~BEN DUAX . . ‘Lon air an Fheur’ / HYACINTH / last weekend !!

a ‘Dejuener sur l’herbe’ . . for our times / so, are we on the – eve of global destruction ?

up thru . . . SUN MARCH 6, 2022

‘BEN DUAX: Lon air an Fheur’
Jan 19 – March 6, 2022
HYACINTH, 179 Canal St., #48, Tribeca, NYC 10013
HRS: FRI, SAT & SUN: 12 pm – 6 pm


FRUITS are falling – like bombs.
a dysfunctional destruction of pattern / shatters the visual plane.
a furtive smoke of explosion erupts, and rot seeps out from behind smiling skins & over-ripe berries.
cigarettes are the ‘cynical’ . . tip-off.
well, at least they aren’t / “strange fruit – hanging from the trees” /
i.e. African American lynchings . . during Jim Crow.
but close enough, just in another language & still signaling . . human distress, at the hands, of others.

BEN DUAX, ‘Sunflowers & Pineapple Sage II’, 2022.
acrylic on reactive dye canvas / 17.75 x 14 in.

image via Instagram @hyacinthgallery

a little bit of Instagram Direct Message / Q & A . . . with BEN DUAX:

Ben Duax: Lon Air An Fheur . . is Gaelic for ‘luncheon on the grass’.

Nancy Smith: unspoken thought bubble / it’s so interesting to see some ancient linguistic roots / Fleur is flower in French / dejuener is late breakfast/brunch / so, picnic among the flowers / picnic on the grass . . but not, such a happy time, & above all, nowhere close to the ‘stylistic’ narrative – re the French Impressionists, who were so radical in their own time.
guess, I’m just a history/literary/source nerd / maybe, because I grew up in Montreal, Quebec / French Canada.

Ben Duax: ‘But the idea is that the work is engaged with the question of reproduction or versimilitude, and the significance of the Gaelic language is because I live in Scotland,
and this kind of trashy casual picnic for me . . [signifies] an autobiographical context.”

N: who are the people who run HYANCINTH, & how do you know them ?

Ben Duax: The gallery is owned by a guy named WILLIAM NANCE.

N: How do you know him if you are based in Scotland ?

BD: I know him from when I lived in New York before, I used to have a studio at SLEEP CENTER in Chinatown.

N: oh, I know the place, it had an ‘advanced’ digital – light animation projection / sculpture focus,
deep, deep down in a windowless, super dark Chinatown basement, on Monroe St., near Essex Flowers.

BD: I am also in the next group show at HYANCINTH – that opens FRI MARCH 11th.

a few notes for the show’s PRESS RELEASE:

~”Enough scholarly attention paid to the canvases of Ben Daux would probably uncover a plethora of art-historical signifiers. Flashes of Matisse’s sunbathers or the weighty carcasses of Francis Bacon and Schiele’s skeletal linearity may appear in Duax’s compositions alongside the destructive adolescent gestures of Appel or Jorn.”

~”the title itself translates as the famed ‘Le Dejuener sur L’herbe’ expressed in Gaelic, a nearly disused language salvaged from the brink of obscurity . . .
Inspired by the bilingual subway and parking signage of Glasgow’s ancient streets . . .
(this show) meanders the curiously mundane, beautiful, and sometimes absurd icons that populate this, (still standing !! historic – Nancy) urban architecture.”

~”a multitude of imaging techniques . . including traditional photography, risograph duplications, digital wand scans, and reactive dye prints . . are often overlaid by conventional painting.”
(contemporary / digital impressionism ? – Nancy)

~”(the show) . . presents a data-sphere of painterly gestures that necessitate a more grandiose project than simply digging up the . . . (academic) art historic references /
it poses an opportunity to reinvent the principles of taste, manners, and culture embedded in the visual history of modern life – itself suddenly on the threshold of an unimaginable degree of digital immersion.”
(and, real life / destruction – Nancy)

~”Originally from the Bay Area in California, BEN DUAX works out of New York, and Glasgow.
he graduated with a BFA from Hunter College, NYC / in Painting, and an MFA from the University of Glasgow in Fine Art.”

check out: HYACINTH GALLERY on Instagram @hyacinthgallery

check out: BEN DUAX on Instagram @ben_duax