December 16, 2011 7-9:30 pm
The artist will be present
December 17, 2011 - February 25, 2012
Tuesday-Friday: 11am-2pm, 3pm-6pm
The Stargate Project was the code name established by the U.S. Federal Government to investigate claims of psychic phenomena with potential military and domestic applications, particularly "remote viewing": the purported ability to psychically "see" events, sites, or information from a great distance. These projects were active from the 1970s through 1995, at The Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and The American Society of Psychical Research.
As the title of Doug Henders exhibition, Stargate evokes the idea of painting as a portal for transportation, time travel, military surveillance, spiritual phenomena… Although his paintings do not illustrate these concepts in a literal sense, the title is apropos to his background as a US Army Cartographer, where he prepared maps, photography and film for weekly classified briefings in the War Room, in preparation for the un/known. That's also the source of his cartographic painting style that combines abstraction, representation and information layered topographies.
Henders Stargate project explores what painting can do as static objects in an age dominated by electronic media: music, video and the computer, by adopting templates that information technology (IT) has to offer:
scanning, encoding, compressing, streaming… in combination with traditional painting techniques: alchemic paint surface, gestural brushwork, drips, scrapes and happy accidents.
As the internet has taught us that we are all connected to each other by networks in a web-based view of nature, society and business, it has become more akin to an organism or ecosystem, even though the technology is human in its creation. This is embodied by people bringing their smart phones, laptops, iPads wherever they are, to remain logged into whatever virtual platform that they conduct relations, in any given moment.
Henders new paintings attempt to create templates for these fragmented experiences, both intimate and remote, embodied in form, color, symbol, that have been drawn, brushed, stenciled and sprayed into layered compositions and whose individual elements can be used modularly in other canvases to create entirely new compositions. His goal is not to illustrate academic theories or institutional critiques, but to advance an idea of painting in the information age, where the subject emerges from the process, to interact with the viewer, seamlessly.
Henders is also currently exhibiting in Drift, an exploration of urban & suburban landscapes curated from the permanent collection at the Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE, and in the inaugural group exhibition at Mayson Gallery, New York, NY.