HESSE FLATOW is pleased to present Duh, an exhibition of paintings by Kevin Ford, marking his first solo presentation with the gallery.
Duh is a nod to the seemingly obvious subjects Ford captures in this selection of
paintings. These are objects we see so frequently, appearing in the backgrounds
of our lives and pictures, that their presence loses meaning. Ford is determined to find value in these objects, and through his nuanced paint handling, he transforms the obvious into the exotic.
The content of the work resides in the collision of the what and how of visual experience—not only what is seen, but also the act of seeing itself. Ford draws on a wide array of visual traditions and histories as he explores the very immediate act of looking. A strange sense of reality permeates these paintings, residing in the tension between documentation and unintelligibility. The mist that enshrouds the subjects obscures their familiarity and awakens the imagination.
Each painting is devoted to a single motif and the sequence of images is part of an inventory of a sensory universe. Objects emerge and dissolve as they are seen, experienced, internalized, and remembered. A loose narrative is conjured, encouraging our eyes and brains to make connections—however seemingly tenuous—between disparate images.
Ford's paintings seem to oscillate between analog and digital worlds, acknowledging the pervasiveness of digital technology and the ways it increasingly shapes our consciousness. While at once handmade with a sensitive touch, their soft edges and bright colors recall the low resolution and limited palettes of images made with obsolete digital painting programs.
Duh is also an emphatic response in the affirmative. These paintings are an invitation to remain curious about the visible world and pull us back toward the pleasures waiting for us in real life if we give it our full attention.
Kevin Ford (b. 1975, Stamford, CT) has had solo exhibitions at 12.26 Gallery, Dallas, TX; Semiose Galerie, Paris, FR; Kate Werble Gallery, New York, NY; and at Tops Gallery, Memphis, TN. Ford’s work has been included in group exhibitions at The Center for Maine Contemporary Art, ME; Marquee Projects, NY; Inman Gallery, TX; Reyes-Finn, MI; Casey Kaplan, NY; Allen Gallery, NY; The Islip Art Museum, NY; Tops Gallery, TN and elsewhere. He has recently completed a papermaking project with Dieu Donné paper and was an artist in residence at the Chateau d’Orquevaux in Champagne-Ardenne France. His work has been reviewed in Artforum, The New York Times, Two Coats of Paint, Burnaway, as well as other publications. He has been featured in V Magazine, Serendipity Magazine, and is included in the book Artists II, published by Steidl. He currently lives and works in Connecticut.