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Langdon Graves
Wives' Tales

Alex Da Corte
Casual Luxury

June 18th to July 31st, 2009

download a copy of the press release

LaMontagne Gallery is proud to present Wives' Tales, an exhibition of new work by Langdon Graves, on view from June 18th to July 31st, 2009. The show brings together a collection of drawings and sculpture in which the artist explores the relationship of belief and the body through a layering of symbols and ideals pulled from ancient folklore, organized religion and modern medicine, considering the role of superstition in each.

Langdon Graves' drawings depict a series of female figures and figurative elements suspended in revelatory episodes laced with iconic superstitious symbolism, taking into account the integral part played by women in the facilitation of many commonly-held beliefs. The burden of cultural expectations is often borne by women, such as the responsibilities associated with marriage and childbirth, two cardinal rites of passage bound to superstitious ritual. In each circumstance, the subject of the drawing wears her beliefs like prostheses that generate both curative and poisonous effects. The sculptures combine familiar materials and elements that suggest domestic, medical or religious use, but are composed in ways that confuse and deny interaction. Designed to be believed rather than used, they function as placebo; the degree to which one may be convinced of their efficacy ultimately determines their influence. Graves' often crosses the line between seduction and disturbance, as she continuously negates the distinction between a reality constructed by beliefs and one drawn from actuality.

Alex Da Corte is interested in the way that Middle America views the Exotic: finding ways to project desire for far off places and romantic lifestyles through the collection of stuff. For his show at LaMontagne Gallery, titled Casual Luxury, the artist has taken these objects and transformed them into sculptural collages filled with glossy promise only plastic can provide. Da Corte observes a culture that turns to the artifice of drugs, "authentic originals", and magazine ads as means of fulfilling wants that may otherwise not be met. Casual Luxury smells of cheap perfume on rayon, a pleather bean bag chair soaked in whiskey, and has all of the reward of a newly built prefab holiday home- yet, sarcasm lines this bright outer shell, and Alex Da Corte does not allow the viewer to take his work at face value. Casual Luxury articulates a number of questions currently being addressed within the wreck rooms and foyers of American Society.