• One by One: Wes Lang

    July 20 – 25, 2021

  • Almine Rech is pleased to share One by One: Wes Lang, the eight installment of One by One, Almine Rech's series of exclusive online viewing rooms dedicated to extraordinary individual artworks.

     

    This is Happiness (2019) demonstrates Lang’s ability to reference historical narratives or utopian visions without presenting an explicit narrative in the work itself. This large-scale canvas, on view now in the gallery's viewing room, includes imagery of ritual death and dance masks, buffalo heads, Native American vessels -- whose emptiness and openness are nods to the philosophy of the Tao -- and as always, a smattering of skulls and skeletons; totems pointing to the always fleeting urgency of one's mission which have been present in compositions from day one.


  •  


  •  

  • Over the last several decades, artist Wes Lang has been honing his craft involving, amongst other things, a tireless, obsessive mining of a post-pop American landscape. A great many of the artist’s influences are a  function of a distinct autobiographical experience with certain exceptions; the  indigenous American as well as other totems of the American West, and  painters and sculptors from middle of last century such as Twombly, Guston, Kline, Mitchell, Bacon dove-tailing on up to the more contemporary such as Basquiat, Kippenberger, and Mike Kelley.

  • Lang is known for creating surfaces that sizzle; bombastic mélanges often brimming with elegantly rendered, still rough-around-the-edges imagery of grim reapers, Indian chiefs, fallen country music icons, sultry seductresses, long lost folk legends, dead authors, motorcycles, roses and other flora, birds, horses, all of which jockey for prominence within compositions sewn together (and resolved) by cryptic scrawls with a bittersweet vernacular resonate of Ram Dass and the Tao by way of the edge of the universe.

    Despite its varied iconography, Lang is forthright that his work, at its heart, exists entirely within the autobiographical; the time-tested objective correlative wherein the artist’s expression is a kind of funhouse mirror of both an internal life and an external quest.

  • Certainly, part of how he achieves this fire walk is by retaining the readily  apparent possibility of vulnerability which isn’t always the case with artists who traffic in popular visual colloquiums.

    Other larger scale canvases include ritual death and dance masks, buffalo heads, native American vessels -- whose emptiness and openness are nods to the philosophy of the Tao --and as always, a smattering of skulls and skeletons; totems pointing to the always fleeting urgency of one’s mission which have been present in compositions from day one.

    - Arty Nelson


  •  


  •  

     

    For more information please contact us at inquiries@alminerech.com