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Homage to the Auction Block

LaMontagne Gallery

July 15–August 14, 2021

Homage to the Auction Block #30-here my troubles began…., 2020, Signed on verso

Homage to the Auction Block #30-here my troubles began…., 2020

Signed on verso

Acrylic gouache on panel

16 x 16 x 1 1/2 in (40.6 x 40.6 x 3.8 cm)

Press Release

Homage to the Auction Block
July 15 – August 14, 2020
LaMontagne Gallery
Boston, MA

The institution's press release follows:

LaMontagne Gallery is pleased to present Homage to the Auction Block, new paintings by Steve Locke. In the new series the artist brings color theory to his ongoing dialogue on images of racial exploitation in American history including the conflicted past Locke explored in the Auction Block Hall Proposal and the Three Deliberate Grays for Freddie at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Locke said,

"The application of flat color, the use of the grid, and the reliance on “primary structures” have art historical meanings central to Western Modernism-and its notion that form could be separated from its content. The works retain some residue of their and conception with guided and grid lines at times visible in the hand painted surface.  Proportion and chromatic relationships are explored to varying visual effect. The use of the “auction block” motif literally organizes these modernist relations around the central symbol of chattel slavery in the Americas. The work re-frames the work of modernism around the shape that made it possible.