GEORGANNE DEEN, THE DRAMATIC UPHEAVAL + ULTIMATE FALL OF THE STATUS QUO
March 6 – April 30, 2009
We are delighted to present Georganne Deen in her second solo-exhibition at VAN HORN.
Georganne Deen shows new, strangely beautiful, cryptical and eerie paintings.
Also in these new pieces Deen adresses, in her own indirect and highly headstrong way, Americas evolution and actual condition.
This regards Deen’s personal history as well as political, spiritual, amouros, cultural and medicinal stories. The complexity of Deen’s paintings is fascinating, they are visually rich and one has to look intently to discover this wealth.Their strength lies in withdrawing from purely intellectual interpretation and unfolding their full allurement through simple stopping and looking.
Deen’s work is rooted in american underground-, music-, and comic-culture and in her dealing with the personal story of her life, as it is shared by many people of her generation: growing up in the suburbs of the american west in the 50ties and 60ties. In her paintings she finds allegories for this common past. She invents utterly beautiful, bad, poetic and mean images for the
“devils and gods” of the USA. As all allegories, also Deens are subject to an iconographic system, as in each individual series again and again specific symbols emerge, which become more distinct with each picture. Her paintings assume the form of a somehow old-fashioned, anti-naturalistic genre, which she uses especially because the allegoric form is so effective in telling stories containing images, symbols and texts.
Georganne Deen *1951, Texas, lives and works reclusively in Los Angeles. Her works were exhibited a.o. in 2008 in Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Germany; Kunstmuseum Luzern/Collection Ringier, Switzerland and Amy Smith-Stewart, New York. Her works are represented in outstanding international collections
THE DRAMATIC UPHEAVAL + ULTIMATE FALL OF THE STATUS QUO
A TEXT BY GEORGANNE DEEN ON THE OCCASION OF HER EXHIBITION AT VAN HORN IN 2009
Many of the artists I know have no idea how their work emerges. They can describe some “process” at best but the actual THING, loaded with meaning and life, is a mystery that can’t be understood – never mind putting it into words. Likewise I am at a loss for words, as language would fail to account for the things that occur, transcending intellectual activity while making art.
The signature piece of this exhibition, The Dramatic Upheaval & Ultimate Fall of the Status Quo, is loaded with symbols and is easily assimilated by the consciousness but when translated into language it breaks apart. It has several layers of interpretation: one is ominously political, another, tragically cultural, while another is deeply spiritual, but above all of that intellectual activity is this: She is a Force of Nature. If you regard the details – they speak quite clearly for themselves.
The painting called Turned Out I was actually Searching for GOD has as it’s theme, the ridiculous, insane and sublime things which are done in an attempt to merge with a higher vibration of energy. This could’ve been a painting of anything, because I believe that we are always seeking to upgrade our lives even if it’s over-eating or shopping or shooting our stupid classmates dead or snorting cocaine or planting a garden. The urge to bring an end to the madness and chaos has infinite expressions – most of them are preposterous.
Without exception, none of the younger Americans could understand the meaning of Easter Break. What was once the second biggest Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Christ, is now simply a vacation for school children called “Spring Break”. The older ones use it as an occasion to run off to foreign countries, get into a drunken &/or drugged up state, tear off their clothes and openly fornicate with each other. No one has ever mentioned that this could have something to do with the repression visited upon them by Christianity in the first place. The lack of regard or respect for the mores and customs of the country in which it is committed, often invites violence, turning it into a tragedy. It’s part of the collective shame we Americans are forced to share.
The Mammogram: an oscillation of my dueling hemispheres. The longing to merge with animal grace, zero self-consciousness and total command of my instincts versus the longing to civilize these wild compulsive behaviors which I continually fail to bring under control. A part of the proceeds of it’s sale go to the Hospice of the EVK in Düsseldorf.
The Now Voyagers
Let go, Daddy. We’re finished.
I can’t, Baby
You have to – there’s no choice.
You have to, Darling.
I can’t. As long as I have the strength to hold you
and look at you for one more millisecond
It is The Eternal Now.
My experience has been that the more one interfaces with the unknown, the more mysteries come forth from the depths of our lives. Usually something, someone or an event forces us to interface because the unknown is so frightening. According to the ancient Indian philosophy known as the VEDA, this is how nature maintains balance. The Vedic world is sustained by three forces: creation, maintenance and destruction. When Maintenance won’t yield to change, won’t “Let Go” it begins to lose its relevance and attracts the attention of the Destruction Operator who will remove it from the playfield. Sometimes I feel like that operator – a pathogen to society. Other times, I am its unwilling victim.
There is a species of Sea Horse that is now virtually extinct. They say it was over harvested, sold to tourists as curios and used in youth serums. I have made a small painting on an old edition of The Coral Islands, of what I think it may have looked like. The proceeds of its sale go to P.E.T.A. Germany, an organization that protects and defends the rights of animals. The project is dedicated to Fairy Belle.