Exhibition: April 4th, closing May 2nd, 2009
Opening: Saturday April 4th, 2009 7-9:30PM
Gallery Walk Opening: Saturday April 11th, 2009 7-10PM
After a quick glimpse of his talent in "Group Show: An Intro…", 101/Exhibit is thrilled to present a comprehensive look at Charles Pfhal's seductive -and disturbing- personal imagery through the display of a well thought selection of the artist's extensive production. Over 20 pieces will give account of the artist's work, which can be found at Winterman Museum, the Columbus Museum of Art and Oprah Winfrey's private collection.
Heir to John Koch's distinctive manner of capturing the nuances of light, 63 years old Pfhal defies our perception of beauty by means of a slightly sinister message conformed by rare elements such as trashed dolls, ferocious fish heads and nude, headless manikins. Together, those at times farfetched scenarios can do no less than reverberate in the viewers' psyche.
Considered one of America's most talented contemporary realist painters and representational artists of his generation, Pfhal, introduced to painting at the age of twelve in his native Ohio, takes inspiration in all that appears to him as visually exciting, thus transforming each and every painting in a restless display of acute skill and profound emotional symbolism. Let it be through still life -very much alive or in advanced stages of decomposition- and nude bodies embraced by shimmering cloth, the artist boosts the emotional impact of every piece by means of light and composition, both of which he has technically mastered. And then, of course, are the self-portraits and Pfhal's unique approach to such a recurrent theme in art history. Besides not being concerned by his looks, Robert Brackman's pupil further deepens into his own obscure universe, anchoring himself not by his uniqueness but as yet another fetish.
Originality is one of many adjectives to describe Pfhal's work, a constellation of peculiar objects, grotesque fixations, powerful theatrics and intricate implications that can only mesmerize. However disturbing or challenging an image might be, the ferocious beauty of each composition cannot be perceived nor forgotten at the viewer's will. Pfhal's paintings set a sensory pace of their own.
Archetype, a human-scale representational masterpiece, embodies such unique qualities by means of a very personal interpretation concerning such a sacred figure as the Great Mother, recurrent mythical presence that embraces life, death and renewal. Fiercely complex, Archetype contains all major distinctive elements of Charles Pfhal's extraordinary, one-of-a-kind universe. It is all there for the observer to unveil, no fear allowed.