Published on the occasion of the exhibition Tony de los Reyes: The Dart March 26 - May 29, 2011 Catalogue designed by Timothy Tompkins
Heather James Fine Art 45188 Portola Avenue Palm Desert, California 92260 www.heatherjames.com
Based on Herman Melville’s 1851 classic Moby-Dick, the title “The Dart” is from chapter 62 of the book and is also whalemen’s slang for a harpoon. “The Dart” is also the title of a life-size black/bronze harpoon which dramatically hangs point–down from the ceiling in the center of the gallery. A theme that runs throughout the artist’s work is what the “dart” implies, which is an incision or cutting through matter due to force of will; transactions that occur through violence. Whether they are the Maori tattoo facial markings in the Cannibal works or the thin white lines radiating from Sunset over a roiling, deep black sea, what is consistent is a manipulation of one type of space by the imposition of another. Among other things, Moby-Dick can be thought of as a meta-narrative that confronts the individual’s relationship with nature and its pull on the subconscious. 4
Two of the paintings in the exhibition excerpt passages from the text which illustrate key concerns of both Melville and de los Reyes: “There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method.” The work communicates such disorder as coming from a disruption of some kind of “natural” state, which in turn creates a new incarnation of material. De los Reyes’ paintings are a combination of raw linen, first wet and stained with washes of sumi ink, then later applied with oil. He only uses white and black pigments—never mixed—which conceptually ties to Moby-Dick’s forces of structural antagonism and oppositional energies. The dominate surfaces of the paintings are usually very thin, which de los Reyes then interrupts with areas of thick opacity, relating to Melville’s permeating philosophy of dualism inherent in the book. 5
There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method., 2011 ink and oil on linen 10 x 111 in. 6
Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian., 2011 ink and oil on linen 10 x 90 1/2 in. 14
1851 (3), 2011, ink and oil on linen, 33 1/2 x 56 in.
1851 (4), 2011, ink and oil on linen, 12 x 16 in.
Sunset (2), 2011, ink and oil on linen, 59 1/8 x 59 1/8 in.
The Dart, 2011, bronze and cable, 87 x 5 in.
Pequod (2), 2011, ink on paper, 26 x 20 1/2 in.
Cannibal (3), 2011, ink on paper, 26 x 20 1/2 in.
Cannibal, 2011, ink and oil on linen, 55 x 45 1/8 in.
Starbuck, 2010, bronze, 4 1/2 x 16 1/2 x 4 1/4 in.
Tony de los Reyes Born 1960, Los Angeles Education: MFA, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA BFA, California State University, Northridge, CA Selected solo exhibitions: 2011 The Dart, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA 2010 Chasing Moby Dick: Selected Works by Tony de los Reyes, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA 2009 The Prophet, Howard House, Seattle, WA 2008 Ahab’s America, Carl Berg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2007 American Baroque: Ruminations on Moby-Dick, Rio Hondo College Art Gallery, Whittier, CA 2006 Or The Whale, Carl Berg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA The Imago Sea, Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ 2005 The Sea is the Ghost of the World, Howard House, Seattle, WA The Last Archipelago, Carl Berg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2004 The Strange Tale of Near and Far, DCKT Contemporary, New York, NY Studying the Strange Tale of Near and Far, Michael’s, Santa Monica, CA 2003 Ingenious Kingdom, Howard House, Seattle, WA Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ 2002 Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA Excepts From The Porcelain Pavilion, Howard House, Seattle, WA 2001 rrocococo, Artplace, Los Angeles, CA
