Arnold Mesches: <i>Selections from Anomie</i> in the news

posted by Annie on 10 October 2010 at 5:17 PM | Link


Arnold Mesches' show at the Frost, Selections from Anomie, 1492-2006 received a brief but powerful review in the Knight Arts Blog. Read the review

The show was also reviewed in the Miami Herald. Here's an excerpt:

In the next room is a show, Selections from Anomie 1492-2006, that covers the 65-year career of Arnold Mesches, an artist and teacher. Damian calls Mesches, whose works are in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum and the Hirschhorn, ``a painter's painter,'' and Mesches' enormous paintings, all angry reds and surreal juxtapositions, brings to mind the work of German multimedia artist Anselm Kiefer.

Although he has exhibited at the stomping grounds of the young and post-ironic, PSI Contemporary in New York, Mesches is old enough to use anomie in the old-fashioned sense of the word, a moral void that's to be avoided -- not the typical current construction. These days, anomie usually applies to the cinematic dissipation of Bret Easton Ellis characters, having endless sex and drugs and being attractively bored.

Mesches skips back and forth over all kinds of historical terrain. Rising above Columbus' ships in 1492 is a hillside graveyard, littered with great art objects reduced to lawn ornaments, Michaelangelo's David on equal footing with Princess Di figurines and Christ camp. In Anomie 1991: True Blue, three chortling clowns are juxtaposed with marching troops, the piece exploring the winged victory nonsense around the end of the first Gulf War. Of course, that all came back around to bite us on the behind, bearing out Nietzsche's theory of life being one long eternal repetition. Mesches is not about to go gently into even-handed whimsy: You have to respect his sheer insanity and venom, raging against whatever machines might be handy. Read more

While attending Mesches' opening at the Frost, artist John Sanchez discovered that one of his paintings, part of the Frost's permanent collection, is also on view on the second floor, right across from two works by Peter Paul Rubens. Sanchez is in very good company!