4 ECCENTRICS will inaugurate a series of shows at the newly relocated Proposition. The series will germinate from a work chosen by an artist shown and collected from The Proposition’s previous Chelsea location and be developed from various themes such as content, surface, use of materials, color or a combination of structural elements. The first show presented in this format, 4 ECCENTRICS will be inspired by a work of Mickalene Thomas from her “Brawling Spitfire” Series. The non-traditional use of rhinestones to create a vibrant surface will set the tone for the accompaniment of two mid-century furniture designers know for unusual use and surface treatment of materials – beaten and patch work metal in the work of Paul Evans and intricately painted and complex lacquer finishes in the work of James Mont. A second theme of psychosexual subject matter will unify the inclusion of Balint Zsako’s mystifying watercolor and ink works on paper. Presenting together, the four artists will create a mesmerizing theatre of visual spectacle.
Mickalene Thomas will be represented by “Let’s Work Together, Now” a rhinestone, acrylic and enamel painting on wood panel created in 2008 from the “Brawling Spitfire“ series, several of which are in the permanent collection of the gallery. This series is featured in the historic “30 Americans” show exhibited in November 2008 at the Rubelll Family Collection in Miami, Florida which will open at he Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. in January 2011. This series was also featured in Thelma Golden and Christine Kim’s 2005 show “Frequency” at the Studio Museum in Harlem. The “Brawling Spitfire” series is a nod to Francis Bacon, an artist Mickalene Thomas greatly admires and with whom she shares a mutual expression of psychosexual tension in the imagery and emotional content. This series is also the only work in which the artist appears as the model. This work sets the tone for the show in terms of imagery and eccentric use of surface material.
Paul R. Evans II was internationally recognized for his unique residential furniture. He trained as a silversmith, and also learned the art of the goldsmith and blacksmith. His innovative mind eventually led him to creating extraordinary metal furniture. His work has recently been highly sought after by contemporary art collectors. He will be represented by a cube table of copper, bronze and pewter patchwork with a slate top, which will hold a bronze sculpture of a Mickalene Thomas entitled “Brawlin’ Spitfire Wrestlers.”
Rare materials from a private estate of a collector of James Mont, the mid-century decorator and furniture designer to the stars (Frank Sinatra, among them) will be comprised of pieces exhibiting his extravagant use of smoky mirrors, complex and intricate lacquer work and silver-leafed furniture that define Mont’s style and artistry. A recent book by New York 20th Century Antiques dealer and avid collector Todd Merrill “Modern Americans” chronicles the over-the-top style of a “notorious, possibly even murderous “ James Mont. Featured will be a c.1950 pickled mahogany desk, chairs and shelves as well as a pair of rare oversized cabinets of antiqued mirror.
Balint Zsako’s work has been described in a review of his recent museum retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto as “quirky, disturbing, otherworldly and a little bit dirty…that speaks to our contemporary anxieties about sexuality…” The gallery will exhibit 8 framed drawings as well as a portfolio of new work. There will be a launch event for the publication catalogue that accompanied the museum show “Drawings from the Bernardi Collection” on Saturday, September 25th (5-7 PM).
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August 25 - October 17, 2010
Paul Evans, James Mont, Mickalene Thomas and Balint Zsako