Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition A Venomous Bloom by Kent Henricksen. Opening on May 6, 2010 at 511 W. 27th Street, this will be the artist's first show with the gallery.
In Henricksen's canvases, gods and thieves, ladies and marauders, angels and tricksters are brought together and transformed through the use of silkscreen, embroidery, and gold leaf. Characters drawn from such diverse sources as Albrecht Dürer woodcuts, historical newspaper illustrations, José Guadalupe Posada engravings, and Max Ernst collages are recast into new roles, telling new tales. These narratives often upend historical power dynamics, using Henricksen's layered imagery to visually question the traditional roles of the oppressor and the oppressed across cultures. As in Tibetan Thangka paintings, interwoven scenes orbit central figures, here inviting the viewer to create multiple connections and readings.
For this exhibition, Henricksen will present individual canvases over a gold and felt-patterned wallpaper edition to create an installation that envelops the entire gallery. The Snake—a symbol used throughout history to represent the duality of humankind—reoccurs prominently, performing double duty as both narrative framer and abstract motif. Ceramic candlesticks, shaped to resemble trees and branches, bear carved proverbs invoking the stories that surround them.
Kent Henricksen has had solo exhibitions with John Connelly Presents, New York; Hiromi Yoshii, Tokyo; Galleria Glance, Torino; c/o - Atle Gerhardsen, Berlin; and Mario Diacano, Boston. His works have been included in The Gold Standard (2006) and Greater New York (2005) at P.S. 1 Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; ARS 06 at the Museum of Contemporary Art KIASMA, Helsinki, Finland; Crafty curated by Lisa Tung at the Sandra and David Bakalar Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston; and Pricked: Extreme Embroidery at the Museum of Art and Design, New York. Henricksen recently exhibited a solo project Wayward We Hunt at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami. His work is the permanent collections of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C. and the Harvard University Fogg Museum in Boston.
In conjunction with the Paul Kasmin exhibition, Henricksen will have a concurrent show at John Connelly Presents from April 16 – May 15, 2010.