Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Coup artist CHRIS DENNIS has solo exhibit in Zurich

Jedlitschka Gallery

Seefeldstrasse 52. 8008 Zürich
Tel. +41 (0)44 252 35 30

Press Release:

The Jedlitschka Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of paintings in Zürich, by the artist Chris Dennis.

The exhibition will run from March 31st 2016, through May 21st, 2016 with an opening reception on Thursday, March 31 from 5pm to 8 pm. The artist will be in attendance.

New Paintings by Chris Dennis.

When I said I paint the same things again and again because I think about the same things again and again, did you think I was joking?” 

Chris Dennis paints his images within a visual world he began to construct in 1996, when he produced a series of paintings based on a collection of short stories by Bret Easton Ellis called The Informers. His figures, with animal heads, are not some other-worldly creatures from Science fiction. They are masks or disguises. The likeness may be hidden but the choice of animal tells its own truth. From here, Chris explores ideas about biography /autobiography, authorship and the unreliable source.

MOTIF/ MOTIVE is an exhibition presented literally in two halves and depicts a split in the mind of ‘the Painter’. This fugue state, not unlike that portrayed by David Lynch in his film, Lost Highway blurs the line between truth and untruth, fantasy and reality.

The left hand side of the gallery displays 9 panels that appear considerably larger to anyone aware of Chris’ previous work. Familiar figures with the heads of fish are placed in landscapes surrounded by water and dominated by an empty horizon. He, sometimes she, sometimes a couple look out on dark water and stormy skies, that threaten pain that is hinted at in paintings titled, A Lake and Promises, Promises but is clearly visible on the skin of the female figure in The Sting.

Around their feet, the shoreline is littered with the past - used matches, crusted, old and splattered paint. And then there is the text. Does it explain, confuse or simply amuse?

On the wall opposite are more numerous, smaller paintings, hung erratically at strange sight-lines. Our eyes dart around as we voyeuristically spy a series of female figures with bird heads. WE are focused on THEM. Their surroundings are clumsily dismissed or ignored and are interspersed with panels of bright white and bare plywood that is ubiquitous in the gallery and art fair. Something is unattainable in these images, be it from the covetous gaze of the viewer, or the wingless, figures who cannot escape the confinement of their cramped compositions.

These 2 sides collide in the centre. A single portrait (the largest piece in the show) looks down on the not too comfortable chair, cell phone, Starbucks, paperback, left behind by a ‘Gallerina’ or ‘Museumsaufsicht’.

Drifting sand invades from the left, littered with the detritus produced by these very paintings that will in time bury all trace of the other.

Chris Dennis Moved to Zürich in 2013 and joined the gallery soon after. Born (1974) in The South of England he received his BA (Hons) from the University of Wolverhampton in 1996. He has lived in Berlin and New Zealand and spent 13 years in the United States, earning in 2000, his MFA from the University of Art College in San Francisco. He has exhibited continuously, in cities including London, Brighton, San Francisco, New York, New Orleans, Baton Rouge,
Nashville, Miami, Berlin, Auckland, St. Gallen and Zürich.

On Friday, May 13th at 6pm, there will be a Q&A with the artist, hosted by Dr. Mark Staff Brandl. Visitors will be invited to submit questions throughout the duration of the exhibition, on-line and via a box on the chair of the installation.

Please contact the gallery with further questions or enquiries.