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, testosterone-driven 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 monochromatic sepia-toned palette, Rathman's work depicts ghostly silhouettes of ambiguous gunslingers 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 struggling for sovereignty from their dusty tension-filled environments. The effect 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 contrasting 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" revisits 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.