David Sandlin’s Etern-a-Sin-e-Plex brings creative satire to Lamar Dodd Main Gallery

David Sandlin’s Etern-a-Sin-e-Plex brings creative satire to Lamar Dodd Main Gallery

Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia Lamar Dodd School of Art Galleries are pleased to present Etern-a-Sin-e-Plex, an exhibition of installation work by 2007-2008 Lamar Dodd professorial chair David Sandlin. Faith, hucksterism and a seedy alternate universe with the same challenges as our own take center stage in this collection. Etern-a-Sin-e-Plex will be on view from Jan. 28 – Feb. 29 at the Lamar Dodd School of Art Main Gallery, 285 S. Jackson Street, with an opening reception with the artist present on Thursday, Feb. 7 from 6-8 p.m.

‘Sinland’ is imparted upon Georgia soil in this exhibition, a tour de force of the artist’s installation work, essentially artifacts created for and about a world parallel to ours. Exploring the puritanical underpinnings of modern America, based on freedom and justice, yet fueled by capitalism, hyper-consumerism, and intolerance, Sandlin’s social satire is manifested in paintings, drawings, artist’s books, printmaking and writing – all of which center upon a recurring character, Bill Grimm, who through these media “evolves” from a truck-driving, womanizing everyman into a purveyor of “puritanical novelty items.”

In Etern-a-Sin-e-Plex, the Main Gallery becomes a space of reverence, the site of Grimm’s ultimate transformation, where puritanical goods created by the “Pure-ton-o-Fun, Co.” are proffered by Brother Grimm through a zealous video demonstration embedded in an altar of trinkets promising timely salvation including “The Seven Sips of Sin” shot glasses (“Good ‘til the Lust Drop”). Leading to this ‘bizarro’ altar, a row of light boxes creates a Sinland version of the Stations of the Cross, depicting meditations on Grimm’s pit stops from “Hangover Hollow” to “Sin City” and beyond.

Rendered in Sandlin’s trademark style, visceral realism alongside purposefully clumsy, cartoonish figuration, with a healthy amount of word play and twisted phrases wound around images (sin-cerely hellish figures beckon from a light box) the artifacts in Etern-a-Sin-e-Plex contain depictions of a world, like ours, invaded by timely and controversial issues, such as greed, racism, sexism and the culture at large. A perceptive commentary on contemporary political American strife cloaked in an entertaining guise, Sandlin’s work requires that we enter again and again to uncover what is truly good, what is truly bad, and what is simply the human condition that none may escape.

Sandlin was born and raised in Belfast, Ireland, before moving with his parents to Birmingham, Ala. as an adolescent in 1972. The cultural histories of both Ireland and the American South have made a profound impact on his studio practice. Sandlin has lived and worked in New York for 25 years and has exhibited globally, from select venues in the United States to Ireland and Japan, and has publications available through the art presses Sinland and Fantagraphics.

The Lamar Dodd Professorial Chair is an appointment of high distinction, intended to honor artists of international standing who have maintained a distinguished record of exhibition. Artists selected for this position teach at the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art for one year as a visiting fellow and are expected to engage the school’s academic and artistic communities. Artists that have held the Lamar Dodd professorial chair include Elaine De Kooning, Mel Chin, Michael Lucero and, most recently, David Sandlin.

For more information, see www.davidsandlin.com.

All Lamar Dodd School of Art Main Gallery events are free and open to the public. The Main Gallery is located in the Visual Arts Building on Jackson Street in Athens, Ga. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For further information, please contact Nora Wendl, gallery director, Lamar Dodd School of Art at 706/542-0069 or nwendl@uga.edu, or visit www.art.uga.edu.