David Richard Gallery will present an exhibition surveying the range of text and language-based art by Allan Graham (a.k.a Toadhouse) in his first solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition, Any Position Limits the View (We Are Only Here For A Spell).
The presentation will feature many different ways in which Allan Graham has deconstructed the English language over the past thirty years of his career by literally envisaging words, phrases and concepts using the words themselves as the visual language. Canvas and oil paint, handmade paper, graphite, ink, toilet paper rolls and rubber plungers are his varied supports and media. Sometimes the words are presented in standard fonts, other times cursive text streams across the page to create abstract images that become visualizations of phrases such as “Chance Forming On the Edge Of Need” and “Why Forming In An Is Universe.” His latest paintings are comprised of four letter words written with no spaces and the letters stacked in quadrants, two over two. Initially, the viewer sees a pattern in black and white, some purely geometric and others a bit more anthropomorphic depending upon the grouping of letters, but then the actual word emerges through the abstraction. Through his work the viewer realizes language is an abstraction, both in the way it is spoken and written. The meaning and power of language is not only in the content of the chosen word, but more in the context in which it is delivered and even then, subject to personal interpretation.
Also featured will be Add-Verse, a two part collaborative project between Gloria Graham, Allan Graham and twenty-five poets produced during 2003 to 2005. The video portion is comprised of a montage of 3 to 5 minute segments of each poet reading their own poetry in their natural setting with just their hands and the text from which they are reading captured on video. It is a seamless loop with no interruption or introduction between the poets to produce one continuous poem. Also presented are spontaneous photographs of each poet taken during their individual readings that measure 24 x 24 inches square in black and white. The featured poets who collaborated on the project include: Jimmy Santiago Baca, Mei mei Berssenbrugge, Maxine Chernoff, Wanda Coleman, Clark Coolidge, Robert Creeley, Diane Di Prima, Vincent Ferrini, Gene Frumkin, Barbara Guest, Lyn Hejinian, Jane Hirshfield, Anselm Hollo, Paul Hoover, Joanne Kyger, Nathaniel Mackey, Jackson Mac Low, Michael McClure, Harryette Mullen, V. B. Price, Carl Rakosi, Tom Raworth, Arthur Sze, Anne Waldman and John Yau.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by the poet, art critic and historian John Yau.
Allan Graham’s studio practice includes painting, drawing and sculpture in a variety of media and his artwork has been exhibited and collected internationally. He has had numerous solo exhibitions and artwork work included in group exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Tucson, Dallas, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Rome and Varese, Italy, Lugano, Switzerland and Dusseldorf, Germany among other cities. His art is included in the permanent collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY), Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza (Varese, IT), The Panza Collection, Museo Cantonale d’ Arte (Lugano, Switzerland), High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA), Museum of Fine Arts (Santa Fe, NM), University Of New Mexico Art Museum (Albuquerque), Albuquerque Museum (NM), Denver Art Museum (CO), Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery at U. Of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE), Roswell Museum and Art Center (NM), Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, NY), and Blanton Museum of Art at University of Texas (Austin, TX). Allan Graham was born in San Francisco, CA. He studied at the University of New Mexico, San Francisco Art Institute and San Jose State University and was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts in 1985 and a Pollock Krasner grant in 2012. He currently lives and works in New Mexico.