October 20 – December 10, 2011
Reception: Thursday, November 3, 2011 5:30 – 7:30
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10:30 to 5:30; Saturdays 11:00 to 5:00. For more information, please visit www.renabranstengallery.com or contact the gallery directly at (415-982-3292).
The paintings in Don Ed Hardy’s upcoming show at Rena Bransten Gallery evolved from the monumental 4 x 500 foot work 2000 Dragons, executed in the millennial year (a Dragon Year in the Asian zodiac). This was a decisive turning point for the artist in its scale and expansive gesture, as he had spent the previous four decades in near-daily practice with the obsessive precision of intaglio printmaking, lithography, tattooing, and careful watercolors. The mission goal of making two thousand dragons with no preplanned composition freed Hardy up to explore pure abstract elements along with recognizable forms. The spontaneous works since then continue to develop intuitively at the moment of painting.
The big scroll was executed with acrylic on archival synthetic paper, which was available in huge rolls. Featherweight and durable, it was the most practical solution for a work of immense scale. The saturation of pigment into paper as an instantaneous indelible record—with little or no over painting—continues and amplifies Hardy’s works with metal plates, sumi ink, and skin. The current works further explore pure autographic expressive gesture.
Immersed in Western as well as Asian art history, aesthetics, and theories of brushwork, Hardy has a long relationship with living and working in Japan. Along with the paintings are a new series of small porcelain sculptures. Made in collaboration with ceramist Trevor Ewald, these extend Hardy’s work done during several visits to Arita, Japan. There, at the invitation of a traditional kiln, he glazed production wares with unexpected themes, extending and subverting venerable tradition. The new ceramics are inspired by a series of his late ’90s paintings featuring garment forms from 15th and 16th century Northern European engravings (first studied in his undergraduate days at the San Francisco Art Institute) to which he added components of tattoo and pop themes.
Hardy Marks Publications is happy to announce two new books from our library!
Sailor Jerry Treasure Chest has 40 pages of rare drawings, flash sheets, unfinished works, photos and more that are sure to be a hit for every tattoo shop and fan of The Master’s work.
Rosie – Folk Art Tattoo Flash is an 88 page book that presents the incredible flash of Rosie Camanga, the naive art tattooist who worked in Honolulu from the 1940′s to late 1980′s.
Both are available now in our online store!
Upcoming art show in the windy city of Chicago featuring Don Ed Hardy, Nick Bubash and the legendary Thom deVita
October 28 – November 26, 2011 Opening Reception October 28, 7 to 10 p.m.
2124 N. Damen Ave., Chicago IL 60647
Beer by Three Floyds
Wines by Red and White Wines in Chicago
The show opens with a series of cast-resin works layered with vintage Hardy acetate tattoo stencils. While their slick surfaces work against the raw sensibility Hardy strives for, certain works stand out. Shattering Tiger, to take but one example, is an exceptional “painting”. In it, triangular shapes converge to build a cubist-like ground and an almost vertiginous aerial view of the big cat, rendered in wavy, broad strokes. Near the animal’s shoulder, Hardy drops representation and allows his brush to spin a series of arabesques that resemble a face. It’s a beautiful moment in a beautiful piece, one that embodies the freedom Hardy sought when he quit tattooing to make personal work.
The full review is online here.