Tony Tasset, Tony Tasset : Hot Dog Man
11.19.2011 — 01.30.2012
Kavi Gupta is proud to present a new exhibition of work by renowned American sculptor Tony Tasset. The homecoming exhibition marks the artist’s first gallery exhibition of new work in Chicago in 15 years and presents two works, Hot Dog Man (2011) and Mood Sculpture (2011).
A bit raunchy and without doubt a guilty pleasure for the eyes, Tasset’s Hot Dog Man (2011) is a mash-up tribute to famous irreverent cartoonists like Basil Wolverton and Don Martin as well as the legacy of the psychedelia and surrealism as it extends through modern art. More so, Hot Dog Man (2011) is a bonafide confidence man. Like the hustling, shady characters that populate Melville’s famous midwestern novel, The Confidence Man (1857), Tasset’s Hot Dog Man (2011) echoes back to a savage era that still lingers in contemporaraneity in every incandescennt-bulb-lit hot dog stand and every subway game of Three Card Monte. Hot Dog Man (2011) is a beautiful paradox, a tribute and critique of classic Americana.
I think I feel purple, purplish-red. Based on diagrams used to identify emotional well-being Tasset’s Mood Sculpture (2011) takes an iconic form, drawing out then clear relationship between the simple emoticons of the information age and totem-pole-styled mythmaking as it’s existed since the dawn of culture. Mood Sculpture (2011) brings into question the various forms we employ to reflect on our pursuits for happiness and satisfaction with life, are we successful in being happy? If our methods for testing aren’t made by any but ourselves, how could we possibly know?
Tasset was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1960. He received his B.F.A. at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and his M.F.A. at The School of the Art Institute in Chicago. His recent Museum exhibitions include ‘Life During Wartime’ at the Rochester Art Center, MN; Rewind:1970s to 1990s, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; ‘Farbe im Fluss’, Weserberg Museum fur Modern Kunst, Breman, Germany; ‘The Smithson Effect’, Utah Museum of Fine Art, Salt Lake City, Utah. Recent gallery exhibitions include ‘Judy’, Leo Koenig, New York, NY and ‘Selected Works 1986-1996’, Kavi Gupta, Chicago. In 2012 Tasset’s work will be a part of ‘This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980’s’, curated by Helen Molesworth, which begins at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and then travels to the Walker Art Center and the ICA, Boston.