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Sam Dargan image

Sam Dargan: 20's 30's Powderkeg Europe (2009)
Sam Dargan – Thank God for Dynamite Part I
(Part II at Heskin Contemporary)

22 January – 27 February 2011
Opening reception Saturday January 22, 6–8 pm

Gallery hours Friday – Sunday 12-6 pm or by appointment

Stephanie Theodore is pleased to present new work by UK artist Sam Dargan.  Theodore:Art and Heskin Contemporary share the honor of co-presenting of Dargan’s first solo exhibition in the United States.

During a lecture describing the Russian Governments’ pogrom against Jews in the late 19th Century, Mark Twain said If such a government cannot be overthrown otherwise than by dynamite, then thank God for dynamite!’ (source: Alex Butterworth’s "The World That Never Was" (2010).

Aspects of a history of anarchy has been a recurring theme in Dargan’s oeuvre, touching on Bakunin, Paris Commune of 1871, early American History, Secret Societies and Conspiracy Theorists. The specific history that interests Dargan is the conglomeration of hearsay, rumours, myths, analyses and theories built upon incident, circumstance and eyewitness accounts. The Internet, indiscriminate and pluralistic, serves the isolated and disaffected, providing real news along with the half–truths and complete balderdash resulting from lazy Google searches. Dargan embraces the armchair activist, the radical who doesn’t get out much, who dreams of changing the world but never has and probably never will. Dargan creates ugly Utopias, the manifestation of ideals of the disenfranchised and the mildly unhinged. Humour is important in this work, alongside the apathy, the frustration and the self loathing

Images and ideas are culled from newspaper reportage, lazy googling, Film Noir (John Huston’s "The Asphalt Jungle" and Jean Pierre Melville’s "The Army of Shadows" and "Le Cercle Rouge"), the books of James Ellroy, the graphic novels of Joe Sacco and Harvey Pekar, the music of the Fall, Bongwater and Half Man Half Biscuit.

Sam Dargan graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2002; he is nominated for the 2009 John Moores Painting Prize and in 2006 won The 16th Mostyn Prize. His work has been exhibited regularly throughout the UK and beyond and is in important international collections. 

For more information and images, please contact:
Stephanie Theodore at 212.966.4324 /