George Adams Gallery

James Barsness: A Survey of Paintings, 1996 - 2008

James Barsness: A Survey of Paintings, 1996 - 2008

Friday, September 7, 2012Saturday, October 27, 2012

New York, NY USA

During the months of September and October the GEORGE ADAMS GALLERY will present a survey exhibition of paintings by JAMES BARSNESS. The exhibition includes 8 large-scale canvases ranging in date from 1996 to 2008.

Throughout his career, Barsness has consistently explored the complexities of human interaction, exposed the frequent hypocrisies of social norms, the often farcical nature of human “progress,” and our earnest search for religious enlightenment. For example, the earliest work in the exhibition, “The Walled City,” 1996, represents Barsness’ take on society as a dysfunctional construction seen through an art historical scrim that quotes both Breughel and Bosch. The painting depicts the bizarre and often chaotic goings-on within an imaginary medieval city’s walls; according to Barsness’ representation, life might be better – and safer –outside the walls rather than within.

In “The Prize,” 2002, Barsness offers a reconsideration of Jonathan Swift’s legendary traveler, Gulliver, who appears as a Christ-like figure over whom the native Lilliputians attempt to exert control with little success. A Christ figure appears yet again in Barsness’ 2008 painting, “Weight Loss Jesus,“ in a classic Pieta: a beleaguered Mary holds her decidedly pudgy and unmotivated Son as if to suggest that while humanity struggles to survive, the One who might fix it all is more interested in the bowl of popcorn in his lap.

The exhibitions of works by Barsness are on view through October 27th. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10AM to 6PM. For images and more information on the exhibition, please visit the gallery’s website at