My American Dream
April 26 - May 25, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, April 26, 6-8 pm
Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present My American Dream, an installation of new paintings by Keith Mayerson.
My American Dream is a non-linear narrative series of paintings that tell a story of contemporary America through a sequence of representational and abstract imagery. Inspired by avant-garde theater, prose poetry, independent comics, the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and Brian Wilson's Smile, Mayerson takes the viewer on a journey through his vision of the United States. The show features representational paintings that address the current historical moment (the rising support for gay marriage, the first black president), America's past via cultural icons (the bald eagle, James Dean), and power and patriotism (twilight views from Rockefeller Center and the Statue of Liberty.) The show also includes Mayerson's abstract "Iconscapes". These paintings show how figurative works break into abstraction, and how in these works, as one concentrates on the imagery, figures appear- ultimately helping to make the experience of viewing these works a journey through the heart of our America.
The exhibition begins with an image of Obama and his family on the eve of his re-election (as depicted on the front page of The New York Times), and ends with a painting of the artist's family watching television in bed from 1970 (the only "appropriated" image in the show). Inspired by Manet and Monet, who made paintings which were both political and personal as well as painterly, each painting takes us deeper on a journey through the American (un-)consciousness. From iconic images of New York City, to scenes from Fairmount, Indiana (the hometown and resting place of James Dean), to California (where Mayerson has a cabin home with his husband) and finally to his family back in time in Colorado, the exhibition reflects a cosmological panorama of the artist's life, influences, and aspirations. Seen together as a narrative, My American Dream is ultimately not just the story of the artist, but of the American psyche at the beginning of the 21st Century: struggling, but hopeful, ascending forward to realize the ideals of liberty and equality.
Keith Mayerson has professionally exhibited his art in galleries and museums since 1993. His exhibitions are often installations of images that create larger narratives. Each work is imbued with allegorical content that relates to the world, yet allows through its formal nuances for the transcendent and sublime. The works stand on their own for form and content, but like a prose poem of images on walls, experienced in context the images as a series, the viewer creates the ultimate meaning for the installations.
Keith Mayerson was a Semiotics and Studio Art major at Brown University, and received his MFA from University of California, Irvine 1993. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Los Angles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C., and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He lives and works in New York City. This will be his sixth solo exhibition with the gallery.
Derek Eller Gallery is located at 615 West 27th Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues. Hours are Tuesday - Saturday from 11am - 6pm. For further information or visuals, please contact the gallery at 212.206.6411or visit www.derekeller.com