Artist: Kyle Thurman
Venue: CENTRAL FINE, Miami
Exhibition Title: Heard Through Bone
Date: March 15 – April 16, 2020
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of CENTRAL FINE, Miami
Didactics and oppression, hand in hand, hands and feet tied underwater, make sure that the importance of being comfortable in an airless environment is understood. Learning how to be drown-proof and how to endure forced suffocation and extreme control, emphasizes our possibility of collapse. It’s as if one is being monitored or micromanaged by the insecurity of the gaze that insists on exposing internalized bullying tactics while masking them through the watery lens of Stable Ambiguity.
In this exhibition, Kyle Thurman renders bodies emerging from other bodies, bodies under water, others under pressure, colliding with one another; many of them are bound. In Miami, where water indicates a literal rising danger and an illustration of denial, this presentation could seem site-specific, and yet, it isn’t necessarily so. This body of work further develops Thurman’s Suggested Occupations series, exhibited since 2016 at Off Vendome, Central Fine, Sophie Tappeiner, The Whitney Museum of American Art; and most recently, at David Lewis in New York.
In this unsettling series, labor, the narratives of emancipation, the erotic, and their associations, all merge into predetermined colored backgrounds, permeating the bodies drawn and painted on them. Thurman mentioned that a type of presence, that manifests itself through pigment, appears in these works. It could be a materiality that rests, colors, and up to a certain point, defines the drawn men. This undefined presence, both a skin or a cloud, coats the works in full ambiguity and possibility.
In Heard Through Bone, by re-presenting men from images found online, Thurman’s work may point towards self-portraiture as analysis, as a means of exercising a type of accountability while observing tasks and various levels of accumulated pressure. This is a pressure deposited on us (and by us, I mean to include biodiversity, all species and systems, whatever; as everything must obey and endure. Adapt and untie itself from itself and learn to accept impotence as a productive force against the backdrop of nothingness).
How to perceive through our own inner solidity, our bones, and our organism’s limits? How to prepare for extreme scenarios? One can hear oneself, muffled by water and the insanity of the invisible, yet palpable, weight. The weight of the word/world, of orders, of jobs that vampirize youth in tension, at its productive peak. An old hand molding through waves, crushing time.
– Diego Singh, March 2019
This is kyle thurman’s second solo exhibition at Central Fine. He was recently included in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, curated by Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley. His works are now in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art.