October 6 to October 29, 2017

Station Independent Projects
138 Eldridge Street, New York

I am pleased to present “Bill Durgin: Figure As Ground” at Station Independent Projects. Durgin is an accomplished artist worthy of a solo exhibition which I felt would be best served in this venue. For several years Durgin has been developing a visually challenging body of work that engages the viewer with the formal grounding of a central image—in most cases the body, or a surrogate--within a field of perception that is both visceral and ephemeral.  The active aesthetic of Bill Durgin’s current work has to do with absence, or with looking askance from a central figure that draws the eye. In the past, his work dealt with an elliptical, nearly surgical, erasure of body parts, or at the least consideration, an erasure of the modes of perspective that allow us to see a body as whole. This runs directly against the convention that photographs are meant as documents, and that the dimensional and narrative aspects of any given photograph are the real subject matter. Of course, every aesthetic has its own legacy, and the one Durgin shows his affinity to dates back to Modernist innovators such as Man Ray and Hans Bellmer. There is a merging of times past, present, and to come, an alternation of the perception of what constitutes a story; there is, ultimately, the creation of an icon. His current work is progressively subtle, pulling away from the viscerality of past work. It is obsessed with the grounding of the figure, or any form disposed as such, into a variable field of perception. Aesthetic appreciation is torn from its origin in lust and is commingled with the visual fold of a mutable and highly charged space where the eye is challenged to define what is both real and beautiful.