Gregory Van Maanen "The Wolf Returns"
This event has ended.
"Gregory Van Maanen has always been my cornerstone of authenticity in the art world. In that his work is so totally tuned in to the world, he has always put the lie to the word 'outsider'. I have watched the art whores court him when his work was ‘in style’ and watched him resist the perfume, and then take no bullets when the ‘look’ swung the other way. I have watched people from the Caribbean, Africa and Mexico grin in pleasure at his imagery while the more Eurocentric backed off from the skulls and sexuality. I have seen him use the pictorial language he made up for himself and change the words around, make new sentences of dark and cosmic musicality. He never for a moment wavered or shied away from the hard truths of the songs he has chosen to sing, the indigo poetry of the heart, the body, death and the surreal shapeshifting required to move around in the afterworld.
The major body of his past work, with the visionary help of curator Leslie Umberger, is now in the collection of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. He moved away from Paterson and his physical life changed. His studio, his charms, his amulets, his memories, his imprint on the ghost world of Paterson was shifted to another place and he took it in stride, accompanied by his wife, and went to this new empty place, thought, paced, smoked, bit the ennui bloodily by its throat, and slowly, then faster and faster began to fill that space with his visual stories again. This is an exhibition of new and smaller works, the first since his move. These are very personal works, forming a journal of vision and personal history.
He is the same wolf as ever, although now there is more silver on his back. He and his wife have a feral fierce love, which protects and supports his vision without changing it. His paintings still refuse compromise. His medicine search still moves restlessly through the forest of the soul."
-From the catalog essay, The Wolf Survives, by Randall Morris
from September 09, 2010 to October 16, 2010
Opening Reception on 2010-09-09 from 18:00 to 20:00