Opening Reception: May 4, 6-8p
Mark Moore Gallery proudly presents Hope I’m Never That Wrong Again, a solo exhibition of recent
watercolor paintings by gallery artist David Rathman. Heralded for his critical analysis of masculine
iconography, the artist has gravitated towards maverick characters such as athletes, rock stars, race
car drivers, and ranchers. After numerous years of exploring the concept of the American cowboy,
Rathman's subject matter is slated to evolve after this last look into the mysterious, testosteronedriven
psyche of the wild west. Along with an array of new watercolors, the exhibition will also
feature Rathman’s latest video project entitled, "Strange Arithmetic."
In a monochomatic sepia-toned palette, Rathman's work depicts ghostly silhousettes of ambigious
gun-slingers in Stetsons riding their trusty steeds across a barren landscape. Reminiscent of old
shoddy film stills, the loose qualities of his painting technique evoke a shadowy nostalgia culled from
pooling whiskey on an aging oak tabletop. Lonely as they seem, these romanticized figures of the
past seem at home within the environments that echo their existence; hazy and ephemeral through
the eyes of the viewer. Oftentimes these human mirages fuse into their backgrounds, as if stuggling
for soverneignty from their dusty tension-filled enviornments. The affect is one of haunting
wistfulness for the historical narratives associated with “manifest destiny,” or for the fictionalized
storytelling of Hollywood cinema as remembered by a young child. Rendered in the constrasting
depth and frailty of watercolor, Rathman’s cowboy vignettes grapple with notions of sexuality, faith,
mortality and melancholy. Similarly, Rathman's second video work debuts after eighteen months
and four collaborators. "Strange Arithmetic" revists the artist's reminiscent panoramas in the form of
a moving narrative—complete with foreboding soundtrack. In tandem with the video, the paintings
appear as stills from an enduring adventure fraught with yearning and peril – an astute allegory for
the modern plight of male selfhood.
Rathman (b. 1958) received his BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MN). He has
exhibited as such institutions as Larissa Goldston Gallery (NY), Contemporary Arts Museum (TX),
Walker Art Center (MN), Arts Center of St. Petersburg (FL) and Mary Goldman Gallery (CA). His
work is featured in fifteen public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art (NY),
J. Paul Getty Museum (CA) and the Art Institute of Chicago (IL), to name a few. Rathman will be
the subject of a career survey at the Rochester Art Center (MN) opening September 21, 2013.
Rathman is also represented by Larissa Goldston Gallery (NY). He lives and works in Minneapolis.