Stamer’s reminiscences of his childhood in North Carolina, liberally inhabited by hay bales, barns and tobacco shacks, is as much about longing for yesteryear and simpler times as it about homage for the grand masters of sixties’ Abstract Expressionism. In his signature blend of realism and abstraction, we witness the conjunction of epic gesture and subtle rumination. - thru May 19
Damian Stamer University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Red State 2011 Oil on linen 30” x 42”
I grew up swinging from birches and exploring rural pastures in North Carolina. The sun-beaten fields, weathered barns, and stale bales of hay of my childhood remain indelibly connected with my identity. These pastoral elements, Greenbergian notions of Kitsch, coexist with heroically gestured strokes that draw attention to the specificity of my medium. This dialectic between landscape and formalist elements not only marries varying schools of artistic expression, but charts my personal development as well. Growing up removed from the contemporary ‘Art World’, I discovered Rauschenberg, Rauch, and my other heroes only after leaving home to study art in big cities around the world. So in a way, this body of work ties together different elements of my identity that are often viewed as contradictory. The simple country boy meets metropolitan sophisticate as opposing spheres of time, memory, and knowledge are compressed into a singular composition.
Damian Stamer was born in Durham, North Carolina in 1982. He has received numerous awards including a Fulbright grant and a Jacob K. Javits fellowship. He has studied internationally at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest, Hungary and the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design, Germany. Damian received his B.F.A. from Arizona State University (summa cum laude) and is currently pursuing his MFA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has exhibited extensively in the U.S. and abroad.
Painter Damian Stamer depicts barns, abandoned buildings, and other vernacular structures of the rural south. His heavily layered canvases blur the line between abstraction and representation as they seek to express the solemn beauty of the old and overlooked.