D a n F l a n a g a n - T h e W i g g l e s
a solo exhibition of paintings
No.4 Studio is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new paintings by Dan Flanagan. Flanagan’s paintings are abstracted bodily representations: monochromatic, sinuous line drawings, made with layers of translucent acrylic paint built up on unprimed linen.
The imagery that comprises starting points for the paintings is sexual: pubes, penises, the legs of bent over woman, nipples and navels. However, the paintings are abstract, playful, and pretty, more than they are aggressive. The bush becomes a calligraphic field of florescent pink or green; the outlines of six cocks are angled up but not really erect. The “Peen,” in a big canvas and a related print, is definitely a flaccid member; in “Pussy Man,” the outlines of labia and inner thighs morph, visually, into a stick figure. A line drawing based on Goya’s “Saturn Devouring his Son,” also looks like masturbatory cunnilingus. It’s sex, but Flanagan is not waving a dick in our face.
Dan Flanagan began these monochromatic line-based paintings two years ago, when a friend noticed his doodles on a big dry erase board, and encouraged him to bring that style, and the subject matter (a naked girl and a gun), into his real work. Born in 1983 in Madison, Wisconsin, Flanagan studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, the Chautauqua Institution School of Art, and the New York Studio School. Influential teachers included Stanley Lewis, Barbara Grossman, and Glenn Goldberg. After graduating from Kansas City, Flanagan lived in Indonesia, and was the subject of a 2009 exhibition at the Museum Dan Tanah Liat, Bantul. His work of this period included expressionist portraits of specific people, and compositions with androgynous, avatar-like figures, coupled, grouped, or in crowd formations. These figures often look ashamed – cowering or covering themselves.
Flanagan describes his new work, in contrast, as about total exposure. They are an investigation of the most primary ingredients: What does it mean to make a line? What does it look like when two people touch? These questions become the foundation for the exhibition’s title, “The Wiggles”— a nod to the Australian children’s music band — but also, our humanity captured in awkward, imperfect, goofy movement. Flanagan also makes short avant-garde animation films; this was his primary medium as an artist between 2011-14. Flanagan’s paintings were shown in a 2015 exhibition at Outlet Fine Art, and have been included in several group exhibitions at No.4 Studio.
Dan Flanagan, “The Wiggles,” is the fifth show in the inaugural season of exhibitions at No.4 Studio, a Bushwick space operated by Steven Gaviño.
On view 20 May to 19 June 2016.