Fredericks & Freiser is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by David Humphrey. Arms of the Law takes the police as its principal subject. Originally inspired by images seen on the television show Body Cam the work has expanded to embrace a variety of points of view, including confrontations between protesters and armed law enforcement officers. Humphrey applies his wide-ranging genre-mixing (abstraction, pop-surrealism and photo-derived representation) to the paradoxical challenge of making works with authority and power committed to questioning authority and power.
Authority’s gesture, the task of the violence worker (police), is to neutralize agency, to stop a person in their tracks; to arrest their ability to move. The cop’s task is to produce and distribute violence in the name of order; but the disorder that results often serves authority’s purpose just as well by “proving” the necessity for increased state violence. What kind of power can a painted image have? Like the police, a painting arrests motion, but in the service of poetic freedom. The application of an abstracting, formalized artifice can produce both a reflective distance for the viewer and an intense embodied presence that challenges detachment. A space is provided for sustained associative regard and a charged urgency. Some of these works fuse militarized police with neutralized citizens into a monstrous hybrid, a dynamic liquid whole in a space littered with trash and painterly affect.
This show continues Humphrey’s forty-year commitment to making formally inventive, psycho-socially engaged paintings and sculpture and is accompanied by a 290 page monograph by Davy Lauterbach, with additional texts by Lytle Shaw, Wayne Koestenbaum, Humphrey himself and an interview with Jennifer Coates (published by Fredericks & Freiser and distributed by D.A.P).
About the Artist
David Humphrey (b. 1955) has been the subject of 44 solo exhibitions including McKee Gallery, NY; Sikkema Jenkins, NY; Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami; and Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati. Most recently, he is currently in the exhibition Good Pictures, Curated by Austin Lee at Deitch Projects. His work is in the collections of several museums and public collections including Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as well as the Saatchi Gallery, London. He is currently teaching in the MFA program of Columbia. He was awarded the Rome Prize in 2008. This will be Humphrey’s fifth solo exhibition at Fredericks & Freiser.
Fredericks & Freiser is located at 536 West 24th Street, New York, NY. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am - 6pm. During the COVID 19 pandemic, capacity will be limited, large groups will not be accommodated, and private appointments can be made for individual viewing. For more information, please contact us by phone: (212) 633 6555, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit us on Instagram, @fredericksandfreiser.