Carlye Packer is pleased to present Best of Bone and Blood, the first solo exhibition of works by Los Angeles-based painter Ireland Wisdom.
Wisdom was trained classically at the rigorous painting atelier at the Florence Academy of Art, which included three years of painting live models, 7am-9pm daily, critiqued for technique and quality of mimicry. Wisdom has religiously continued in the tradition of live model painting. Many of her subjects were met during her continued art residency at Zorthian Ranch – the 70+ year old infamous 48-acre Altadena mountain functioning ranch, where hundreds of notable people including Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Charlie Parker, Segovia, Richard Feynman, and many more gathered to exchange ideas and celebrate bacchanalian times with its Armenian late-proprietor, artist Jirayr Zorthian.
For Wisdom, we are existing in the imagination of history, a collusion of time – we are in the 21st century and yet we have 10000’s of years of painting behind us. Painting becomes about putting it all together, imbuing old values, old iconography and style, with newness, creating a landscape in which all time periods could be found and new value systems formed.
Some of the paintings in Wisdom’s Best of Bone and Blood are allusions to specific portraits from history such as Albrecht Dürer’s Adam, Velazquez’ toilet Venus, or Dorthea Tanning’s birthday self portrait, but surrounded by objects of our time. Other works are composed almost like tarot cards, with the flatness of a Byzantine Church mosaic depicting an enthroned Virgin and Child, a saint or an angel, except for that the traditional familiar faces of power and piety have been replaced by a new group of icons and iconography. All are set in Goya-esque blackness, stripped away from time and place against a blank backdrop of timeless insanity, full of classical tropes and aesthetic references to the past, yet somehow completely contemporary.
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Freaky Wisdom, 2022. Oil on jute, artist frame. 75 x 48 ¼ inches (190.5 x 122.6 cm).