Last week I went to Mira Schor’s lively talk, “Voice and Speech,” at American University, where she discussed one of my favorite topics: painting, writing and how the two fit together in an art practice. I’m looking forward to her upcoming show at Marvelli. It opens on March 29 and will be her first solo at a NY gallery in several years. While on campus, I met faculty members Tim Doud and Zoë Charlton, both of whom had recently returned from sabbatical. Their work, which reveals mad drawing skills, is on display at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center through March 18.
For “Paladins and Tourists,” a series of graphite and gouache drawings, Charlton
put an ad on the internet seeking male models with
athletic bodies. When the volunteers came to the studio, Charlton, a
small, boyish African American woman with long, perky dreadlocks, found it hard
to figure them out on the basis of their looks. “Some explained
causes—Water for Africa, Live Strong, and other
convictions, representing themselves as paladins,” Charlton explained.
“Others, in their
limited real life experience with ethnic or racial diversity, were overt
about their fascination with otherness. They revealed themselves to be
cultural tourists.” She drew them larger than life, (hilariously) increasing the size
of their dicks and adding small accouterments like water bottles, sun
visors, African jewelry, and shoulder bags that show a little bit
about who they revealed themselves to be in the course of the drawing
In Tim Doud’s work the figures are fully clothed–he’s interested in the way the traditional portrait functions. For the first series presented (images below), Doud worked with a single model who made all decisions about costume, pose and and even the titles of the individual paintings. In “Blue,” a larger series of self-portraits hung in a grid formation (above), Doud worked on all of the paintings at the same time. In each, the pose remains the same, but the details, such as the patterns of the blue shirts, eyeglasses and background colors change. Doud was scheduled for a solo show at Priska Juschka, but since the gallery is in the process of relocating, the dates haven’t been decided.
“Regaining Our Faculties: Zoë Charlton, Tim Doud, Deborah Kahn, and Luis Manuel Cravo Silva,” American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Through March 18, 2012.
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