Artist Spotlight: DAN PERKINS
Alone in the Woods
August 8 – September 12, 2015
Artist Talk: Wednesday, September 10, 7 pm
1353 U Street NW, Suite 101, Washington, DC 20009
Amanda Jirón-Murphy firstname.lastname@example.org
In Alone In the Woods, painter Dan Perkins immerses viewers within a dreamy, solipsistic world devoid of human presence. Perkin’s romantic, solitary landscape paintings merge 19th century notions of the picturesque and the sublime with 21st century interruptions: digital desktop interfaces, cell phones and computer graphics. These incongruous pairings result in landscape paintings that oscillate between transcendent clarity and playful digital flatness, thereby calling into question the true or illusory nature of the scenes depicted.
Taking the romantic painting traditions of late nineteenth century as my initial point of reference, I playfully interrupt and eschew their spatial logic and formal conventions. My paintings, in turn, offer the viewer the playful experience of both relishing in the promise of the sublime or utopian futures that are implied by these structures, while also humorously acknowledging the futility and absurdity of such gestures. In the process of constructing these paintings, I use a variety of source material: hand-built models, photographs, and invented or imagined spaces. This mimics to a degree the multi-layered approach I employ during the process of painting; the paintings become odd assemblages of various painting histories that alternatively conflate and congeal around one another. The paintings act as various non-linear points of connection between one another, telling fragments of journeys and stories without total resolve and leaving the viewer to construct their own understanding of the world alluded to and represented. In this way, the works collectively become a representation of various possibilities, a circuitous route of exploration, at once offering and subverting the process of making meaning.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Perkins received his MFA in painting from American University in 2013. Perkins has exhibited throughout the region and abroad: recent exhibitions include Dweller at Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA (2015); Studio Resident’s Biennial at School 33 Art Center, Baltimore, MD (2015) and Salon Zürcher with Curator’s Office at Galerie Zürcher in New York, NY (2014). His paintings are held in the collection of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities of the District of Columbia, the Katzen Museum at American University and many private collections. He is 2014 Hamiltonian Fellow, and maintains a studio at School 33 in Baltimore, MD.