Opening Reception For The Artist- July 14, 2012 7PM-11PM
Re:View Contemporary Gallery , Detroit
First Solo Exhibit In Detroit In Over 8 Years
(Detroit, MI) As a world renown painter and co-founder of the seminal proto-punk art collective, Destroy All Monsters (With Jim Shaw and the late Mike Kelley and) and then as the gorgeous and haunting chanteuse for the musical extenuation of DAM and Dark Carnival with her then partner, Stooges guitar icon, Ron Asheton, Niagara's impact on Detroit Art and music has been profound.
A painter of noir vignettes in a comics-styled setting has been her métier for two decades, starring the kind of woman every man wants, but every mother dreads.
She has in a big way, helped pave the road for Detroit's emergence as an important art town over the last 30 years.
"Do your damnedest in an ostentatious manner all of the time"
-George S Patton
Niagara's estrogen empowered - and more often than not, un PC "Niagara Girls" have forged an indelible imprint on the visual art world, with a Detroit centric attitude and have been exhibited worldwide to critical acclaim in galleries from Japan to Berlin to Paris and in every major city in North America.
But on Saturday, July 14th at 7PM, Niagara returns to Detroit for an exhibit of new work at Re:View Contemporary Gallery entitled, "War Paint"
"War Paint" is her first solo exhibit in her hometown in over 8 years, and it is arguably her most mature and confident work ever. In this exhibit Niagara explores the roles of women during wartime, specifically World War II, in her trademark Comic Panel narrative style -which as befitting a Niagara, will be jam packed with color, attitude and wit. It is still about power, beauty and violence, but this time it's in the "morally acceptable" theater of war.
Heavily influenced by her interest in war history and the leadership and charisma that entail this delicate dynamic of morality and carnage, the subject is not too far from her previous mercenary femmes fatale and beautiful miscreants whose femininity has never been an obstacle in wreaking havoc upon their enemies.
While the theme of war is implicitly alluded to, there is a much more subtle and personal element as well to War Paint. 2012 finds us at war with our ourselves, economically as well as politically and socially- especially women who have to battle men for equal wages and power- this conflict is a never ending tautology and this conflict has never been lost on this artist.
There will be approximately 8-10 never before seen works in "War Paint" as well as a selection of prints and items from her fashion work.
Coming off an eventful year where the iconic painter was honored and singled out for her groundbreaking work with Destroy All Monsters last November in Los Angeles at Prism Gallery (The Return Of The Repressed) http://bfanyc.com/home/event/2467 , had 3 books which included her work published (one more titled, "Detroit's Greatest Female Artists" by author Suzanne Bilek published by History Press -August 2012) and has graced the pages of Art Forum, Art News and Juxtapoz, he has also made a huge splash here and abroad with clothing designs with Detroit's Pink Pump and the uber trendy Japanese Fashion House, Hysteric Glamour- and also as a model of unmistakable beauty.
Click to see Niagara and Courtney Love's photo shoot highlights for Hysteric Glamour here. http://www.hystericglamour.jp/top.php
Often erroneously categorized as a "Pop" artist, Niagara's work actually defies categorization. Yes, her style and genre are of the pure Comic/Cartoon aesthetic (The most prominent- and pervasive art form of the last Century) Niagara uses her "panel style" narratives to concisely express a raw emotional nerve in uncompromising terms. Color reverberates the emotion and her deftness of line implies control, these seemingly disparate elements create pure 21st Century drama, wit and beauty all rolled up in one canvas.
The history of war has long been an obsession of the artist, and it's this compelling other that focuses the typical "Niagara Girl's" normal nihilistic potential for mayhem and violence into a much more utilitarian way- as a soldier. The War series runs the gamut on the use of color. The officers are bold and colorful even Marlena Dietrich makes a cameo in "Treat Em' Rough Boys" while the enlisted gals are armed and set in fields of what can only be called "Camouflaged Expressionism", backgrounds that are subtle yet metaphoric analogies on the insane abstract concept of war itself.
A Punk Rock legend, a world-renowned painter, a fashion force and an eternal beauty.
If that doesn't intrigue you, I'll just quote a seminal Niagara Destroy All Monsters lyric. " I love you- but you're dead."
War Paint runs through August 4th.
Re:View Contemporary Gallery
444 W. Willis Street
Detroit, MI 48201
Thursday- Saturday, Noon - 6 p.m.
Or by appointment.