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Enigma: The Prints of David Lynch

Exhibition Dates: September 6 – October 28, 2022

Reception: Friday, September 23, 5:00-8:30 pm

Outdoor Documentary Screening: Friday, September 23, 7:00 pm

Tandem Press is excited to host an outdoor screening of the documentary David Lynch: The Art Life this September in conjunction with a reception for the exhibition Enigma: The Print of David Lynch. The reception and screening event will be held on Friday, September 23, 2022, from 5:00 to 8:30 pm. The reception will take place in the Tandem Press Apex Gallery. The documentary will be shown on the lawn in front of the Apex building where Tandem is located, beginning at 7:00 pm. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs to watch the movie.

About the Documentary:

David Lynch: The Art Life shares a glimpse into the creative vision of David Lynch. Throughout the documentary, Lynch shares stories from his childhood, art school, and the beginning of his filmmaking career. Images of his paintings and prints along with photos and archive materials are shown as Lynch speaks from his home and studio, linking his anecdotes to examples of his artistic practice. The documentary illuminates an expression of David Lynch that is approachable and relatable, even as his art remains enigmatic.

About the Exhibition:

Enigma: The Prints of David Lynch will present a selection of fine art prints that David Lynch created at Tandem Press between 1998 and 2021. Much like his filmography, Lynch’s artwork is often dark and surreal, carrying a non-linear or non-sensical narrative.

The exhibition will center around Lynch’s newest series of prints, Distorted Nude Photogravure #1-#12, completed in 2021. Although he has used photographic images in his artwork many times before, this series represents his first use of image manipulation software to alter source images, borrowed with permission from 1000 Nudes: A History of Erotic Photography from 1839-1939, Uwe Scheid Collection (Taschen, in print).

In these twelve prints, deformed nude figures contort, bend, reach, and pose within strange environments that, while mostly unclearly defined, appear to be domestic spaces. The images sink into a deep velvety black square. This format, slightly reminiscent of film but exaggerated as if to suggest a peep show, aligns the prints with Lynch’s cinematic work and lends a voyeuristic edge to the viewer’s relationship to the images.

Not all the artworks included in this exhibition include nudity, however. A series from 1999 depict burnt desert shrubs. A piece from 1998, Ant Bee Tarantula, displays a primitive lumpy head with a gaping mouth surrounded by the title text, the function of which remains unclear. David Lynch was once asked in an interview about his use of text in his artwork, to which he responded, “the image comes first and it tells me what the word should be, then the letters ignite the image.”

Given the overall mood of Lynch’s work, it may not be surprising that black is a favorite color of his, and it dominates this exhibition. In an interview with fellow filmmaker Chris Rodley, Lynch said, “Black has depth. It’s like a little egress; you can go into it, and because it keeps on continuing to be dark, the mind kicks in, and a lot of things that are going on in there become manifest. And you start seeing what you’re afraid of. You start seeing what you love, and it becomes like a dream.”

About David Lynch

David Lynch (b. 1946, Missoula, Montana) is an artist, musician, and filmmaker who wrote and directed the critically acclaimed films EraserheadElephant ManBlue VelvetLost HighwayMulholland Drive, and the television series Twin Peaks. Although often described as surrealist, his visual style is highly unique and has been branded as his own Lynchian style. Lynch studied painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He moved to Los Angeles in 1970 to study filmmaking at the AFI Center for Advanced Film Studies. Lynch has received myriad accolades throughout his decades-long filmmaking career, including three Academy Award nominations, a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, a Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival, and two César Awards for Best Foreign Film. Most recently, he was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2019. A lifelong visual artist, Lynch’s paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, and prints provide a deeper understanding of his vision and reveal a vital source of inspiration for his instantly recognizable filmmaking aesthetic. An absence of color characterizes Lynch’s artworks; he believes black is a liberating factor and uses it to make his works more dreamlike. Lynch has been the subject of numerous exhibitions worldwide, most recently “Squeaky Flies in the Mud” at Sperone Westwater in New York and “My Head is Disconnected” at HOME in Manchester, England (both in 2019). Retrospectives of his work were held at Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, Netherlands (2018-19), Centre of Contemporary Art in Torun, Poland (2017-18), and Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia (2015). Additional major surveys include exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2014-15 and the Fondation Cartier in Paris in 2007. In 2011, an extensive collection of his drawings, paintings, and photographs was published in Dark Splendor. David Lynch lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

David Lynch, Ant Bee Tarantula, 1998
David Lynch, Ant Bee Tarantula, 1998