Artist Ron English standing in front of Evolutionary War Guernica at Allouche Gallery
The Allouche Gallery in the Meatpacking District, opened its doors this week to its first solo show – a timely and stunning exhibit of new work by artist Ron English entitled Ron English: Guernica. The eighteen paintings are English’s narrative to Pablo Picasso’s 1937 painting Guernica, which was Picasso’s immediate artistic reaction to the Nazi’s bombing practices on the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. The wide, mural-size Guernica of the 1930s reflects the suffering on civilians in its political message. English, taking a three-year, deep dive into the creation of this body of work, has brought Guernica into the twenty-first century, forcing the viewer to face cultural biases, embedded in our consciousness, the complexities of waste, destruction, horror and conquest.
Allouche Gallery located at 82 Gansevoort Street, directly across from The Whitney
As you enter the gallery, you’re greeted by Tempter Tot Tramples Guernica, which sets the tone for the POPaganda signature mash-up of high and low cultural touchstones. Here he uses historical imagery and superhero mythology alongside his well-known arsenal of original characters. Each of the eighteen paintings is meant to relay his message of the endless cycles of creation and destruction. Below are a few of the paintings included in this exhibit, as we walked through the gallery with the artist.
Tempter Tot Tramples Guernica, 2015-2016, oil on canvas. Image courtesy of Allouche Gallery and the artist
We have entertained the work of Ron English throughout most of our five boroughs over the years, from Temper Tot in Little Italy to Baby Hulk on the Bowery Wall, working on a billboard with kids in the Bronx to a recent Trumpty Dumpty on a wall in Brooklyn. As we walked through the gallery with the artist just hours before his opening, he spoke openly about the state of affairs in this country and throughout the world, his message clearly referenced in each painting, seen below:
Liu Bolin’s Guernica, part of a special project in 2016
Propaganda Guernica, 2016, oil on canvas. Image courtesy of Allouche Gallery and the artist
Baby Guernica, 2016, oil on canvas. Image courtesy of Allouche Gallery and the artist
A close-up of Baby Guernica
Flintstones Guernica, 2015, oil on canvas
Evolutionary War Guernica, 2014-2016, oil on canvas. Image courtesy of Allouche Gallery and the artist
Guernica Days, 2015-2016, oil on canvas. Image courtesy of Allouche Gallery and the artist
Fat Food Guernica, 2016, oil and acrylic on canvas. Image courtesy of Allouche Gallery and the artist
Monotype Snoopy vs Simpsons Guernica, 2016, oil on canvas. Image courtesy of Allouche Gallery and the artist
So what’s next for English? It appears that Mr. English, who lives in Beacon, has been hanging with musicians and creating a little music. We left with a CD entitled The Rabbits, not yet available. But you can follow Ron English on his website, where you can also buy from his collection of t-shirts (Trumpty Dumpty) and toys, or on Twitter and Facebook. We leave you with Seconds Before Impact Guernica (below). Ron English: Guernica will be on view until October 19 at Allouche Gallery, 82 Gansevoort Street, directly across from the Whitney Museum.
Seconds Before Impact Guernica, 2015-2016, oil on canvas