James Croak: A Survey
December 12, 2020 – January 10, 2021
Saturday, December 12, 2 to 6 PM
Mask required, limited number of people allowed in gallery at one time
MM FINE ART
4 North Main Street
Southampton, NY 11968
MM Fine Art Gallery is pleased to mount the first East End solo show of James Croak, a widely collected and published American artist. During Croak’s long career he has shown in a dozen countries and is published in thirty-two art and critical theory books, including surveys by Phaidon, Harpers, and a monograph by Harry N. Abrams. Our survey show includes major works from private collections not seen in public in over twenty years.
Croak works in series, often in unusual materials, and we are showing examples of his Dirt Man series, the Dirt Baby series, and Window series all made of cast dirt. The included New Skins for the Coming Monstrosities were a media sensation in 1995 predicting pandemics, censorship, and school shootings. This work has not been shown in twenty-five years.
Central to the show is Croak’s version of Antonio Lopez Garcia’s Hombre y Mujer (1969-84). In Croak’s 1999 version he uses his trademark “cast dirt” (dirt with binder) and improves on the age consistency of the two figures, his material provides a resonance not achieved with Lopez-Garcia’s wood carving.
Croak’s seminal Wolf on Books is on display for the first time in two decades. Western philosophers associate the non-predictive wolf as the antithesis of organizing one’s thought according to enlightenment philosophy. Such was the theme of Deleuze and Guattari’s “One or Several Wolves,” and other contemporary texts.
Shown for the first time is Croak’s classical life-size sculpture of Marcel Duchamp playing chess. This cast sculpture entitled The Democracy of Objects shows Duchamp, the inventor of both pop art and conceptual art, in his real life day-job as a chess master, but instead playing with the great sculptures of the 20th century, all of which were reinterpreted in lieu of his insights.
As digital cameras displaced film Croak observed many cameras could shoot in the dark, opening up the other half of the day. Here we show some of his The Other Twelve Hours series of night landscape photographs.
We hope you will join us for this innovative and compelling exhibition.
Winter hours: Monday, 11am to 5pm; Friday & Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm; Sunday, 12 to 4 pm