…….Adam Baumgold Gallery presents an exhibition of 100 intimately scaled graphite on vellum drawings by Renée French from her new graphic novel “h day1″ as well as recent portrait drawings from December 7 – January 15, 2011. This is Renee French’s first New York solo exhibition.
…….”h day” is the story of the artist’s struggles with migraine headaches and ant infestation elaborated in an overlapping visceral narrative. Drawings of physical sensations alternate with drawings of interior fantasy, and demonstrate the state of the body manifesting in the mind. One story is set in an interior landscape of monoliths and waterways, and details the quest of a dog shaped shadow’s return to a safe place. Simultaneously, facing pages contain a flipbook animation of a body attacked and debilitated by something from within itself. Lyrical, oblique and beautiful imagery of defilement, searching, and escape tell a story that is both simple and rooted in the deepest part of the psyche.
…….French’s drawing “h day 3.22″ shows a gift that has attacked its recipient. Ants leak out of a wrapped bundle and cover the hapless dog. The moment of surprise is frozen and seems inevitable, like the return of a familiar illness. The soft, warm darkness of the tiny drawing has a subliminal power to menace and comfort. These drawings that are 5″ x 4” or smaller are executed with an immaculate skill and feathery, fuzzy modulated touch. In these works French “shows her command of pillowy pencil textures and viscerally alarming imagery.2”
…….Portraits such as “hoodygirl” examine in intimate detail a cast of characters that are equally cute and grotesque. French captures the pain of being awkward and her figures are often wrapped, bandaged, pierced, scarred, lopsided, or otherwise damaged. French’s drawings “tend to split the difference between adorable and horrifically gross 3” and feature the particular, the individual rather than the ideal. …….Renée French’s previous books include “the ticking,” “micrographica,” “edison steelhead’s lost portfolio,” “the soap lady” and “marbles in my underpants.” Her comics have been published in numerous anthologies and periodicals since the early 1990s. French lives and works in Silicon Valley, CA and Sydney, Australia.
…….The gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 to 5:30 P.M. The gallery will be closed from Dec. 23 – Jan. 1. For additional information please contact Adam Baumgold at (212)861-7338 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. A preview of the exhibition can be viewed at www.adambaumgoldgallery.com.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.