Selected group exhibitions: 2010 Lost at Sea, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA 2008 Art on Paper, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC In-between Air, Land and Sea, Long Beach City College Art Gallery, Long Beach, CA Weekend Warrior, Nathan Larramendy Gallery, Ojai, CA 2007 Mar Vista, Domestic Setting, Los Angeles, CA 2006 Major Drawings, Carl Berg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2005 A Great Mania, Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Ketchum, ID Very Early Pictures, Luckman Fine Arts Gallery at CSULA, Los Angeles, CA Welcome 2 the Jungle, DCKT Contemporary, New York, NY 2004 100% Acid Free, curator Micaela Giovanotti, White Columns, New York, NY Landscape, Rena Bransten, San Francisco, CA Fantasticism, Carl Berg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Mail-In, London Street Projects, Los Angeles, CA 2003 The Art of Thought, curator: Kim Abeles, Angels Gate, San Pedro, CA 6 Booths in 7 Weeks, film, Grand Central Art Center, Cal State University Fullerton, Santa Ana, CA 2002 The Frustrated Landscape, curator: Tyler Stallings, Guggenheim Art Gallery, Chapman University, Orange, CA Full Nelson Four Performance Festival, Palace Theater, Los Angeles, CA Open, curator: Chris Miles, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, CA Space (+/-) 4, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, CA 2001 Layered Cake, Schomberg Gallery, Santa Monica, CA 43
Wallworks, LA Artcore, Los Angeles, CA Berlin/L.A. Exchange 2001, Luna International, Berlin, Germany ASU Art Museum Short Film and Video Festival, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ Mail Art Exchange, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA 2000 Wall Space, Miller Durazo Contemporary Artists Projects, Los Angeles, CA 2nd Annual Short Film and Video Festival, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, CA Are You Interested?, Smart Gals Production, Los Angeles, CA Taxation, Smart Gals Production, Los Angeles, CA
Bibliography: M. Duncan, Soul Searching in the U.S.A., Art in America, March 2011 R. Hackett, Tony de los Reyes:high seas bobast on a table, Artsjournal, October 5, 2009, ills. J. Graves, Currently Hanging, TheStranger.com, October 5, 2009, ills. K. Newhouse,Tony de los Reyes: Ahab’s America, X-Tra, Volume 11, Number 2, Winter 2008: 27-32, ills.. S. Mizota, Tony de los Reyes, ArtNews, Volume 107, Number 6, June 2008: 138-139, ill. P. Frank, Falling Together, LA Weekly, Volume 30, No. 21, April 11-17, 2008: 51, ill. R. Leslie, LA Art Fair, Art Nexus, No. 65, Volume 6, 2007: 114. S. Nys Dambrot, Tony de los Reyes, Modern Painters, November 2006: 104-105, ill. 44
M. Duncan, Critics Picks: Opening Salvos in LA, Art in America, November 2006: 76-79, ill. M. Hebron, Critic’s Picks: Tony de los Reyes, Artforum.com, September 2006, ill. P. Frank, Major Drawings at Carl Berg Gallery, ArtWeek, April 2006: 18. L. Ollman, The definition of drawing, expanded, Los Angeles Times, March 10, 2006, ill. M. Duncan, Tony de los Reyes at Carl Berg, Art in America, January 2006: 128, ill. L. Enriquez, Exploration and deconstruction, The Seattle Times, December 16, 2005: 521, ill. K. Bossick, Honoring the Legacy of Delftware, Wood River Journal, July 13, 2005. D. Dugan, Delftware made deftly, Idaho Mountain Express, July 13, 2005: C1,C9, ill. C. Knight, The Deft Look of Delftware, Los Angeles Times, March 4, 2005, ill. B. Sholis, Los Angeles Critic’s Picks: Tony de los Reyes, Artforum.com, February 2005, ill. R. Jana, 100% Acid Free at White Columns, Art on Paper, March/April 2005. K. Johnson, Tony de los Reyes, New York Times, October 22, 2004. J. Korotkin, The Neo-Baroque Era, Tema Celeste, July/August 2004: 38-45, ill. C. Roth, Mail-In Show at London Street Projects, Artweek, March 2004: 22, ill. R. Hackett, The Sky’s the Limit at Howard House, Seattle Post Intelligencer, October 31, 2003: 16, ill.
E. Wood, To Move the Stars, Essay for The Frustrated Landscape, 2002. D. Walsh, Scenery as Metaphor, Orange County Register, September 15, 2002. B. Crotty, Excerpts From the Porcelain Pavilion, Tablet, July 2002, ill. V. Josslin, Puttinâ€™ on the Style: Tony de los Reyes at Howard House, artdish.com, July 2002. J. Demetre, Tony de los Reyes, Seattle Weekly, June 13-19, 2002: 74, ill. C. Roth, Tony de los Reyes at Artplace, Artweek, Vol. 32, Issue 7/8, July/August 2001, ills.
45188 Portola Avenue Palm Desert, CA 92260 760-346-8926 PO Box 3580 172 Center Street Suite 101 Jackson, WY 83001 307-200-6090 www.heatherjames.com