on view at beta pictoris gallery:

Travis Somerville 
American Rhetoric
extended through July 31

click above image to read the BURNAWAY article
Travis Somerville's Rhetorical Assertions
click above image to read the WELD article
An antidote to nostalgia
click above image to read the article
Racism? Art? Or both?

The work of Travis Somerville functions as a craft of anti-nostalgia and critical memory. In particular, the American Rhetoric show at the beta pictoris gallery showcases a selection of Somerville’s new work that continues his sharp and creative insistence on how images and material objects are never merely inanimate relics of a past far removed from our presents or our futures. Somerville compels us to reconsider and repudiate the standard measure of America’s history of white supremacy and racism as a progressive narrative that has seemingly ended on an utopian note of post-race. The work in American Rhetoric demonstrates a scripting of American history that forgoes this progressive wish fulfillment, a rhetoric of non-culpable hope. Instead, Somerville’s work intermingles visual and verbal references to the semiotics of the Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Age of Obama. As Somerville himself points out that his work complicates the sense of a collective memory about how race has shaped the political, historical, cultural, and social contours of America: “As I attempt to navigate the terrain between autobiography, history, and art, all sorts of collisions take place. It is these interesting moments and the inconsistencies that inform them that I try to capture in my work.” Through the restaging of old advertisements and newspapers, vintage money bags and cotton sacks, and the poignant juxtaposition of his drawing and painting against found photos, Somerville brilliantly entices the viewer to marvel over the aesthetic power of American culture’s everyday brutality and myopia. What more could one want from art?

click on any image to see available work

Mark Flood's exhibition FACEBOOK FARM at beta pictoris gallery
one of the finalists AICA's 2013

"Best Show in a Commercial Space Nationally" Award

beta pictoris gallery at the 2014 Pulse NY art fair with work by gallery artists
(l to r) Travis Somerville, Charles Lutz, Leslie Smith III, and Clayton Colvin.

beta pictoris gallery at the 2014 Volta NY art fair highlighting gallery artist Willie Cole's work
with a solo booth presentation of selected works, spanning 25 years of practice by the artist.

Clayton Colvin's New York exhibition "Put Down Your Stars" at Margaret Thatcher Projects ARTFORUM critics' pick!!!

beta pictoris
gallery       2411 Second Avenue North       Birmingham, AL 35203

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