James Cohen Gallery brought Houston,TX based Artist Trenton Doyle Hancock into Brooklyn this past fall. It’s his 6th solo show with James Cohen titled “Pandemic Pentameter”. He is known for his bright colors and large scale comic bookesque figurative paintings. I knew I had to go to this show to finally see a large group of his works in person for the first time.
True to his reputation, the gallery space was filled with predominantly bright colorful painting narratives.
What is great about art openings is watching the artist interact with their audience. Trenton was calm and friendly, wearing a colorful plaid t-shirt and jeans, engaging with viewers and taking pictures with fans. True to his reputation, the gallery space was filled with predominantly bright colorful paintings. Personally I prefer his monochromatic work. His color compositions seem cluttered at times but his black and white pieces are void of the color confusion. I think that allows his imagined narrative to shine through more specifically.
Trenton Doyle Hancock’s use of bright color and objects in his paintings gives off a playful, childlike energy. There were moments where I imagined a child with some crayons and paint, with glue and toys making art. That is the magic in his work, the playful nostalgia coupled with some dramatic adult overtones such as sex,death, or patriarchy.
It was as if a child used letter magnets on the fridge to say something profound.
I find how he straddles the line between intuitive free flowing color and technically refined skills in painting and drawing to be very impressive. There is a fearlessness to his presentation of ideas. I can definitely appreciate when an artist isn’t scared to express their creativity. My favorite moment had to be the rainbow colored text above a painting that said “CORONATION”. 2 letters hanging above, if switched make the word “COLORATION”. It was as if a child used letter magnets on the fridge to say something profound.
I may have had too high expectations for the show. I appreciate his ideas and talent but I left wanting to understand more about his narratives. There were definitely great moments, but also some confusing ones. What did you think about the show? Which work was most interesting to you? Leave comments, and rate the show with stars bellow.
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