, in his early teens. Duncan says that he “was completely blown away by the album and that to this day it has a tremendous amount of energy and power” for him.

The split LP juxtaposes two incredibly different sounds and experiences. In Duncan’s mixed media works, stark color contrasts of light and dark seek to bridge opposing forces: between positive and negative, hopeful and despairing.

In Duncan’s paintings and drawings, abstract patterns, spirals and vaporous forms float within vast indeterminate, galaxy-like spaces. In the painting A New Way to Cope, a large multi-colored spiral, composed of primary colors in compressed angular shapes, spins and swirls in a blackened space. Rays of light in different hues surround this kaleidoscope shape, while thin clouds float and drift nearby. The darkness goes to the edge of the painting, while each side of the work is painted in a bright color, causing a slight outward glow.

The entrance of the exhibition is through a ten foot tall triangle, White Threshold. Two of the gallery walls are painted black, and two are white. A “string burst” sculpture in white covers one of the black walls. In the center of the gallery, an installation, titled What’s Left, features a hanging globe shape covered in shards of multi-colored paint. A mirror lies beneath it, which reflects a bright stark light.

Throughout the exhibition, a mix of materials (acrylic, enamel and spray paint, ink, gouache, graphite, colored pencil, wood putty, string and plywood) combine with a mix of shapes: triangular, spherical and rectangular. One sculpture is figurative. Ryan Schallenberger features the head of a young man covered in thousands of tiny paint drops, resting on a rock-like torso. His gaze, seemingly fixed, appears blank.

This is Chris Duncan’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, and the opening reception will include a performance by The Urxed. He has had other solo exhibitions at Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco; Nakaochiai Gallery, Tokyo; Motel Gallery, Portland, Oregon; and Lump Gallery, Raleigh, North Carolina. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe. Duncan is the co-creator of the art based zine project, HOT AND COLD. He is a 2006 recipient of the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s Goldie Award in Visual Art. He received his BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts. Duncan lives and works in Oakland, California.
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