Andres Serrano, Ben Yahola–Creek (Native Americans), 1996. Pigment print, back-mounted on Dibond, wooden frame, 60 x 50 inches
Ben Yahola–Creek (Native Americans), 1996. Pigment print, back-mounted on Dibond, wooden frame, 60 x 50 inches

Andres Serrano

Native Americans

16 February – 11 March 2018
Opening reception for the artist, Friday, 16 February, 6–8 pm

Baldwin Gallery is pleased to present its first ever show with camera artist Andres Serrano. Famously, Serrano’s work first entered the popular public consciousness in the late 80s with the politicized condemnation of the inclusion of the work “Immersion: Piss Christ” in a show nominally funded by the National Endowment of the Arts. Perfunctorily deemed ‘obscene’, and a “deplorable, despicable display of vulgarity” by Senators Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) and Alphonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.), the work became instantly symbolic of both right and reason to call for defunding of the NEA. But, it is just as simple to view Serrano’s work as contextual to the sacristy of the arcane Paschal Mystery; the story of Christ’s ministry and mankind’s spiritual redemption hinges on the physical humanity manifested by the son of god said to walk among us: a human body and blood, weak, mortal, fallible, and thus uniquely capable to serve as the conduit covenant between the temporal and the divine. Raised as a Catholic before the Second Vatican Council, Serrano’s universalizing of both human frailiity and the capacity for redemption paradoxically seeks to bring the viewer to intimacy with the ‘common’ miracle of transubstantiation (and what author Flannery O’Connor called ‘the sweat and stink of the cross’): an exquisite restoration of mysteium fidei, humbling and enobling, unknowable and revealed as beautiful, in both doctrine and faith.

The current Baldwin Gallery show will focus primarily upon Andres Serrano’s body of work ‘Native Americans’, which continues his documentation of the vestimnets and rainment of peoples self-identifying affiliations, and exalting of the distinctions and identities that we present to the greater society around us. There will additionally be a small survey of Serrano’s more ‘classical’ subject matter on view in the second gallery.

Andres Serrano (b. 1950, New York) studied painting and sculpture at the Brooklyn Museum. He turned to photography in the early 1980s, presenting large-scale color images concentrating on dramatic and provocative figural compositions.

The public is invited to meet the artists at the opening reception on February 16th from 6 to 8 pm. Images are available upon request. Please call 970.920.9797 for further information.

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