Friday, December 12, 2014

Hearne on Conteh, Palmer's 'Bitter Medicines and Sweet Poisons'

Posted By on Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Charly Palmer's "Shine," mixed media
  • Charly Palmer's "Shine," mixed media
Garbo Hearne will lead a gallery tour Saturday and Sunday of the current exhibit at Hearne Fine Art, "Bitter Medicines and Sweet Poisons," assemblages by Alfred Conteh and Charly Palmer. Both are nationally known artists whose works comment on the African-American experience. 

With his assemblages, painted in stark white, Conteh says he "examines the systemic apathy that multitudes of African Americans actualize and perpetuate, both historically and presently."

These assemblages juxtapose nostalgic, ideological imagery with sobering symbology, which ultimately exposes the pitfalls and rewards of making life-altering choices. The psychological, religious, social, political and economic diagnoses that this series examines is indeed an indictment of the black status quo, but it is my belief that the honest deconstruction of the toxins that plague black folks contains the foundation for formulating the cure."

Palmer often uses a stained-glass style setting to his work to suggest a certain sacred feel for the subject matter. He paints not only about the denial of rights to blacks, but the cruelties to Jews and Native Americans. He says this of the work in this exhibition:

"The objective of this body of work is to study the all-American ideals and examine social content and situations which cannot be excluded from the narrative, of what is authentic and wholly American. These paintings on washboards may include a range of topics from sports, music, and entertainment to politics, racism, and apple pie. The ultimate goal is to leave no stone unturned, nor under-scrutinized."

Join Hearne at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14 at the gallery, 1001 Wright Ave.

click to enlarge Conteh's "Split (Comfort Food)," wood, acrylic, epoxy dough, Eps foam, aqua resin, epoxy resin, steel wire.
  • Conteh's "Split (Comfort Food)," wood, acrylic, epoxy dough, Eps foam, aqua resin, epoxy resin, steel wire.

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