Bye, Bye, Babylon
6 September - 13 October, 2012
Paul Kasmin Gallery
293 Tenth Ave, New York, NY
Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of eleven 2012 still-life and jungle-landscape paintings by Erik Parker (b. 1968 Stuttgart, Germany; lives and works in New York City). Updating these traditional art-historical genres through the pictorial idioms and sly humor of satirical cartoons, psychedelia, and underground comic books, Parker’s paintings provide vistas into brilliantly colored worlds of semi-sentient flora and idiosyncratic geometries.
For Parker, creating the jungle paintings provides him with a way to escape into custom-made exotic locales without having to leave his Brooklyn studio. He draws inspiration from the imaginary landscapes of Henri Rousseau—who never left his native France, and Joseph Yoakum—who mixed his memories of his own travels into his visualizations of unknown cities and countries. In Parker’s fantastical scenes, fleshy, claw-like leaves and snaking vines part to reveal panoramas of placid rivers and distant mountains. Lending a sense of tongue-in-cheek surrealism to Parker’s compositions, the leaves and vines cast unrealistic shadows onto the sea and sky behind them. Following the logic of cartoons and dreams, these jungle scenes and still-life paintings feel seductive and eerie; visually sensible but also askew.
Erik Parker was included in the first “Greater New York” exhibition at MoMA PS1 in 2000, and has had recent solo exhibitions at Cornerhouse in Manchester, England; de Appel arts centre in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; Colette in Paris, France; Honor Fraser in Los Angeles, California; and Galleri Faurschou in Copenhagen, Denmark. A solo exhibition of Parker’s work is currently on view at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT, through February 24, 2013.