The Former and the Ladder or Ascension and a Cinchin' (Primary Title)

Trenton Doyle Hancock, American, born 1974 (Artist)

acrylic and mixed media on canvas
United States
Overall: 84 × 132 1/8 × 2 1/2 in. (213.36 × 335.6 × 6.35 cm)

This time I’m using the artist as superhero as evidence that I don’t know everything, that there is no script. —Trenton Doyle Hancock

Influenced by art history, as well as comics and illustration, Hancock’s previous body of work built an elaborate mythology of heroes, villains, and epic battles. In this work he continues to seek his aesthetic goal of merging “comic book narrative with the history of abstraction,” but he takes his own identity as his primary subject matter. His self-portrait is as layered with personal references as it is with cut-up drawings and textile fragments accumulated during more than a dozen years of studio practice. His grandmother’s tile floor inspired the lattice pattern forming the background, while his step-father’s superstition about walking under ladders gave rise to the painting’s central image.

Sydney and Francis Lewis Endowment Fund and Pamela K. and William A. Royall Jr., Fund for 21st Century Art with funds contributed by Mary and Don Shockey Jr., and Marion Boulton Stroud
Identity Shifts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, April 26 – July 27, 2014
© Trenton Doyle Hancock

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