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James Barsness Show Announcement Poster
James Barsness The Distractions, 2005
James Barsness The Emperor, 2005
James Barsness When You Die, 2005
James Barsness Bifrost Bridge, 2005-2006
James Barsness My Dark Master, 2006
James Barsness Hum, 2004
James Barsness The Great Destroyer, 2006
James Barsness Engine, 2005
James Barsness Exhibition Installation
James Barsness Exhibition Installation
James Barsness Exhibition Installation

Press Release

During March and April, the George Adams Gallery will present a series of new paintings by JAMES BARSNESS. Titled THIS SIDE OF THE BLUE, the exhibition consists of seven new canvases completed within the past year, all of which make use of a range of sources, including history, literature, mythology, religion, and pop culture. Notable are references to poems by Wallace Stevens and John Ashbery, a depiction of the Hindu god Shiva, and a Viking funeral.

Using acrylic, ballpoint pen and paper collage, Barsness creates intricate scenes of the struggles of human behavior with its paradoxical characteristics. Several of the works in the exhibition concern themselves with death and rebirth. The Engine, 2005, was inspired by a song by Converge and depicts minions dismantling and simultaneously reinventing a large, complex machine in a scene into which the lyrics "For those I love I will sacrifice, for those I love I will survive," are integrated. Similarly, The Great Destroyer, 2006, portrays Shiva, the Hindu god of cosmic destruction and regeneration, while Bifrost Bridge, 2005-2006 offers an interpretation of the Viking funeral.

Other works in the exhibition visually integrate literary references. For example, the title of The Emperor, 2005, is taken from the poem by Wallace Stevens "The Emperor of Ice Cream," with the line "the only emperor is the emperor of ice cream," appearing within the painting itself. The Distractions, 2005, incorporates, "We must remember not to be part of the cat's plan for us, a line taken from John Ashbery's poem "Sparrows on the Lawn." Other works in the exhibition include Hum, 2005, When You Die, 2005, and My Dark Master, 2006.

James Barsness, who lives and works in Athens, Georgia, has exhibited regularly with the gallery since 1991. He was the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant in 2003, and received a grant from the Golden Foundation in 2005.

Exhibition Checklist

Clockwise from Reception Desk:

1. The Distractions, 2005
acrylic, ink, paper on canvas
49 1/2 x 67 1/2 inches
JBARp 50

2. The Great Destroyer, 2006
acrylic, ink, paper on canvas
51 3/4 x 67 5/8 inches
JBARp 53

3. My Dark Master, 2006
acrylic, ink, correction fluid, paper on canvas
49 x 67 inches
JBARp 54

4. Bifrost Bridge, 2005-2006
acrylic, ink, paper on canvas
51 1/2 x 69 1/2 inches
JBARp 52

5. Hum, 2004
ink and gesso on canvas
49 13/16x 67 7/8
JBARp 47

6. Engine, 2005
Acrylic, ink, paper on canvas
51 3/4 x 69 inches
JBARp 48

7. When You Die, 2005
Acrylic, ink, paper on canvas
53 x 70 3/4 inches
JBARp 51

8. The Emperor, 2005
Acrylic, ink, paper on canvas
53 1/2 x 71 1/2 inches
JBARp 49