Gerard Hemsworth

Anthony Reynolds Gallery

The mind’s capacity to make meaningful connections from seemingly absurd juxtapositions is essential to humor and its potential to subvert language, and is intrinsic to the maneuvers that constitute both the internal and the external events of Gerard Hemsworth’s paintings. Although his images and inscriptions are handcrafted, they are cliched, reproducible signs, including those drips and marks that are often claimed to express an inner essence. In Madam I’m Adam, 1986, these signs of “expressionism” are combined with two identical images of a chimpanzee’s head. Here, through the title’s gender slippage and the allusions to creationist and Darwinian theories of origins and evolution, he provides a characteristically laconic comment on the conventional assumptions of artistic creativity.

In Hemsworth’s work the sign is not arbitrary, but understood as having a performative function within

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