June 23 - July 28, 2018
Opening Reception: June 23, 6-8pm
Rudolph Blume Fine Art / ArtScan Gallery announces a summer exhibition featuring new works from artist Daniel Heimbinder.
Composed of stacked absurd figurative contradictions, this body of work harkens back to Heimbinder’s totemic watercolor style of the early 2000s. He calls on his mental archive of literature, follies, and fables, and then mashes them up to undermine and frustrate each other. This exhibition titled Magic Island is the artist’s interpretation of a society that exists solely within their own narratives depicting a place with few shared stories whose citizens’ minds are enmeshed with streaming input, and yet can completely ignore unpleasant narratives and the contradictions that come with it. Heimbinder paints these stories in an absurd and decorative way, a form that calls to mind the style of aristocratic grotesques. Although his ideas are broad, relevant, and wide-reaching in terms of our world today, what makes this exhibition unique is its specificity to Houston, a city the artist admires and calls home. The paintings embody the sprawl and disconnectedness of Houston; its vastness, its magic islands, and perhaps also speak to the artist’s own feeling of disconnectedness.
“In the aftermath of Harvey and the highs and lows Houston has experienced over the past year, these drawings bring some iconic cult-followed Houston institutions, ideas, and figures forward offering a bit of absurdity and hopefully some levity,” says Gallery Director Volker Eisele.
While this is one of Heimbinder’s first Houston-centric shows, it’s not a topic he’s shied away from in the past. Heimbinder’s love of Houston runs deep. In a recent Wired article, New York Times journalist Jon Mooallem recalls Heimbinder’s work from the 90’s and captures the essence of what patrons might expect to see at the show, “It showed Spider-Man slinging webs over a tangle of freeways and skyscrapers. Its title was The Ubermensch vs. Houston. In a civilization that's shrugged off God, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, an Ubermensch (literally: superman) operates within his own morality, striving for greatness no matter how it might be misunderstood or reviled by the masses. Heimbinder recently explained to me that he'd always seen Houston, his home city, as a kind of civic Ubermensch: a municipality without zoning ordinances, expanding only in accordance with its own whims. He remembers wanting to see these two rogues-the web-slinging superhero and the sprawl-slinging city-pitted against each other.”