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James Barsness My Garden, 2003
James Barsness My Playground, 2003
James Barsness My Valley, 2003-2005
James Barsness My Red House, 2003
James Barsness My Cage, 2003-2004
James Barsness The River, The Woods, The Falls, 2004
James Barsness My Princess Dress, 2004
James Barsness Painter's Heels, 2004
James Barsness Dawn Treader, 2004
James Barsness New Laocoon, 2004
James Barsness My Little Pony Heels, 2004
James Barsness Bird Shoes, 2004
James Barsness Skates, 2004
James Barsness Saddle Shoes, 2004
James Barsness Magic Lantern, 2004
James Barsness Hairdo Helmut #1, 2004
James Barsness Little Golden Dude, 2004
James Barsness Gallery Installation
James Barsness Gallery Installation
James Barsness Gallery Installation

Press Release

During April and May, the George Adams Gallery will present new paintings and sculptural prototypes by James Barsness.  The exhibition will feature seven new paintings and ten related mixed media objects all completed in the last year. Entitled You Belong Here, this new series is an inter-related narrative focused on the foibles of "civilized" society.

Freely combining allusions to such artists as Bruegel and Bosch with references to popular culture, Barsness presents a series of complex social allegories. Barsness continues to render his compositions in ballpoint pen and brightly colored acrylics, overlaying his drawings onto densely collaged sheets of found paper - musical scores, xeroxes, and magazine pages - which are adhered to canvas. Further adding to the overall patterning in his compositions, each work has an intricately drawn and colored border, reminiscent of illuminated manuscripts and medieval tapestries.

The seven paintings in this exhibition (similarly sized 50 x 68 inches) present settings intended to foster social interaction -- a playground, a home, a community garden -- but instead of order chaos rules.  For example My Red House depicts a red roofed house in cut-away, the inside and the outside populated by semi-clothed figures engaged in bacchanal activities.  The house appears dwarfed by the amount of human activity.  Similarly, My Playground, presents a child's playground overrun with adults and mutant animals climbing trees and swinging from a jungle gym. In My Garden, Barsness alludes to the Garden of Eden and the fall of Adam and Eve with the garden's inhabitants consumed by sex, dancing, and bodily functions.  The painting My Cage, on the other hand, depicts several hybrid animals imprisoned in an ornate golden cage, perhaps for pursuing their desires.

For this exhibition, Barsness also introduces a series of small sculptures related to the paintings--several pairs of beaded and painted high-heeled shoes, a large-breasted woman and rabbit figure embracing, a hatted dog figure, among others. Barsness has created what he terms "prototypes"objects that echo the fantasy driven paintings.  The Painter's Heels for example is a pair of high-heeled shoes (6 inches high) made of paper mache and covered in gold beads; each with a flume of multicolored hair emerging from the heel.  Bordering on the fetishistic, the prototypes further explore the themes of excess and desire found in the paintings.

Exhibition Checklist

Main Gallery
(clockwise from front desk)

My Valley, 2003
acrylic, ink on paper mounted on canvas
48 x 66 inches
JBARp 40

The River, The Woods, The Falls, 2004
acrylic, ink on paper mounted on canvas
49 3/4 x 67 3/4 inches
JBARp 43

Little Golden Dude, 2004
Celuclay, wire, paper mache, gold leaf, wood, epoxy,
Sculpy, acrylic paint
14 3/4 x 17 1/2 x 5 inches
JBars 12

New Laocoon, 2004
paper mache, brass leaf, acrylic, glass beads,
Celuclay, wire, sea pearls, acrylic medium, gold leaf
9-3/4 x 8 x 7 inches

My Princess Dress, 2004
acrylic, ink on paper mounted on canvas
49 3/4 x 67 3/4 inches
JBARp 44

My Red House, 2003
acrylic, ink on paper mounted on canvas
49 3/4 x 67 3/4 inches
JBARp 41

Painter's Heels, 2004
mixed media
6 x 6 x 3 inches each

Dawn Treader, 2004
Celuclay, paper mache, gold leaf, moon gold leaf,
White Out pen, acrylic paint, wire, glass beads, CZ's and diamonds, seed pearls, Sculpy
4 1/2 x 7 1/4 x 3 inches each
JBars 6

Bird Shoes, 2004
silver leaf, gold leaf, plaster, Celuclay, paper mache,
python skin, wire, hair
8 x 7 1/2 x 9 inches each

Saddle Shoes, 2004
Celuclay, paper mache, brass leaf, acrylic paint, wire, epoxy
3 1/8 x 6 1/4 x 3 inches each
JBars 8

Side Gallery

My Little Pony Heels, 2004
paper mache, acrylic, Celuclay, felt, acrylic medium,
gold leaf, and hair
6 1/4 x 6 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches each

Skates, 2004
silver leaf, Celuclay, paper mache, python skin,
gold leaf, wire, brass leaf,
brass grommets
5 x 13 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches each
JBars 7

Magic Lantern, 2004
celuclay, paper mache, glass beads, seed pearls,
brass leaf, acrylic paint, hair
10 x 11 x 1 1/2 inches each
JBars 9

Hairdo Helmut #1, 2004
Celuclay, wood, Sculpy, copper leaf, Bic pen,
White Out pen, wire, hair, gold leaf, acrylic paint
7 x 13 x 5 inches
JBars 10

My Garden, 2003
acrylic, ink on canvas
48 x 66 inches
JBARp 38

My Cage, 2003-2004
acrylic, ink on paper mounted on canvas
49 3/4 x 67 3/4 inches
JBARp 42

My Playground, 2003
acrylic, collage on canvas
48 x 65 3/4 inches
JBARp 39