Joe Coleman: AutoPortrait opens at Dickinson Gallery on October 28, 2010

Photo: Katharine Gates

October 28-December 22 2010

NEW YORK—Dickinson is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Brooklyn-based painter Joe Coleman.

The Artist:
Coleman’s portraits create complete biographies by surrounding their subjects with interweavings of minuscule images and explanatory text. Artist and viewer embark on exploratory excavations of the subject’s life through the painting. Coleman’s jewel-box approach means that one experiences the paintings afresh at each viewing, uncovering ever more details and nuances that were previously undetected. An admirer of Northern artists such as Bosch, Brueghel and Grunewald, Coleman employs the same attention to detail and delicate sense of scale, utilizing dual and single haired brushes in conjunction with magnifying lenses to create his refined masterpieces. Like those artists, Coleman also displays a propensity for the gruesome and grisly and often attempts to both dissect and glorify the terrible in many of his paintings, unmasking with brutal honesty the truth of human nature.

The Exhibition:
Centering around a full-length self-portrait, the artist's largest and most ambitious painting to date, AUTO-PORTRAIT is an exhibition of new work which provides a fascinating insight into the life of this artist. Depicting himself almost life-size, this portrait is set against the usual tapestry of minuscule portraits and scenes from the artist’s life, presenting the viewer with captivating insights into the enigmatic artist at its center.

Around this large-scale composition will be a series of small, religious icons. Painting on 'found' folding dyptichs and tryptichs, coleman has produced a group of family portraits, self portraits, and highly personal subjects, with the intensity of religious icons. The devotional format not only gives each picture a sense of veneration, but also references Coleman's long-professed obsession with early renaissance painting.

Auto-biography has long been the focus of Joe Coleman's painting, and this new body of work represents the artist's most personal and intimate group of paintings to date. None of the works in the show have been previously exhibited or published.

A fully illustrated catalog will accompany the exhibition.