Old Roads and Broken Records
A Solo Show by Nick Doyle
August 19 – October 29, 2023
Vernissage - an exhibition launch party: Friday, August 18, 2023, 5:30 - 8:00 pm
Artist Talk: Friday, August 18, 2023, 6:00 pm
Artist Nick Doyle’s custom-built constructions are primarily made of wood and collaged denim and are often based upon familiar symbols and relics of Americana, those old objects, places, and landscapes that are as much a part of our collective national character as they are a source of American conflict and discontent. For Old Roads and Broken Records, an exhibition he conceived and designed specifically for KMAC, Doyle works through various mediums and motifs of American vernacular craft to contend with America’s desire to romanticize itself and its past. He creates scenes that dissect the myths of masculinity, like the escape to salvation offered by the great American road trip, to question the broken narratives that persist from a blissfully nostalgic soft focused look at our history, and that leave the more difficult aspects of our culture continually unexamined.
For his first museum solo exhibition, Doyle created a new set of denim covered sculptural wall works alongside two large installations of theatrical scenery, and a new contraption in his ongoing, darkly humorous series of “executive toys.” Surrounding a scale model sculpture of a roadside motel, replete with a pool and a mini-golf course, Doyle has sculpted wooden panels into the shapes of vending and slot machines, ashtrays, nails, and drills, along with antique toys, the trappings from a summer cookout and other suburban effects, including a monumental installation of a garage door overlooking a quaint suburban street bathed in the haze of an indigo sunset. With surgical precision, Doyle then adheres an overlay of dyed and cut pieces of denim into a composition that bears a rapport with 1960’s American Pop Art and looks more akin to a painting or photograph than a fabric collage.
Doyle’s foray into textile began when his neighbor was throwing out a bolt of denim and he began to see the material as the starting point for broad visual examinations of the fabled American Dream. The image of a lone, rugged individual on horseback roaming the Wild West, or driving a Ford Mustang into the horizon, still endures as a stand-in for the ultimate figure of freedom and masculinity. Doyle turns a sharper focus onto such figures within popular imagination to build a visual story about the repressive nature of archetypal American males, and their relationship with the cycle of materialist desire and consumption.
Nick Doyle received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from CUNY Hunter College. He attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and was a resident of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Program He has had solo exhibitions at Perrotin, New York and Paris; Reyes/Finn, Detroit; Steve Turner, Los Angeles; Mrs. Gallery, New York; Stems Gallery, Brussels; Pace Prints, New York; 56 Henry, New York, and Invisible Exports, New York. His work was included in the group exhibition Victory Over the Sun: The Poetics and Politics of Eclipse here at KMAC in 2017. He has also appeared in group exhibitions at Perrotin, Seoul; Lucien Terras, New York, and Pioneer Works, New York, among many others.
Not So Grand After All, 2023
Dyed denim on custom panel
Credits: Ted Wathen