Private View, May 8, 6 – 8 PM
Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to present an upcoming exhibition of Walton Ford’s recent
watercolors. This will be Ford’s first exhibition with the gallery since his traveling retrospective,
Tigers of Wrath, and the publication of Pancha Tantra, a comprehensive monograph of his work.
With meticulous detail, Ford’s work depicts animals embodying degrees of personification in the
context of isolated historical events. Transient moments recalled in Ford’s work comment on, in
his words, “the cultural history of our relationship with animals.” Ford is especially interested in
the perceptions of animals by humans as evidenced by documentation. After researching specific
stories, Ford offers his interpretation—sometimes exaggerating the animal’s supposed humanness
and in other instances, stripping the animal of imposed metaphors, and thereby restoring the
candor of the animal’s bestial state. The anthropomorphic nature of Ford’s animals is often
compared to the work of artist, John J. Audubon, one of Ford’s many influences.
Loss of the Lisbon Rhinoceros, shown above, references the story of a rhinoceros that was
illustrated by Dürer in 1515. After the rhinoceros died in a ship wreck en route from Lisbon to
Pope Leo X, Dürer produced a woodcut of the animal based on an unknown draftsman’s brief
description and sketch. Ironically, subsequent illustrations of rhinoceroses bore resemblance to
Dürer’s fanciful print for nearly three centuries. In Loss of the Lisbon Rhinoceros Ford shows us
the doomed rhinoceros that Dürer never saw at the moment it passed from a living animal into a
mythic, art historical image. This piece will be on view alongside several other recent paintings
Walton Fords work may be found in a number of collections, including the Smithsonian
American Art Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
For additional information regarding the exhibition, please contact Tayo Ogunbiyi, firstname.lastname@example.org