The recent opening reception for Thomas Woodruff‘s latest solo exhibition entitled “The Four Temperament Variations” at P.P.O.W. Gallery in New York’s Chelsea arts district was a wonderfully crowded affair. Â A collection of three years worth of work, the exhibition fills the gallery’s three large rooms with compositions that explore, in Woodruff’s fantastical Neo-Fabulist style, the mythos of the Choleric, Melancholic, Phlegmatic and SanguinicÂ temperaments.
Woodruff is a conceptual artist who utilizes kitsch in the most intelligent and enjoyable of ways, playing with the dark imagery of alchemy and magic, sometimes (and most fittingly) on black silk velvet. Â The Temperament paintings drip heavy with fanciful color, phallicÂ objects, invented animals, smiling fruit, giant clusters of soft-petalled flowers and a myriad other lushÂ extravagances. Â Yet, his cornucopia of visceral delight is both disturbing and grand. Â As Vincent Desiderio wrote in the exhibition catalog, “Dark secrets seem to be lurking behind the playful frolic of Woodruff’s neatly compartmentalized Temperaments – a repression, of sorts, of unfinished business too soon expunged from the discourse ofÂ modernity.” Â Who’s unfinished business remains a mystery, but perhaps we can all relate.
Below are some details shots of some of the works on view as well as proof that the gallery was unbelievably packed (leaving no room for your humble blogger to take proper pictures). Â Take a look at the gallery site for more. Â The Four Temperaments will be on view until February 4th.