A purpureal halo reveals two vast and trunkless legs, and
tresses curling like tendrils of the parasite around a marble column.
Stamped with the hand that mocked them and the heart that fed,
these lifeless things wrap thy form in a mantle gray.
Once a Romanʼs chamber, nothing besides remains, boundless and bare,
the light of the dying day speeded by sweet pipings.
The Devil, she safely can aver, has neither hoof, nor tail, nor sting,
but a mind, a state not more unreal than the peace he could not feel,
or the care he could not banish. Nought may endure but Mutability.*
Night Gallery presents “The Mocking Hand,” a solo exhibition by Los Angeles artist Sean Townley. Invoking the hysteria of cultural history, Townley excavates alternate narratives embedded on the surface of modern museum-made objects and presents a peculiar account of sculptural mutability. Embracing the anonymous touch of the scanner-cum-conservator these works foreground the unanticipated potential of the technologically advanced historical artifact. From Thomas Jeffersonʼs disembodied boots to the crooked arm of Aphrodite, Townley presents us with a segmented Prometheus whose discrete parts are dispersed through the gallery in “The Mocking Hand.”
"The Mocking Hand" is the inaugural exhibition at Night Gallery's new downtown location. Opening Reception is Saturday, January 26 at 8pm.
Sean Townley (b. Boulder, Colorado 1983) received his BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2008 and his MFA from the University of Southern California in 2012. Townley has exhibited in the United States and Europe; exhibitions include Historunner, USC Roski School of Fine Arts, LA (2012); The New Wright Biennial, New Wright Gallery, LA (2012); Darkroom, Night Gallery, LA (2011); Heads on Poles, Western Exhibitions, Chicago (2011); The Learning Room, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven (2008); Bizarre, Galerie des Artistes, Strasbourg, France (2007). Townley has been written about in Art in America, The Art Newspaper, LA Weekly, Flash Art, Art Info, and LA Confidential. *Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Complete Poetical Works (abridged)