Work while it is day… For when night cometh no man can work. If you can find the quality time, run over to Dunn and Brown Contemporary to see Trenton’s latest chapter of his ongoing saga about devious Vegans and harmless Mounds in an ambitious installation. This coming week is your final chance, because Saturday, October 23, is the last day of this exhibit.
I first encountered Trenton at his very first solo exhibit, Off Colored, at Gerald Peters Gallery here in Dallas back in 1998. This exhibit had been a collection of about 20 of Mr. Hancock’s most recent autobiographical works, what he called “regurgitations of the things that I have seen and heard” as a black male. And it was from this show that I purchased one of his works on paper which I will be showing you later on in this post. It will show you how far he’s evolved it the last twelve years. My piece is very simple compared to what he’s creating now.
But first let me show you a sampling of his current show.
To explain this extraordinary show, I can’t do any better than what Dunn and Brown had already provided in their press release:
With paintings, works on paper, and wall text, Hancock unveils the fourth and final stage of the St. Sesom and Vegan saga as they meet their end. In lieu of fully rendered Vegan figures and Mounds in lush gardens, the paintings and works on paper depict ghostly, bony limbs, dismembered heads, and grim gravestone forms. In this final installment, the colorless Vegans encounter death and the story of St. Sesom and the Cult of Color comes to a close. To reiterate this theme, Hancock has installed a coffin in the center of the Project Gallery floor, symbolizing the death of one story but perhaps hinting at the birth of a new chapter. Constructed from his grandfather’s dresser drawers, Color Coffin is filled with brightly colored caps from everyday items to give color and hope to a moment of death. Also included in this exhibition are several self portraits of the artist. For Hancock, the self-deprecating portraits give personal insight which has been seldom visible in previous bodies of work. Before, Hancock’s work centered itself around the narrative of St. Sesom with a focus on developing each character. Now, he places himself in the spotlight and suggests a new direction for his work.
Now I’d like to show you the piece that I own:
Above is my very own piece by Trenton Doyle Hancock which I purchased in 1998 from his first solo show. Looking at this, you can see the tremendous contrast to what he is producing now. Quite an evolution. It now resides in my kitchen next to the range, but don’t worry. It’s not getting messed up by my haphazard way of preparing food. That gray shadow on the side is more than likely Trenton’s footprint. If I remember correctly, he use to kind of toss them around on the floor of his studio, and that’s where they stayed until the gallery representative came along to rescue them. There’s all kind of unknown mysterious droppings on it.