Morgan Lehman Gallery is pleased to present, Tossed Overboard, paintings and works on paper by Don Doe. This is Doe’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The artist is closely associated with the group of figurative artists that includes Lisa Yuskavage and John Currin – all of whom graduated from the same class in Yale’s Fine Arts MFA program. While these artists choose to frequently represent fantastically sexualized images of nude women, each of them have chosen highly individualized stylistic methodologies and theoretical underpinnings in which to explore issues of kitsch, gender and sexuality.
Don Doe creates fantasy images of women depicted in the garb and backdrop of the sea-faring pirate. Typically in a work, a lithe female is a represented, often semi-nude, with costume accouterments such as an eye-patch, bandana, parrot or buccaneer‘s cutlass. They are culled from magazine sources – both old and new, such as “girly” magazines, advertising and vintage and contemporary fashion magazines. In any one picture, an advertisement from American Apparel, a vintage sixties stag magazine and a plate from a Robert Louis Stevenson book can be mashed together to create a perplexing work that references both our nostalgic past and our modern life. As viewers, we recognize the humor and character of these faux-menacing harlots. Doe comments on contemporary pop culture’s connection between sexuality and danger by using the symbol of the pirate archetype hybridized with the pin-up girl of teenage fantasy, while still leaving ample room for the viewer to interpret the narrative.
Don Doe was born in 1963 in Toledo, Ohio and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He earned his MFA at Yale University in 1987. Recent solo exhibitions include “New Mothers” at Mireille Mosler, Ltd., New York, NY and “Heroines & Hellions” at Cornell University Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, NY. His work is in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art, and Yale University Art Gallery among others. Doe’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Chicago Journal, Art in Review, The New Yorker and NY Arts among others.