Nine Patriotic Hymns for Children
Violette’s references to different subcultures or other real-life stories of the dark side of American culture are often hidden behind the more formal aspects of the work.
Galerie Thaddeus Ropac is pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition of works on paper by New York artist, banks Violette.
Banks Violette is most well known for his sculptures and large-scale installations that often explore subcultural communities, in a stark, enigmatic yet minimal aesthetics. Violette’s references to different subcultures or other real-life stories of the dark side of American culture are often hidden behind the more formal aspects of the work.
The viewer, who engages in a theatrical relationship to the installations – often made of metal, mirror, neon, varnish and glass – is also charged with unearthing an array of uneasy truths contained in the sculpture.
For this exhibition, Violette has borrowed the title, Nine Patriotic Hymns for Children, from the 1991 LP of American hardcore punk band, Born Against, known for their radical leftist politics. The graphite drawings, presented on the first floor of the gallery, develop many of the themes already present in his oeuvre, namely ideas of violence, destruction, excess, loss and despair.
The work titled Poison Idea (2011) is a portrait of Jesus taken from hardcore punk band Poison Idea’s front cover album, which featured another “king”, Elvis Presley on the back cover.
A completely new aspect of Violette’s work comprises giving a sculptural dimension to his drawings by creating hand-made frames, whilst other drawings will be mounted on sheets of aluminum and propped against the wall.
Banks Violette was born in 1973 in Ithaca, New York; he lives and works in Brooklyn. He received his MFA from Columbia University in 2000 and previously studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He has had important solo exhibitions including the Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth, Texas (2008); the Kunsthalle in Bergen, Norway (2007); and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (2005). He has also participated in major group shows at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and at the Palais de Tokyo in 2008. And in 2006, at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich; the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt; the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam.