American Dream
14 January – 17 February, 1999


Opening reception Thursday, January 14, 6-8pm

The Spencer Brownstone Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of recent work by Jordan Tinker entitled American Dream.
For his second solo exhibition at the gallery, Jordan Tinker explores a variety of concerns from the American romance with the open road and unspoiled wilderness, to it’s exploitation of natural resources and the notion of “Manifest Destiny.” For American Dream, Tinker has drawn copies of 19th century American Romantic landscape paintings from recent auction catalogues directly onto the gallery’s walls. By lifting images from these catalogues that merely codify and evaluate their existence, Tinker frees the image from its association to the ideals of acquisition and ownership and places them solely within the realm of memory. The images, which are created with ink and painted over with ordinary wall paint, barely seep through the surface. The monochromatic landscapes will fade as the show progresses, leaving only hints of detail from the original reproduction. Over time, recollection will begin to infer lines and marks that may no longer be discernible. At the end of the exhibit, the paintings will be completely destroyed, making way for future exhibitions.
In addition to the paintings, Tinker will present photographic transparencies mounted on light boxes, employing a popular means of display in advertising that is now commonly used in the presentation of fine art. The photos depict a new American landscape, illuminated gas station signs against an impossibly vast sky. The familiar corporate markers are both anonymous and distinct, delineating a backdrop of imminent dusk. They are at once symbols of discovery / exploitation, comfort / unrest, punctuating the mythic alienation of the lonely traveler.
By allowing the delicate, labor intensive drawings to disintegrate while the photographs continuously glow, Tinker disregards any artificially driven appraisal system, assigning his own codex of value to the things he creates. In Jordan Tinker’s eyes, a photograph is equal to a painting is equal to an object.