A dramatic setting anchored by an altar created from semi precious stone and neon glass by Pavel Kraus set the stage for a group of pagan goddesses by painter Megan Burns. Together, they will create a space of unknown mystery unfolding in real time and space. The references will stretch from Roman sacrifice to Greek theatre.
The most recent works by Pavel Kraus, “Offerings/ Redemption and Altars” continues his production of inscrutable modern artifacts. The material elegance, sense of luxury, and formal structure bathe these objects superficial symbolism in a light suggesting contemplative transcendence rather than sculptural factuality, as if their formal properties were ancillary to some deeper mystery.
Contemporary objects of the present and immediate past are subject to the mercurial forces of interpretive evaluation that, ultimately, will constitute an archeology of the future. The past and the future merge and re- combine in unexpected, unforeseeable ways, not as a historical time- line, but as echoes of a submerged cultural amnesia codified to become ritual and myth, coloring a future as either dystopic or redemptive. This uncertainty frames science and fiction as ordering systems designed to assess limits and possibilities. The difference between faith and science is constituted by linguistic propositions that describe our collective experience through notions of truth; where experience collapses into metaphors that condition a metaphysics of the ineffable on one hand, and on the other, tests the verifiable limits of the possible. Kraus’ objects are imbued with a capacity to challenge the viewers means for determining content, that for Kraus is somewhere between apotheosis and aesthetics.
Having found that she was always far more interested in the immediate appeal provided by covers of paperback novels and comic books rather than the actual stories contained within, Megan Burns has exalted the often overlooked graphic imagery adorning these mass-market publications from eventual weathered wrappings to large-scale reinterpretations of the genre by way of oil committed to canvas. Burns’ paintings present bright and bold snapshots of erotically posed females frozen in action amidst alien backdrops and science-fiction-esque scenarios of equivocal intent, juxtaposing the quick and the languid while aiming to elicit feelings of mystery, intrigue and tension among their viewers.
Megan Burns is a Queens-based artist who grew up on the south side of Chicago. She received her MFA from Yale University in 2005 and a BA in 2003 from Sarah Lawrence where she studied art history and film theory. Her previous exhibitions with The Proposition include the solo shows Agents of C.L.O.N.E. (2007) and Virago (2008), in addition to the group shows Five Years: 2002-2007 (2007) and Above the Trendy, the Down and Out (2005).
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Ancient Sci-fi Update
January 22 - March 13, 2011
Megan Burns, Pavel Kraus