Night Gallery is pleased to present Promised Land, an exhibition of works by Chaz Guest and Josh Callaghan. Promised Land vivifies the power dynamics between nations and their citizenry, a relationship that is inherently both inspired and fraught. Guest, in epic painting, and Callaghan, in iconic sculptures, propose a much-needed reinvention of American civic art. But in Promised Land, the American mythology being codified is as if told by those on the bottom of the power structure, the people.
Chaz Guest’s paintings depict vivid scenes from the imagined past, distilling public record and personal narratives into dramatic vignettes. Drawing upon untold stories and fading memories, the works reflect dreams of history as it might have been, conjuring scenes of narrative tension at the same time that they are monuments to personal expression. Guest builds up his compositions in ink and oil paint, masterfully interpolating techniques from Sumi-E calligraphy to render richly detailed scenes in gestural, emotive brushstrokes. This technique merges extremes, requiring exacting focus and discipline to arrive at works of musical exuberance. The resulting works speak to the resonance of historical mythmaking, tapping into an underlying humanity that connects past to present.