Jack Balas, OverRide
Rude GalleryWednesday, May 21st to Wednesday, Jul 9th
OverRide May 21 - July 9, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 22, 6-8 p.m.
Gallery Hours: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday
The Exhibition: In OverRide, the male figure has taken center stage to be presented as everyman. Subjects in Balas’ work reach beyond the fleeting surface idealization associated with youth and poke into such timeless ideas as truth, beauty, faith, time, the infinite, what we learn, and what we know. Balas believes that in an era where political and spiritual leaders assert that they have all the answers, art has the capacity to imagine otherwise by offering some transcendent spark to bridge the gap between intent and form, and between idea and the evidence of life.
The works presented in OverRide put aside seamless spaces in favor of multiple and disjunctive ones. At the same time, Balas displays his interest in mapmaking and the idea of the document. Since 2002 he has numbered his pieces sequentially and sometimes stamped them with the dates during which they were created; perhaps in an attempt to keep track of time, but also, perhaps, to consider that experience is cumulative and overlapping, embellished over the course of days and enriched by simultaneous, if discordant, ideas.
Balas’ works are annotated with words or images that, when compiled into a book or exhibition or globe, suggest reading from left to right, right to left, upside-down or inside-out. The artist strives to make images that are memorable, not only via their stylistic variety, but also for the symbolic territory that they flag. Balas offers viewers a kind of map where they take responsibility for building bridges across the middle ground between images and ideas. While Balas may intentionally lay out a map for viewers, the artist cannot guess where each person will choose to go or which route they take, further echoing the parallel of Balas’ works and the unpredictability of everyday life.
About the Artist: Balas’ work encompasses painting and photography, as well as the occasional work in sculpture, writing and mixed media. His art includes a variety of landscape imagery and constructed environments, and the male figure, whose presence has come to the forefront as muse and subject.
Balas’ work is in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He has received an Individual Fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Creative Fellowship award from the Colorado Council on the Arts & Humanities, and an Artist-in-Residence award at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver. His solo project Jack Balas: American Man was shown internationally at the Ego Gallery in Barcelona, Spain and the Scope-Basel art fair in Basel, Switzerland. His solo project We’ll Be Seeing You appeared in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver and Jack Balas: Tattoo Detour/The Main Event appeared in L2 Kontemporary in Los Angeles. Balas is originally from Chicago and received his graduate degree in sculpture from Northern Illinois University.
At top: Jack Balas, True detail courtesy of the artist.