Kirk Hopper Fine Art presents Lee Baxter Davis and James Surls: "Drawings" opening reception
Kirk Hopper Fine Art will present a major exhibition of drawings by Lee Baxter Davis and James Surls. Combining some 50 works on paper and spanning from 1979 to the present, it is the first time the two protean Texas artists have been paired in a gallery show. For Davis and Surls, the landmark event comes full circle from the formative period of their lives to the latter years of their prodigious art careers.
Skilled storytellers, Davis and Surls have thought deeply about the forces, spiritual and otherwise, that connect people. Over the decades, they have created drawings that put everything on the table, pouring into a melting pot of personal and universal images. In doing so, they opt for a raw, fragmentary art that embodies their divergent points of view, as well as the ambiguities, contradictions and dislocations of this age of insecurity. From the outset, the drawings lay bare basic links between the human body, human existence and nature. Some works investigate the notion of identity and metamorphosis, a kind of reassembling of the spirit, the mind, the body and the drawing itself. Others suggest a role for art in the world and a set of problems for it to address, works that bring with them a sense of contingency, of quirks and commotions of our daily lives. All of them, however, convey an overwhelming sense of obsessions; it’s as if they had to be made according to some intensely personal urge or interior force.
Confronting these drawings, audiences sense the recurrent longing for a return to something more deeply rooted, to something seemingly earlier and hence primal. Their attention to both the micro and macroscopic aspects of the world and their intuitive sense of those relationships, their rejection of barriers and boundaries, their commitment to a wide range of sources, has generated two distinct bodies of art that elude easy classification. Davis and Surls have created their own universes, according to their own special visions. At KHFA, you enter these worlds at your own peril. There may be aspects of life, of psychological and theological wounds, you would prefer not to know, and you will have to trade a former state of innocence for a new and complex awareness of unsettling forms and dissonant images. But in such worlds there is wondrous and erotic beauty.
Following the opening reception, the exhibit will be on view through July 2.