SCENES ON THE MOVE
SEPTEMBER 7 - OCTOBER 13, 2019
OPENING SEPTEMBER 7, 6 - 8 PM
SITUATIONS is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Raynes Birkbeck titled “Scenes on the Move.” The show features new paintings and ceramic sculptures held within an installation-style setting. During the final weeks of August, Birkbeck used the gallery as a studio, painting wall murals that commingle with figurative works on paper, canvas and in clay.
Although Birkbeck works from his imagination, printouts of scientists, doctors, lawyers and politicians litter the studio walls. Subjects range from Admiral Chester Nimitz, Microbiologist Dorothy McClendon, George S. Patton, J. Edgar Hoover, the WWII Black Panthers and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Birkbeck reveals a diverse cast of historical and contemporary personas that co-exist on multiple, simultaneous timelines. War scenes with batmen meld with erotic scenarios, often played out on ships in choppy seas. He dismantles power structures and highlights pure energy fields.
Birkbeck’s interest in African American history, specifically the segregation of troops until after WWII deeply informs this particular body of work. While 676 black American men were enlisted and assigned to General George Patton's US Third Army, Birkbeck takes note of Patton’s direct descendance from confederate soldier relatives. The Black Panther soldiers who came out fighting against the Nazis and the race prejudice of white America are heroes honored in this exhibition.
In 2016, Heinzfeller Nileisist and Situations published an interview with Birkbeck which is being republished for this occasion. Additionally, Birkbeck is offering a special series of portraits available for commission for the duration of his show.
RAYNES BIRKBECK (b. 1956, The Bronx) lives and works in Manhattan. He is a self-taught artist who paints, sculpts, draws, and writes poetry. He chronicles personal and fictitious accounts with subject matter ranging from environmental issues, war, politics, and sex. He has exhibited work at SITUATIONS, New York; Norma Mangione Gallery, Turin, Italy; The Bureau of General Services -- Queer Division, New York; The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York; Fierman Gallery, New York; Safe Gallery, Brooklyn; and will be included in Souls Grown Diaspora at Apexart, New York curated by Sam Gordon in January 2020. He has been awarded grants from Visual Aids and remains an active artist member within the organization. Additionally, Willow Glen Films is producing a documentary set for release in March 2020 in conjunction with a solo exhibition at Nino Mier Gallery, LA.