NEW YORK, N.Y..- Anna Zorina Gallery
is now presenting "A Few Good Men", Patty Horings third solo exhibition with the gallery. The show, that began on December 1st and will continue through January 21st, 2023, features the artists latest series of paintings and sculptures that depict her humanist view of modern masculinity. This latest body of work is comprised mainly of portraits of fathers actively engaged as caregivers to their children, while a selection are of individual men who appear to be visibly comfortable in their own skin, just being.
Excerpted commentary from On a Few Good Men by artist Michael Stamm
"A Few Good Men" reminds us that the goodness of men is an unstable property with a questionable relationship to power. Horings work further suggests that being a decent man, often but not always in the form of being a good father, is not the successful completion of a grand project, but an ongoing and complicated practice of deconstructing stereotypes and refusing the patriarchal tradition of power over. This practice, she suggests, is found more often in the everyday moments and organic, unmonumental poses she highlights in her paintings, whose straightforwardness and humility more properly read as an intelligent and confident repudiation of the idea that a good man is a heroic figure deserving a gilded portrait and that the struggle to grapple with complexity of manhood is, however difficult and degrading, a heroic act. Certainly, we have not ever hesitated to ask mothers both to be good and to be good at being good. That so many of the fathers in Horings paintings avert their gaze toward their children is crucial to what I perceive to be the overall thesis of the show: that being a good man, for most, is not a self-aggrandizing identity one claims and projects outward but a skeptical redirection of attention and power away from oneself in service of caring for another.
.Horings paintings are instructive. She resourcefully mines the traditions of figurative painting to visualize a world in which men existing autonomously no longer means having the most power. The everyday spaces, often domestic, that these men respectfully inhabit reimagines the relationship between figure and background. Here, what is outside of the male subject determines rather than illustrates the impress of his subjectivity. No longer do we need the grand scale of monuments and mythology to prescribe ideas about power. Small visual cues will do. One man smiles phlegmatically while his cat stomps on him in search of a snack. Another man defangs the visual contrast of his dark masculine silhouette to the pastel room in which he sits with a peaceful expression. A third mans tattoos, literally marks of self-identification, compete with the pattern on the wallpaper. Or does it harmonize in a newly non-hierarchical formalism? Either way, the capacity to theorize and analogize using only elemental visual properties, here as sameness and difference, is the mark of a thoughtful, controlled painter.
While these paintings visualize new negotiations of power within portraiture, it would be a mistake to say these men themselves are powerless or inauthentic subjects. Certainly, it is powerful to be depicted as exactly who you consent to be. And if someone with less power can responsibly instrumentalize your archetype, maybe you have a moral responsibility to let them. Horing does exactly this, carefully posing the male subject to remind us that, yes, within every man, as in every person, is someone who is capable of being peaceful, domestic, caring, self-reflective, personable. And that to be this way is an act of dignity rather than of concession.
PATTY HORING received her BA from Brown University, MA in English Literature from NYU, and MFA from The New York Academy of Art. Notable exhibitions include the solo show Patty Horing: On The Inside" at Black Wall Street Gallery, New York City, and group shows Hospitality Suite, at Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami, Florida; About Face at the Southampton Art Center, New York and the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition showcase at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. She co-curated the group exhibition SIT STILL: Self-Portraits in the Age of Distraction alongside Deborah Brown at Anna Zorina Gallery in June 2020. Patty Horing has been been featured in notable publications including New American Paintings, Artnet News, Quiet Lunch, Create! Magazine and W Magazine.
MICHAEL STAMM, writer of the essay On A Few Good Men, received his BA from Wesleyan University, MA in English Literature from Columbia University, and MFA from New York University. The artist's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions in New York at DC Moore Gallery and Thierry Goldberg and in Los Angeles at Shulamit Nazarian.
For further information, please contact Marie Nyquist at 212-243-2100,
or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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