Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to present Amused Loon, an exhibition of new paintings by the Portland, Oregon-based artist Damon Soule.
In more than twenty-five small to medium-sized works on wood and on paper, Soule depicts details from fantastic realms or geometrically abstract environments. Like screen "grabs" from a video game, these small views into otherworldly spaces explode with pattern, virtuosic manipulations of perspective, and lively colors. The carefully cropped details hint at larger dimensions and drama beyond the picture plane, heightening the feeling of optical tension. They also suggest a parallel with "virtual space" and the collective sensation in the Internet Age of worlds just beyond our fingertips.
References from Buckminster Fuller to Bridget Riley to Julie Mehretu inform Soule's deft evocation of geometric space, where causeways of built-up pattern course through fantastic atmospheres of spattering fluids, blocky bric-a-brac, and graceful ribbon filigrees. Often resolving around a central image of an explosion or implosion, these essentially abstract works are a kitschy homage to design and pattern forebears as well as celebrations of today's obsession with industrial and digital design and urban street art. As leitmotif, the explosion central to most of Soule's work is a winking jab at contemporary culture's seeming need for a violent payoff. An "amused loon" (anagram of the artist's name), Soule both shares and critiques the trend.
Originally from New Orleans, Damon Soule studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon. He cofounded FIT skateboards and Civilian Clothing in 1996, both early platforms for his art. Lacksadayscycle, a solo exhibition of his work, appeared at Lineage Gallery in Philadelphia in 2007. Since 2000, Soule's paintings and drawings have been featured in group exhibitions in San Francisco at 111 Minna Gallery, White Walls, Punch Gallery, Southern Exposure Gallery, Rizzoli Gallery, Culture Cache, New Langton Arts (I Dart SF, 2003) and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (Outside Art, 2002). Recent shows also include New Works by Oliver Vernon and Damon Soule at BLVD Gallery, Seattle (2007); Green Art Exhibition at Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica (2007); and Stories From the Wonderland at Dorothy Circus Gallery, Rome, Italy (2008). Joshua Liner established Joshua Liner Gallery in New York City's Chelsea district in 2008. Building on the success of his former, Philadelphia-based Lineage Gallery, Joshua Liner's Chelsea space introduces an exciting roster of young and emerging artists from the West and East coasts, Asia, and Europe.