Marianne Boesky Gallery presents an independent exhibition of new work by Forrest Kirk with the exhibition « A Villain’s Origin Story ». For this presentation, artist Forrest Kirk presents a collection of seven artworks that analyze Black American encounters in the past and how these narratives might converge with the present.

Depicting elements of Aspen’s particular history, Forrest uses the material and structure to invite the viewer to engage with important discussions of the subject at different times. « A Villain’s Origin Story » is on view through September 12, 2022 in the Marianne Boesky Gallery spaces.

For the artist, analyzing the tensions that arise from force structures is essential to her art. As a starting point for this exhibition, Forrest examined the historical context of the « années calmes » in Aspen, a period marked by monetary recession, hardship, and population decline in the district beginning in the late 1800s. Specifically, he focused on the story of one Aspen resident, Hannibal Brown. Through interviews collected between 1893 and 1947 in the book Aspen: « The Quiet Years », Forrest discovered that Brown was the only person of color recorded in Aspen for an extended period of time during this period of the city’s experiences.

 Forrest Kirk presents « A Villain’s Origin Story » at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in Aspen, USA
A Villain’s Origin Story (Installation View)
Marianne Boesky Gallery, Aspen, CO 2021
Photo credit: Tony Prikryl

For « A Villain’s Origin Story », Forrest focuses on this sense of isolation and its possible psychological impacts, consolidating references to previous occasions with the lived experience.

The use of narrative and the materials in progress are generally linked and receive an equal charge in his creation. In « A Villain’s Origin Story », Forrest focuses on the use of Gorilla Glue, a material he has used throughout his practice to achieve the sculptural dimensions and striking surfaces of his works.

For example, the beginning of the exhibition shows an image of Hannibal Brown holding and playing with a bird. To bring out this naivety, Forrest applies basic paste lines to the material that do not converge with the paint spaces. This enhancement of narrative and slow development of the medium is apparent throughout the exhibition. In the resulting paintings, for example the works « Hannibal » or « Drink the Koolaid », more experienced images of the hero are joined by a created use of paste, which the artist merges with layers of paint to frame the raised lines of her characters.

The story concludes with « Dreaming for Revenge », the final image of a seemingly broken legend, where thin layers of paste are spread with paint to create rich fields of shadow. These ongoing exchanges of materials, authentic account references, and current discussions are central to the artist’s work, allowing questions to be raised about the effect of social relationships.

Forrest Kirk

 Forrest Kirk presents « A Villain’s Origin Story » at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in Aspen, USA
Fist 30, 2021
Acrylic, spray paint, and gorilla glue
60 × 48 in
152.4 × 121.9 cm
© Forrest Kirk

Forrest Kirk lives and works in Los Angeles. He studied at California State University, Los Angeles and has invested energy in thinking about classical painting strategies in a studio in Paris, France.

Forrest has been featured in exhibitions including at Hauser Wirth Gallery, Blum and Poe Gallery, Gavlak Gallery. He is in numerous private collections and foundations such as the Hammer Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Santa Barbara. Forrest was also recently awarded the Academy of Art and Letters New York – Artist Purchase Award.

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