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Paradox and Conformity: Paintings and Prints by Richard Deon

February 7 - June 7, 2009 Free Admission

During the past 20 years, Richard Deon has explored the visual style and methods employed by Textbook illustrators from the 1950s. These unsung artists sought to introduce school-aged children to public institutions, history, and politics through the use of easily graspable images and situations. Deon draws on their methods, arranging figures with implicit cultural connotations in situations that mimic the civic and didactic. However, he places viewers in puzzling territory, where the seemingly familiar describes “an uneasy pictorial absurdity.” Through aesthetic recontextualization, incuding isolation and dislocation, misidentification and nonsensical juxtapositions, the artist allows conflicting images and ideas to coexist without the hope of resolution. Deon will exhibit about 30 paintings, ranging from monumental banners (192 x 144 in.) to easel-sized canvases, as well as small-scaled ink-jet prints from three graphic series.