Gallery X & Y: Peter Drake, “Re-picture”
Gallery O: Loretta Bourque, “slivers”
November 11, 2017 – January 13, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 11, 2017, 4-8pm
Artist Remarks with Loretta Bourque: Saturday, December 2, 3-5 pm
Linda Warren Projects proudly presents two long awaited exhibitions: Peter Drake, Re-picture (Gallery Y & X) and Loretta Bourque, slivers (Gallery O). Drawing from their childhood memories and the zeitgeist of their respective upbringings these talented artists scrutinize the histories, recollections, and perceptions of their distinctively American cultures. Whether it be Drake’s absurd 1950’s period of conformity or Bourque’s bawdy French Quarter, they each recapture the juxtaposing beauty and incongruities that were indoctrinated in them as “normal”. Marking Drake’s fifth exhibition with the gallery and Bourque’s fourth, their uncanny ability to shape and recontextualize universally nostalgic, yet personal signifiers into potent and offbeat imagery has been a hallmark of their long and successful careers.
Gallery Y & X – Peter Drake, Re-picture
While the 1950s is often viewed as a period of conventionality, when both men and women observed strict gender roles and adhered to society’s expectations, the 60’s became the bastion of resistance and gave rise to the “counter culture”. Re-picture aims to reexamine these important periods through the youthful eye of the artist. By sampling television frames, advertisements, and vintage lead toys (collected by
his father) Drake appropriates images from that period, reconstructing familiar scenes expecting to find some magical moment in the congeniality of the mundane. The paintings therefore become the counter culture. The cracks and fissures, from the “Ozzie and Harriet” series, are made by sanding through grey acrylic paint to reveal the underlying fractures in the narrative itself. The frames are gritty and the scenes out of context. The characters are familiar yet their gestures suggest something more. Something undisclosed.
“Even though certain gender roles and norms were socially enforced, the 1950s was not as conformist as is sometimes portrayed, and discontent with the status quo bubbled just beneath the surface of the placid peacetime society. Although women were expected to identify primarily as wives and mothers and to eschew work outside of the home, women continued to make up a significant proportion of the postwar labor force. Moreover, the 1950s witnessed significant changes in patterns of sexual behavior, which would ultimately lead to the ‘sexual revolution’ of the 1960s.” – Khan Academy
The exhibition will include a series of black and white subtractive paintings on paper, each presenting a snippet of an advertisement for the coveted and exalted tools of the American household. Each frame, with its eroded surface and film noir lighting, alludes to a bankrupted consumer generation – a consumer culture that was propagated via new forms of entertainment: television, magazines, and cinemas, which ultimately birthed the golden age of advertising. In People Stroking Their House I and II and It’s The Story, Drake employs an additive technique derived from 17th century Dutch painting that coyly ushers into his paintings the mesmerizing and scintillating thrill of that groundbreaking moment in history: color TV!! Yet both in color and B&W – Drake, with his razor sharp wit and direction, controls our viewership into the underlying subject. By freeze-framing actual footage from the beloved “Brady Bunch” and
“Ozzie and Harriet” series, Drake highlights a particular moment that seems to capture it all- the incredible ironies and myths of those times. Why would a couple and a lone man appear to be hypnotized by their aluminum siding? Are Greg and Jan about to kiss? Won’t Marsha be upset? Drake’s genius invites the 21st century audience to view iconic images with newly loaded questions, doubts, and uneasiness. In doing so, he brings to the fore the underlying complexity, abnormality and dysfunction of that superficial time period in paintings that cross many lines of art styles– cinema, photography, realism, surrealism, impressionism, abstraction, pointillism, commercialism, and pop.
