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Indepth Arts News:

"Wild Choir: Cinematic Portraits by Jeremy Blake"
2007-10-27 until 2008-03-02
Corcoran Gallery of Art
Washington, DC, USA

Wild Choir: Cinematic Portraits by Jeremy Blake at the Corcoran Gallery of Art features Blake’s two completed psychological pop portraits: Reading Ossie Clark (2003), a study of “Swinging London’s” preeminent fashion designer (late 1960s-early 1970s) as seen through the pages of his wild and colorful stream-of-consciousness diaries; and Sodium Fox (2005), a collaboration with David Berman, the poet and frontman of the rock band Silver Jews. The exhibition also includes material related to Glitterbest, Blake’s last portrait project, which remains unfinished. What was to be the third work in the series, Glitterbest is a portrait of and collaboration with Malcolm McLaren, the legendary and highly influential British fashion designer, boutique entrepreneur, punk rock band manager (Sex Pistols, New York Dolls, Bow Wow Wow, and Adam and the Ants), and cultural impresario. Wild Choir will be on view at the Corcoran from October 27, 2007 through March 2, 2008.

Blake's (1971–2007) lush digital videos combine representational and abstract imagery in the service of visual narratives that are dreamy, historical, and richly psychological. Renowned for his shimmering, hallucinogenic “moving paintings,” which loop seamlessly without beginning or end, Blake was influenced as much by Hollywood culture as by the history of modernism. His coolly expressive digital and painted abstractions are slick, non-linear ruminations on topics as wide-ranging as reality television, vernacular architecture, mid-century Colorfield painting, the megamall, and the superchurch.

Blake’s cinematic video portraits are the final developments in a career that consistently challenged distinctions between painting, photography, and computer and video art. For these last works, Blake turned to portraiture, plumbing the life, imagination, and aesthetic vision of three extraordinary artists. He honored his subjects’ achievements through an innovative form that is its own contribution to the history of art.

IMAGE
Jeremy Blake,
Working still from Glitterbest, 2006,
digital video and sound,
Courtesy Kinz, Tillou + Feigen, New York


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