APRIL 10 - MAY 10, 2008
Cavin-Morris Gallery is pleased to announce our upcoming exhibition “Chthonic Youth.” The artists represented are all living and many have been with the gallery since its inception. Gregory Van Maanen and Keith Goodhart have been working with us the longest, while Lidia Syroka will be presenting with us for the first time. She is the only artist in the exhibition who is not self-taught.
These artists are our peer group. Their work has kept us on the path we have been traveling since 1980, in looking for the kinds of work that straddles multiple cultures and flirts with various styles of transgression. We have grown up in the same world together, they have become our friends sharing many mutual inspirations.
When Gregory Van Maanen first brought his startlingly vivid work into the gallery, he told us his subject matter of skulls and transcendence had been off-putting to every dealer who had previously seen it by telling him it was too ‘much' for their 'folk art' collectors. Keith Goodhart left his urban upbringing and made his bricolage sculptures about freedom and oppression during the slow winters on his sheep ranch in Montana. Kevin Sampson's complex sculptures taught us about the mutability possible in miniaturizing, and bringing inside the entire concept of the African-American yard show. Christine Sefalosha's work charts the three-tier aspect of a shamanistic worldview; the underworld, the earth, and the celestial skies. Sandra Sheehy crafts an intricate and pulsing microscopic forms through her use of embroidery, beading, and thread; while Chris Hipkiss demonstrated to us an amazing observation of nature containing overt political tones in his uniquely provocative drawings. Sabhan Adam electrified us with his scenes of enigmatically ecstatic anger; while Zdenek Kosek and Lubos Plny worked in codes and ciphers that biologically reconfigured the logos of the world, proving to us over again that Art Brut is very much still in existence and thriving. Lidia Syroka, between her wanderings in Tibet and Mongolia makes drawings that are tightly packed layers of sewn and distressed paper to explore the tensions of the alchemical bonding between the body and spirit.
The showing of this group of artists together today not only charts a map of where our fascinations have been, but where they are, and where they still have to go. We are honored to share this aspect of these artists' lives with the art viewing public.