“Most of what I am interested in pictorially is somewhere between the real and the unreal. At the beginning of my career I spent most of my time trying to find some way to describe the surreal aspects of my life growing up in the suburbs. I was raised in a beautiful town an hour outside of NYC. There were many stately 19th Century homes that looked like they were right out of a Hopper painting. The reality of the town, however, was dramatically different from its appearance” – Peter Drake
Peter Drake’s art has been featured in 27 Solo exhibitions to date. His work is held in numerous private, corporate and public collections including the Whitney Museum of Art, Phoenix Museum of Art, MOCA LA, Weatherspoon Art Museum and the L.A. County Museum of Art, among others.
Drake’s Waiting for Toydot, an MTA Arts & Design permanent public art commission for the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Massapequa Station opened to the public in 2015. Waiting for Toydot features 18 art glass windows and 5 ceramic/glass mosaics installed throughout the train station.
His work has been written about in Art in America, Artpulse, (t)here Magazine, Newsday, BmoreArt, Flash Art, Interview, The New York Times, Art & Antiques, Huffington Post, Time Out, Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists, Art at Eaton Center, The Figure, New York’s Underground Art Museum: MTA Arts & Design and Launching Your Art Career: A Practical Guide for Artists.
Curatorial projects include Figurative Diaspora (upcoming 2018), Piss and Vinegar: Two Generations of Provocateurs, Beautiful Beast, a contemporary representational sculpture exhibition, The Big Picture, and Now and Then: Drawings from the 19th Century to the Present, in partnership with the Dahesh Museum of Art. Drake previously was a curator for The Drawing Center in New York City and wrote for Flash Art Magazine.
Drake actively lectures, curates, serves as a Board Member for the Artist’s Fellowship, Inc. and is the Academic Dean at the New York Academy of Art, a progressive figurative and representational graduate program located in Tribeca.
Drake has received a National Endowment for the Arts Award, a New York Foundation Fellowship and in January 2016 was chosen to be a participant in the Two Trees Cultural Space Subsidy Program. Drake maintains a studio in Dumbo, Brooklyn and is represented by Linda Warren Projects in Chicago, IL.
Gallery O – Loretta Bourque, slivers
Loretta Bourque’s new body of work is a reflection and contemplation of childhood memories spent in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Throughout the course of its rich and diverse history the French Quarter has all but sounded a siren’s call to eccentric personalities and characters. From the beautiful ladies of the back street bordellos to the gay bars along Burgundy street this little section of the “big easy” is simultaneously seedy, artistic, and magical; a place where everyone can be transformed into anyone.
Wandering through its tiny streets Bourque vividly conjures the smells, music, color, and perspectives from her small statured body as a child. Peeking through the slivers of space between posters and signage, little Loretta observed the disjointed body parts of dancers and patrons through windows and doorways. This sordid yet uniquely bewitching setting, coupled with her religious upbringing, has informed Bourque’s visual language. It is her distinct combination of
collage, paint and photo transfer that recreates the surreal aura of the city and permeates the memories of her childhood. Notions of morality, sexuality, and identity are deeply imbedded within the work. Whether it be the eternally glamorous Ms. Owens (a famous NOLA dancer and club owner) or disassembled female body parts with watermelon heads, the artist actively challenges boundaries of decency and explores the dichotomy between seduction and restraint. In a city filled with curiosities, sin lurks in every corner. Bourque’s collages layer all of the above and add a sensuality and melancholy that is profoundly personal.
Originally from New Orleans, Bourque received her BFA in 1991 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA in Painting in 2000 from the University of California at Davis. Loretta has an extensive exhibition record and has shown at galleries and museums across the country as well as internationally including; Tel Aviv, London, Los Angeles, and New York City. She is the recipient of a range of fellowships, awards, and residencies and has appeared in periodicals and publications including New American Paintings, Artnet Magazine, and Flavorpill. Loretta Bourque is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the department of Contemporary Practices. Prior to teaching at SAIC, she was a visiting artist at Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL and preceding RSAD was Assistant Professor at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. Bourque currently lives and works in Chicago.
For additional information or biographical details, please visit www.lindawarrenprojects.com or contact the gallery at (312) 432-9500.