Friday, August 29, 2008

Ian Francis Show at Kinsey/DesForges

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, September 6th, 6-9pm (open to the public)

Kinsey/DesForges welcomes Bristol-based artist Ian Francis for his latest exhibition, Together Forever. This will be his second solo with the gallery. The exhibition will open with an artist's reception on Saturday, September 6th, from 6-9pm, and continue through October 4th, 2008.

Whether you’re initially taken in by the sweeping intensity and fluidity of his brushwork or find yourself caught up in the tales that unfold on his canvases, spending time with Ian Francis as he examines the chasm between the tangible details of the everyday and the Western media’s relentless narratives of sex, death, and celebrity is an all-consuming experience. His paintings, made up of oil, acrylic, ink, and his unique transfer process, at once celebrate and indict the plunder and perils of our contemporary moment, describing a world increasingly made up of spectacle, melodrama, and the expanding acceptance of second hand experience—where the consequences of its own machinations flirt perilously on the horizon.

Along with chimeric abstractions are Bacon-esque smears that describe faces, feelings or atmospheres, and built environments that oscillate and recede into wide rich planes of color, Francis calls into question the terms on which we look at our cultural imagery and examines how those images are subsequently sorted and unsorted as we live with and around them. His largescale paintings, like the titles he gives them—with their hints of the familiar and everyday—remain teasingly elusive, and all the richer for the lingering questions they provoke in the viewer. Francis searches for and finds his inspiration in the things he can reach—essentially living the existence he examines—by constantly absorbing and battling with images from the Internet and television, the films of David Lynch and Akira Kurosawa, and from between the edges of good old tactile books. And even while this avalanche of images and rhetoric accumulates onto newsstands and bounces from satellite to satellite, Francis is able to achieve a fine balance in his paintings and tell fantastic stories. Each picture teems with overlapping visions and figures—mostly very sexy women and malingering men—all the while remaining quietly poignant. He shows us our weaknesses by neither condoning nor condemning, but by refracting the culture we know.

Ian Francis was born in 1979 and lives and works in Bristol, England. He graduated with honors from the University of the West of England (UWE). This is his second solo in the U.S.

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