Arnold Mesches. Coming Attractions 18, 2007. Acrylic on canvas, 40" x 46".
This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The haunting operatic interiors and florid Floridian landscapes in Arnold
Mesches's work conjure the very human desire to seek refuge and, at the same
time, suggest the sometimes sinister forces conspiring to prevent one from
securing that state of being. Mesches is a native New Yorker, now eighty-five
years of age, who has lived and painted prolifically in New York, Los Angeles,
and now Florida. He has dramatically dissented from the status quo through a
lifetime of passionate artmaking. He energetically battles political and social
climates in large-scale gestural painting and drawing. Critic Robert Storr, in
his 2007 essay "By the Rivers of Babylon," describes Mesches as showing us "with
grinning irony" those "compound ambiguities" of "modern civilization on the
brink." Presented in Rhode Island for the first time will be selections from
Mesches's series of paintings Coming Attractions.
Also on display in the hall space gallery will be selections from The FBI Files, which comprise mixed-media collages derived from federal government surveillance documents that charted Mesches's activities for thirty years and that he gathered through the Freedom of Information Act (the artist knowingly describes these as contemporary illuminated manuscripts). His work can be sampled at his award-winning Web site: www.arnoldmesches.com.
This exhibition is co-curated by gallery director James Montford and guest curator Judith Tolnick Champa.
Opening: Thursday, September 4th