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Keys to the Koop: Humour and Satire
in Contemporary Printmaking

Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Salem OR Sept 4-Oct 30, 2004

Roy Litchtenstein, Reflection Series: Reflections on The Scream (1990), lithograph, woodcut, plastic, film embossing [Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem, OR, Sept 4-Oct 30]

Keys to the Koop is an important travelling exhibition making its third stop at the Hallie Ford Museum in Salem this fall. Organized by curators Terri Hopkins and John Olbrantz, the exhibit draws primarily from the extensive collections of Jordan Schnitzer and his family. It includes over eighty works from such prominent American and British artists of the last quarter-century as Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Mark Bennett, Roy DeForest, Claes Oldenburg, Ellen Gallagher, David Gilhooly, Red Grooms, Gene McMahon, Tad Savinar, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, and William Wegman.

Damien Hirst, The Last Supper [Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem, OR, Sept 4-Oct 30]
Drawing on fashion, religion, politics and popular culture, sarcasm and wit have become an ever-increasing means for the contemporary artist to express social commentary. For example, Damien Hirst's The Last Supper: Mushroom Pie is as effective in concept as it is in aesthetic value. The screened print replicates a commonplace drug label that reads somewhat like an advertisement. The title and text in this piece satirize societal issues of pharmaceutical abuse. In Enrique Chagoya's The Enlightened Savage, altered Campbells soup labels reading Cannibulls parodize classic Andy Warhol imagery. In this case, the soup flavours are Cream of Dealer, Critics Tongue and Curators Liver. They comment at once on neatly packaged and stacked cans of soup, an icon of how many consumers hunt for mass-produced dinners, while at the same time refer to the cut-throat attitudes of todays art world figures.The exhibit is accompanied by text panels as well as annotated labels. Jordan Schnitzer gives a gallery talk prior to the reception on September 10 and artist Tad Savinar lectures on October 21. A full-colour brochure with essays from the curators is also available. The exhibit will circulate to five additional West Coast venues and conclude at Bellingham's Western Art Gallery in late 2006.


Allyn Cantor

 Mon, Sep 13, 2004