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Catharine Clark Gallery: Timothy Cummings - Cloverleaf
Media Room: Andy Diaz Hope & Jon Bernson
- 26 July 2014 to 6 Sept 2014

Current Exhibition


26 July 2014 to 6 Sept 2014

Catharine Clark Gallery
248 Utah Street
San Francisco, CA
CA 94103
California
North America
T: +1 415 399 1439
F: +1 415 543 1338
M:
W: www.cclarkgallery.com











Timothy Cummings, Evening Tree, 2014
Acrylic on wood panel
17 x 22 inches
12


Artists in this exhibition: Timothy Cummings, Andy Diaz Hope & Jon Bernson


Timothy Cummings
Cloverleaf


July 26 – September 9, 2014

Catharine Clark Gallery presents Cloverleaf, an exhibition of new work by Timothy Cummings. This will be the first view of Cummings’s work in our newly renovated gallery space. The exhibit consists of paintings on wood panel and is driven by the artist’s relocation to the place of his birth: Albuquerque, New Mexico. This recent move, as well as the artist’s 2013 residency in São Paulo, Brazil have spurred Cummings’s exploration of dualities—insider/outsider, self/other, the collision of nostalgia and the present.

Origins (2014) is a fresh iteration of the dichotomies long present in Cummings’s work. The figure depicted is a familiar one: simultaneously male and female; youthful with a sage mien. But here the influence of Brazilian Carnival culture is apparent in the uninhibited use of color and fusion of European and South American elements in the costuming and landscape. The egg references regeneration and rebirth, and the metamorphic essence of Carnival—a modern-day pageant and glamour-infused celebration rooted in Brazil’s brutal history of African and indigenous slavery. The bird—a ubiquitous symbol in Cummings’s work—appears here like a phoenix, emphasizing the idea of renewal through destruction, and lending to the mystical element of the piece.

Cummings’s recent move back to his childhood home has prompted the artist to revisit the theme of searching and self-identity. Expressed through the use of figures reflecting Cummings’s countenance, these characters act as masks or foils for different elements of his identity. In Gregory, (2014), a tree enshrouds four faces, while the full figure stands exposed and open, with an innocent self-consciousness. The gaze of each face tells a completely different story. Growing up as a “young gay” in New Mexico, and throughout his formative adult years spent in San Francisco, Cummings always knew he would return home. Though his geographical journey has come full circle, his exploration of children and adolescents struggling with issues of sexuality in an adult world continues—a theme embodied by the skinned-kneed, rosy-cheeked flasher in Rose Garden (2014).

Cummings derives inspiration from the Northern European master painters—especially Hans Memling. On a visit to the Museu de Arte de São Paulo during his residency, Cummings stumbled upon Memling’s original The Mourning Virgem With St. John the Baptist and the pious women of Galilee, a painting he has been obsessed with for years. Cummings visited the painting over 30 times during his stay in Brazil. The moody, androgynous faces of these women play a major role in the work for this exhibition. While many of these paintings are of the same small, intimate scale in which he typically works, Cummings’s move to New Mexico has expanded his studio space to accommodate the creation of a few larger pieces atypical in the artist’s repertoire. This current body of work belies Timonthy Cummings’s lack of formal training and speaks to his life-long discipline and dedication to observation as a tool for realizing his craft.

Cummings renders exquisitely crafted narrative and portrait paintings on panel which decidedly defy his lack of formal training. The subjects of his work are often children and adolescents struggling with issues of sexuality and sexual orientation in an adult world. Throughout the United States his work has exhibited at LACE Gallery (Los Angeles, CA); the Laguna Art Museum (Laguna Beach, CA); the Hunterdon Art Museum (Clinton, New Jersey); and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA). In 2013, Cummings was an artist-in-residence and subject of a solo exhibition at Transarte Institute in São Paulo, Brazil. His work is represented in the permanent collection of Di Rosa Gallery in Napa, California and in the personal collection of Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, owners of the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. His exhibitions have been reviewed in the San Francisco Examiner, Artweek, Art Papers, Flash Art, and Details. He has had numerous solo exhibitions at Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York, and at Catharine Clark Gallery, both of whom represent his work. Timothy Cummings was raised in New Mexico, but made his career as an artist during the past two decades living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2014, Cummings returned to Albuquerque, New Mexico where he currently resides.


Andy Diaz Hope & Jon Bernson
Beautification Machine

July 26 – September 6, 2014

Catharine Clark Gallery presents Beautification Machine, a new media collaboration by Andy Diaz Hope and Jon Bernson. This will be the first viewing of Diaz Hope’s work in the dedicated media room of our newly renovated gallery space. Like many of Diaz Hope’s previous projects, Beautification Machine is both an object and an experience, infused with mysticism and opacity. In the words of the Diaz Hope and Bernson, Beautification Machine is a device used to “neutralize the bile and fear spewed forth daily over the networks and transform polarizing media sources into vehicles of contemplation and peace.” The work combines functions of sculpture, projection, audio processing and random chance to manipulate real-time audio and video feeds from FOX, MSNBC (or any news source), and then strip them of all rhetoric and partisanship. Beautification Machine’s essence is antithetical— an oasis of calm created from the very thing that makes it difficult to find serenity in the modern world. The artists hope viewers will begin to break patterns of fear and paralysis instilled by the media and find ways to enact positive change. Beautification Machine is a playful attempt to counteract the voices of partisan pundits, “masquerading as news analysts,” who subvert civil dialogue. Diaz Hope and Bernson describe “the miracle” of the piece as the meditative environment naturally generated by the removal of divisive elements—fear replaced by empathy, mutual understanding and a sense of calm. Diaz Hope and Bernson profess they will closely guard the secret machinations of their work for fear that the mainstream media will “surely attempt to steal the device” for malevolent purposes. Though transparent as whimsical exaggerations, the artists’ statements bring a humorous brand of paranoia, magical thinking, and fierce contumacy to the overwhelming media presence in the modern world.

Andy Diaz Hope earned his Bachelors and Masters in Engineering from Stanford University’s Joint Program in Design—a collaboration between the engineering and art departments. Diaz Hope’s work found its voice while the artist was working as an engineer and designer for Apple and Microsoft. Diaz Hope’s disenchantment with contemporary notions of progress, and a realization that technology was failing to improve fundamental qualities of life spurred the creation of work which offers alternative viewpoints to that of mainstream media. Diaz Hope’s work expresses his desire to foster dialogue and critical thought. His most recent bodies of work have dealt with diverse topics including: the semantics of the word “terrorist” as a marginalizing force; recreational and pharmaceutical drug culture; and contemplations on the quest for immortality.


www.cclarkgallery.com






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