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 session.
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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