John Altoon "The Astonishing Works of John Altoon"


poster for John Altoon "The Astonishing Works of John Altoon"

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The exhibition at Nyehaus brings together 11 paintings and a boatload of drawings. The artistic purge that these two means of expression satisfy have a symbiotic symmetry. Altoon was very prolific, releasing drawings like a nervous tick. Twitching. Water from a (his) hose. The nervous energy of his line veils the virtuosity of his draftsmanship; Velocity and diabolical mischief apparent in every gesture. Content and style always in interlocking lustful embrace.

The paintings. Molasses. Amber like in the way they encase light in their under-paint. The palette an irreconcilable combination of dark nature and incandescent pastels; linseed oil sucked out. Acarcass in the desert. And these crazy animals; cows, roosters, pigs, zebras (?) The most minimal of detail rendered with cocky naiveté in stark contrast to the blackness of the gut wrenching humor in his drawings. Drawing and painting. Ying and yang? Or nuclear fusion causing the heart to atomize from the ecstasy and soul sucking pain? Both in equal doses. That is John Altoon.

-Tim Nye, 2010



from May 07, 2010 to June 19, 2010


John Altoon

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