August 20 – November 15, 2008
Since 1995, Simon Grennan (UK) and Christopher Sperandio (US) have created comic books and art installations based on their iconic cartoon drawing style. These works often focus attention on specific contexts and communities. HORSE GUTS is a new painted installation, which takes as its starting point artworks by Canton’s most famous native, Frederic Remington (1861-1909). Much has been written about Remington's vision of the American West. For this installation, Grennan and Sperandio have isolated Remington’s pictorial interest in animals, namely the horse. In many of Remington’s works, the horse is a tool of war and often an expendable one at that.
Several of Remington’s original paintings, drawings and rare prints from SLU’s Permanent Collection will be presented in the context of a new wall painting designed by Grennan and Sperandio. Rather than a heavy-handed critique of Remington as an artist or an indictment of his ruthless advocacy of Western expansion, this installation reveals a new perspective on the wars, great and small, aspects of which Remington championed, albeit via the Kartoon Kings’ Looney Tunes approach. The artworks that will be displayed typify 19th-century attitudes regarding the use of animals during times of war. In addition, representations of soldiers, cavalrymen and cowboys which, while not relating directly to the exhibition’s main thesis, entertained the artists enough to be included.
Part Guernica, part Saw II, HORSE GUTS is a visceral response to Frederic Remington’s glorification of violence.
As part of the artists’ efforts to include other people, community members in their installation projects, teams of St. Lawrence University students, regional artists, and Dianne Drayse-Alonso’s Ogdensburg Free Academy students will paint the artists’ designs on the Gallery walls. The Owen D. Young Library at SLU provided additional support for the exhibition.