Opening Reception: Thursday, January 5, 6–8pm
Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new surrealistic landscape drawings and paintings by David Dupuis entitled A Country Far Away As Health. In his diaristic works, Dupuis uses color pencil, graphite, acrylic, and collage to depict a world that was, that is, and that could be. For this show, his subject is a remote, rural area on the coast of Puget Sound where he lived from 1975-1982.
While developing a body of work during the pandemic lockdown, Dupuis began unpacking his memories of this coastal environment, fueled by dread that the current health crisis and unchecked urban sprawl would prevent him from ever truly experiencing it again. He explains:
“I didn’t work from photographs, as I didn’t really have any. Photos from Google were useless. The landscape had left a strong impression on me, and I worked from those memories, because they seemed more accurate. I wanted to capture the feeling of the wet bark of the trees. The dark forests, cold mist, and rain. And when the sun made a rare appearance, the strong heat from it contrasted with the icy cold waters of Puget Sound. Wild blackberries. Camping on deserted beaches. Getting drunk or taking mushrooms. Beach fires, cooking on camp stoves. Being wary of Sasquatch. Regular earthquakes. Five active volcanoes.”
Additionally, Dupuis had the realization that climate change had also likely wreaked havoc on the fragile, exquisite landscape that he had known and loved, yet another reason to believe that his memories would be all that remained. The works on paper function as testaments to these memories, as well as a means of personal escape, from the cruelties of the world: sickness and disease, urban blight, deterioration of the planet. “Making art,“ writes Dupuis, “is a way for me to engage with these unpleasantries and still remain somewhat sane”.
David Dupuis (b.1959) lives and works in New York, NY). His work was included in Jack Pierson: Tomorrow's Man at the University Galleries of University of Nevada, Reno; I Was a Double, curated by Ian Berry and David Lang at The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Galleries, Saratoga Springs, NY; Utopia/Dystopia: Construction and Destruction in Photography and Collage, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX; It's Always Summer on the Inside, organized by Dan McCarthy, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, NY; B-Out, curated by Scott Hug, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY. His work is included in a number of museum collections including the Morgan Library, the Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Hammer Museum, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. This will be his tenth solo exhibition at the gallery.