Trenton Doyle Hancock:¬

Skin & Bones, 20 Years of Drawing

September 12, 2015-December 31, 2015

Skin and Bones chronicles the foundation and evolution of Trenton Doyle Hancock’s prolific career. The exhibition is the first in-depth examination of the artist’s extensive body of drawings, collages, and works on paper. For over two decades, Hancock has immersed himself in drawing, testing the elasticity of the medium with a keen sense of humor.

Trenton Doyle Hancock has gained renown through epic art narrative and self-created personal mythology. The “Mounds” and a cast of colorful—and often not so colorful—characters populate his fantastic, invented landscape. This narrative is a grand battle between good and evil. The ongoing storyline appears to be self-contained. However, there is a clear critique of contemporary life through the lens of the artist. Symbolism, metaphor and parable all play a critical role in making meaningful contextual associations. Hancock’s use of vivid imagery and mythology has earned him both national and international recognition.

Within his entire body of work is a fascination with the foundation of his practice. Examination reveals a wide-range of influences including comics, graphic novels, cartoons, music, and film. Typically, Hancock’s paintings are the focal point for investigation. His drawings–both discrete and monumental–have not been explored in depth before now.

The exhibition presents a more focused concentration on his use of line and mark making. It also explores his approach to the tradition of drawing. Hancock has the ability to implode that tradition through mechanical dexterity and conceptual weight. His drawings illuminate conceptual framework and narratives throughout his different bodies of work. This comprehensive survey includes works from 1998 to 2014.

This exhibition contains five thematic sections:

Epidemic includes early sketches, cartoons that he created for his college newspaper.

Moundish explores the drawings associated with the artist’s iconic mythology of the mound and the struggle between good and evil. It includes drawings from his epic narrative that unfold in the artist’s mythological universe.

The Studio Floor is a series of ten drawings that brings together the realms of comics and cartoons with a wider arts landscape.

From the Mirror examines self-portraiture in his work.

The Liminal Room showcases stand-alone works. It features the artist’s experiments with drawing as a medium and practice.

Also included: Studies for the artist’s books, a commission for the Austin ballet Cult of Color: Call to Color, public commissions in Dallas, Houston, and Seattle, ephemera from the artist’s studio, and a recently created animation.

Overall, this exhibition explores the artist’s use of mark making onto paper and other material, the use of drawing in collage work and its presence on canvas. Included are monumental, site-specific wall drawings as well as wallpaper created by the artist.

Trenton Doyle Hancock: Skin and Bones, 20 Years of Drawing is organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. The exhibition is supported by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Anonymous, Brad and Leslie Bucher, Burning Bones Press, Sara Paschall Dodd, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Cullen Geiselman, James Cohan Gallery, Lester Marks, Judy and Scott Nyquist, Lea Weingarten, Peter and Linda Zweig and donors to CAMH’s Major Exhibition Fund. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition is made possible by a grant from The Brown Foundation, Inc.