Purdy Eaton


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Purdy Eaton
About the author

A central focus of my work is time, how it is perceived in our world, particularly how we measure it through our subjective perception of “progress” – the advancement of society, the evolution of humanity and the interplay, and often harsh dichotomy, between the human world and the natural world. American Habitat, the title of my current series of paintings, investigates humanity and its relationship to nature – combative, symbiotic or synergistic – and how this interaction relates to time and progress. I grew up on a farm in rural Indiana on land that has been in my family for five generations and over one hundred years. The bucolic landscape of my childhood has since been dissected by roads and is rapidly being consumed by “starter” homes and strip-malls. Driving along the new highway that guillotined our farm, billboards have sprouted where trees once grew and subdivisions thrive where farms once did. The contemporary American landscape is a Transcendentalist nightmare. While retaining significant visual content and without dramatically altering the phenomenological experience of the viewer, my work deconstructs art historical paintings in order to critique and question issues in contemporary culture, specifically those relating to our subjective and evolving understanding of progress and the value we place on the natural world. The logic and established iconography under which these 19th century American paintings were created has changed dramatically. These works are being reconstructed within the cultural and environmental context of our time – postmodern culture and capitalist society. As the paradigm has shifted away from the science-faith-nature trinity toward progress and the advancement of society, the relationship between humans and the natural world has been transformed. Through my work I strive to investigate this new order in a medium free from empirical hindrances, using intelligent presentation that has the potential to break from cultural and spiritual norms and expand the boundaries of scientific and social thought. EDUCATION Hunter College, MFA Yale University, MPH Indiana University, BS University of Kent, Canterbury UK, Overseas Study Program SELECT EXHIBITIONS 2012 By, Of, About, Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, NY 2011 Bedevilment In Paradise, Proteus Gowanus, Brooklyn, NY The Golden Hour (Solo), Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, NY 2010 Click, Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, NY 2008 Hunter College MFA Thesis Exhibition, Hunter College Times Square Gallery, New York, NY 2008 Avatar Atavistic, Curator Andrew Prayzner, Vaudeville Park, Brooklyn, NY Science and Art, Institute for Sustainable Cities: CUNY, Governors Island, New York, NY 2007 Signs of Life, Curator David Gibson, Article Projects, Brooklyn, NY SERMO After Hours, Chicago, IL 2006 Mad Cow: Absurdity and Anxiety in Contemporary Culture, Curator Joelle Jensen, Nurture Art, Brooklyn, NY Art Students’ Exhibition in New York, ISE Cultural Foundation, New York, NY Brooklyn Museum Ball, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY Sweet Art NY, Co-curators: Alexa Georges and Sarah Bacon, Creative Time, New York, NY RxArt Ball, New York, NY 2005 Biren Faber National Color Exhibition, Stamford Art Association, Stamfod, CT Juror: Henriette Huldish, Assistant Curator at the Whitney Museum Statistically Safe (Solo), Michael Price Contemporary, Boston, MA Beasty Feast, Curator Alexandra Metral, Arlington Center for the Arts, Arlington, MA Pierogi Flat Files, Brooklyn, NY