shawn huckins has historically drawn inspiration from the patriotic artwork of a young, revolutionary-era united states. for his latest upcoming exhibition – fool’s gold – huckins presents the erasures series. the artist turns again to the period when the young nation sought to establish a legacy through art. gilbert stuart’s iconic full-length portrait of washington served as precedent for the art which would be procured for the white house collection. honoring this historical legacy has persisted as the curatorial priority. the paintings chosen as subjects for the erasures are drawn from this very collection.

huckins fools gold erasures
shown in his denver studio, nothing rhymes with orange (george washington erasure no. 5)

 

 

huckinserasures is a collection of historical paintings meticulously reproduced by hand and then obscured by a hand-painted checkerboard pattern. the grey and white check, familiar to adobe photoshop users, signifies the software’s ‘eraser’ tool — removing the underlying image. the images which undergo this ‘removal’ were once testaments to those who came before us and the mark they had left. this seemingly photoshopped technique, as huckins illustrates, ‘forces us to examine our assumptions regarding the longevity of individual influence and institutions, thus raising enormous questions concerning the fragility of legacy.’

huckins fools gold erasures
me, myself, and hypocrisy (george washington, white house art collection erasure no. 13)

 

 

huckins tells us, ‘the superimposed editing marks on the erasure paintings vary from random, visceral swipes covering part of the subject or a small part of the work, to structured, rectilinear shapes verging on overtaking the underlying image completely. whether erasure is portrayed as a temperamental outburst or a methodically executed plan, the resulting obliteration is much the same. it is only in the series titles that we detect resistance to such a redaction of history.’

huckins fools gold erasures
me, myself, and hypocrisy (george washington, white house art collection erasure no. 13), detail

 

 

the erasure series will be displayed at shawn huckins’ fool’s gold exhibition at san fransisco’s modernism gallery, opening on july 11th, 2018 and showing through september 8, 2018.

huckins fools gold erasures
time never tells, (niagara falls, white house art collection erasure no. 4), detail


moderation on one side, prudence on the other (james madison, white house art collection erasure no. 9), detail

huckins fools gold erasures
he said. she said. she said. (julia gardiner tyler, white house art collection erasure no. 18)
huckins fools gold erasures
he said. she said. she said. (julia gardiner tyler, white house art collection erasure no. 18), detail
huckins fools gold erasures
white lies beneath (william henry harrison, white house art collection erasure no. 10)
huckins fools gold erasures
my button is bigger than your button (marquis de lafayette, white house art collection erasure no. 7)
huckins fools gold erasures
the most beautiful place is far from here (rocky mountain scene, white house art collection erasure no. 16)
huckins fools gold erasures
the most beautiful place is far from here (rocky mountain scene, white house art collection erasure no. 16), detail
huckins fools gold erasures
disagree to disagree (john tyler, white house art collection erasure no. 21)
huckins fools gold erasures
we kind of have a history (benjamin henry latrobe, white house art collection erasure no. 2)
huckins fools gold erasures
huckins in his denver studio

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