Brett Amory, “This Too Shall Pass”
Friday, September 15, 2017, 6-8pm
Dates: September 15 – October 21
Gallery Hours: Wed-Saturday, 12-5 and by appointment.
This Too Shall Pass is one of Amory’s largest installations featuring a typical all American house that utilizes black, white, and gray to cast a shadow on the color of the very notion of the American Dream.
In addition to this large installation, the show’s paintings, sculptures and video installation, investigates the concepts of the American Dream and extrapolates out to the birth, death and rebirth of a society.
Through personal introspection, Amory not only challenges the notions of the downfall and rebuilding of a nation but looks inwardly to address personal rebirth and growth through introspection, self-exploration and challenges of and learning from our own internal struggles.
Amory challenges the notion of the American Dream, the idea of resiliency, and the concepts of civic failure and success. He addresses his own internal personal struggles by shining a light on such myths as Remus and Romulus. Amory carries on the tradition of passing along the torch of mythology in contemporary terms.
Some may remember how the American Dream and 1950s post-war optimism were characterized by television shows such as Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver, both epitomizing the superficial nature and embodiment of “the American Dream.”
Amory’s use of symbolism serves to ignite memories, and conversations of community, and separation.
This show attempts to expose how past cultural decisions have shaped the present and how present decisions will influence the future of our communities.
Under the façade of the success and beauty of what was portrayed in the 1950’s, racism, sexism and homophobia were prominent beliefs.
What does it mean, in 2017, to hear that we are going to “make America great again”? Does that mean that we are going to turn back the hands of time to 1950’s era conservative philosophies?
This installation is intended to serves as a contemplation about America’s struggles and victories. Amory’s sculptural use of colorful flowers shines light on the determination to rise above negative circumstances and surmount improbable circumstances (be they natural disasters or man-made catastrophes).
Will the people espousing reactionary ideals, that want to turn back the hands of time and return us to a society of a black and white bygone era actually make America great again?
Will the unification and galvanization of progressives brought about as the result of the current election steer us toward a society full of color?
What is the American Dream? What is personal growth? How do we rectify our own personal struggles within the context of societal and internal struggles?
Amory attempts to present these questions and to promote both reflection and conversation.
Brett Amory gained broad recognition for his ongoing series “Waiting” (2001–), depicting anonymous commuters he encountered in urban settings; it was lauded for its psychological depth and representations of alienation in contemporary society. These paintings are based on photographs taken by the artist, who explained he was drawn to subjects who appeared out of place, alienated, or awkward. In the more recent paintings from the series, Amory began to eliminate parts of the architecture or scenery to heighten the sense of isolation. He paints in a realist style characterized by gestural brushwork and the use of translucent layers of paint for a hazy effect; his palette is muted and tends towards contrasts of dark and light. While his influences vary, Amory has said that the New Topographics have been an influence, for their similar pursuit of capturing beauty in the everyday and overlooked. Amory has had solo shows locally nationally and internationally, and is currently showing at the Jonathon Levine Gallery in New York, and has shown with Lazarides in London, and the Hashimoto Gallery in SF. Amory was a recent artist in resident at the De Young Museum in SF.