Opening Reception: January 11, 6-8pm
On View January 11 – February 15, 2014
Mark Moore Gallery is proud to present "The Legends of the Mysterious Rocks," an exhibition of paintings and drawings by New York artist, Thomas Woodruff. Marking the artist's first solo exhibition with the gallery, it will showcase Woodruff’s visionary tableau narratives. The paintings, all enigmatic rocky landscapes, explore the places of miracles and mysteries. Each mythical composition is characterized by equal parts scientific precision and playful storytelling.
Woodruff’s latest cycle derives from a single chapter in a larger body of work, a graphic opera entitled "Francis Rothbart," which follows a fastidious feral child who is raised by magpies and other creatures and is repeatedly struck by lightning. As a consequence of the phenomena, the child develops eccentric talents, which he then abuses - leading to his ultimate destruction by the same natural world that once nurtured him. This picaresque saga unfolds in an allegorical environment, much like the topographical constructions behind renaissance religious paintings. Referencing both the Venetian landscapes of Bellini, Pierro di Cosimo and Carpaccio, mixed with the unlikely animated backdrops of Jay Ward and Chuck Jones, Woodruff’s images bring to mind the fictive gardens of a paradise lost that lingers somewhere deep in all our souls, moist and dark like the caves of the pious saints. Each scene transports us to a place in which trees anthropomorphize into figures bending from the weight of stalactite crowns, an iris becomes the gown for an oneiric sprite, and the sky rains down tears, as if mimicking the melancholy of a weeping willow. In a similarly muted palette, his drawings bring us ever closer to this mythical ecology by focusing specifically on ethereal, fragile blossoms. Petals, roots, and leaves are rendered by the delicate hand of an illustrative botanist with a penchant for the poignant. Woodruff’s images are multi-sourced amalgamations that echo with familiarity, portraying a world that is not only our own but also exists in the place of our half remembered dreams.
Thomas Woodruff received a BFA from Cooper Union (NY), and attended the Skowhegan School (MA). His works have been included in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally including the Whitney Museum of Art (NY), The Norman Rockwell Museum (MA), the Kohler Arts Center (WI), and the National Gallery of Australia. His work is in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum (NY), MIT List Center (MA), The New School (NY), the Honolulu Museum of Art (HI), the New Orleans Museum of Art (LA), the Greenville County Museum (SC), and the Art Gallery of Western Australia.
Mark Moore Gallery proudly presents “Prescott Pictures,” an inaugural solo exhibition by interdisciplinary artist and winner of 5790projects grant and exhibition prize, Lenae Day. Bringing together creative writing, costume design, photography, performance, and museum studies, Day relates the intricate hagiography of the titular fictitious film studio and its founding family.
Through the development of comprehensive visual, written, and performative personae and storylines, Day archives and inhabits the professional and personal sagas of the Prescotts. This faux archive - which takes form in Day’s elaborate multiplayer performances and photographic staging - is reminiscent of the conceptual dramaturgy behind the work of Cindy Sherman and Eleanor Antin. The Prescott history is presented through the familiar, albeit peculiar, subjectivity of the film enthusiast. In the well-researched and reverent mode of the movie lover, Day crafts the “Prescott Pictures” annals to culminate in an immersive Hollywood Museum experience teeming with intricately crafted ephemera—such as headshots, magazine covers, advertisements, movie posters, hand-sewn costumes, and props. Spanning the rise and fall of Classical Hollywood, Day’s “Prescott Pictures” both reflects and intervenes in the manifold histories and myths related to studio and celebrity constructs. In developing the relationships and tensions between her characters, Day projects exaggerated caricatures of the figures we most revere, admonish, and disregard as we shape our collective pop-cultural narrative.
Lenae Day (b. 1986 in Berlin, Germany) received her BFA in Art from Western Washington University. She has had a solo exhibition in Seattle, in addition to group shows at the Museum of Radio and Electricity (WA), Whatcom Museum (WA), and Rock Paper Scissors Gallery (CA). This is the artist's first solo show in Los Angeles, where she also lives and works.