BROOKLYN ARTIST BRIAN ALFRED EXPLORES THE INFLUENCE AND LIMITATIONS OF PUBLIC IMAGERY
Brian Alfred: It’s Already the End of the World opens in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery September 21, 2012
Frist Center for the Visual Arts’ Gordon Contemporary Artists
Project Gallery will feature works by Brooklyn-based video artist and
painter Brian Alfred. The exhibition, entitled Brian Alfred:
It’s Already the End of the World, will be on view from
September 21, 2012, through January 13, 2013.
Featuring over 20 paintings and three video works, It’s Already the End of the World explores how public imagery—newspapers, photographs, advertisements, television, and the Internet—shapes our perceptions through the judicious framing of information. In his animations, which are produced by mixing found images and film footage with his own paintings and collages, Alfred addresses invisible forces at work in society, from covert subversion and revolution to the erosion of personal rights and an increase in government surveillance.
"Fragmented scenes in Alfred’s paintings and video animations remind us how public mediums may only show a glimpse of a greater picture," says Frist Center Chief Curator Mark Scala. "One is left with the sense that pertinent information has been cropped out or ideas flattened to conform to an accepted ideology at the exclusion of alternative narratives."
Featuring harmonious color relationships, abstract forms, and a technique in which the sense of human touch or brushstroke is suppressed, Alfred’s works coolly depict subjects ranging from architecture and technology to instances of social upheaval and human heroism. In his video animation It’s Already the End of the World, a montage of painterly vignettes follows the narrative of an apparently normal day that ends in an allusion to nuclear destruction. "This sequence is rendered in an impassive, even seductive tone that seems at odds with the apocalyptic theme," notes Mr. Scala. "References to pop culture, especially music posters and cartoons, offer a clarity that is punctuated by the disturbing content that dwells under the colorful surface."
Also included in the exhibition is a selection from Alfred’s series of 333 portraits, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, which maps the many diverse creative influences who act on the artist. Including visual renderings of other artists, writers, musicians and politicians of significance to Alfred, the series presents a departure from the artist’s previous work by focusing on the creative individual within society. "The faces are meant to evoke our awareness of the subjects’ life’s work and how it might relate to Alfred’s," says Mr. Scala, "while reminding us that we all exist in a network of creative influences and ideas."
About Brian Alfred
Brian Alfred lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Born in Pittsburgh in 1974, he went on to earn a B.F.A. in painting from Penn State University (1997) and an M.F.A. from Yale University (1999), and also attended the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting in Madison, Maine. He has exhibited widely internationally, including solo exhibitions at Haunch of Venison Gallery, London, New York, and Berlin; Mary Boone Gallery, New York; Max Protetch Gallery, New York; SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo, Japan; and the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Ariz. Alfred has received awards and grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the New York Foundation of the Arts, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. His work is included in many collections around the world including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, Calif.
Brian Alfred: It’s Already the End of the World is organized by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery Exhibition Sponsor:
Raymond James / Morgan Keegan
The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is supported in part by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commision, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Related Public Programs
Saturday, November 10
Kids Club: POW: Cartoon City!
10:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m.
Meet in the Upper-Level foyer of the Frist Center
Registration is required: call 615.744.3357 to make your reservation.
Designed for 5–10 year olds, the Frist Center Kids Club offers exciting opportunities for children to discover, explore, and create art. Free membership includes a Kids Club card, rewards for participation, hands-on activities in the Martin ArtQuest Gallery, and monthly projects in the art studios. Featured activity: Inspired by the exhibition Brian Alfred: It’s Already the End of the World, be your own architect and create a colorful cartoon city collage using construction paper, magazine images, and other fun materials.
Tuesday, December 11
12:00 p.m. ARTini: Brian Alfred: It’s Already the End of the World Meet at gallery entrance
Gallery admission required; members free
Are you curious about art? Do you want to learn more about the content and concepts behind an artist’s work? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then the ARTini program is for you! ARTinis are designed for everyone—from the novice to the connoisseur—and include informal and insightful conversations that offer a deeper understanding of one or two works of art in an exhibition.
Join Mark Scala, chief curator at the Frist Center, as he leads an informal conversation about some of the works included in the exhibition Brian Alfred: It’s Already the End of the World.
About the Frist Center
Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., is an art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, regional, U.S. and international sources in a program of changing exhibitions. The Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery features interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions. Gallery admission to the Frist Center is free for visitors 18 and younger and to Frist Center members. Frist Center admission is $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for seniors, military and college students with ID. College students are admitted free Thursday and Friday evenings (with the exception of Frist Fridays), 5–9 p.m. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservation by calling (615) 744-3247.The Frist Center is open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. and Sundays, 1–5:30 p.m., with the Frist Center Café opening at noon. Additional information is available by calling (615) 244-3340 or by visiting our Web site at www.fristcenter.org.