McClain Gallery is pleased to present Dark Matter, a solo exhibition of recent paintings by Houston based artist Kent Dorn. Known for his foreboding subjects and visceral surfaces, Dorn pieces together narratives borrowed from art history, existentialist literature and snapshots to concoct visions of death and decay amid a surreal suburban backdrop.
Dark Matter is comprised of ten paintings that tell of a place laid waste by an undisclosed tragedy, where few survivors remain. Seven portraits depict the heroes who survived; their physical features maimed and deformed. Set in a post-apocalyptic landscape, the paintings' backgrounds are interspersed with industrial ruins, the violence of nature, and an ashen atmosphere that haunts Dorn's figures. In a highly distinctive approach, reminiscent of Art Brut, Dorn pins and adheres bits of photos, mounds of dried paint and studio debris to the canvas -- steadily building up encrusted surfaces. Because of Dorn's painting techniques, materials precariously cling to the canvas, and in doing so, allude to the temporal and fugitive nature of the human condition.
Kent Dorn received his BFA from Anderson College in South Carolina, before making the move to earn his MFA from the University of Houston in 2005. His work has been featured in two solo shows at Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto. He was also included in the McClain group shows New Talent and Monster Painting; this exhibition will mark his first solo show in Houston.