Trenton Doyle Hancock

This event has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date

Monday, April 6, 2020 - 6:00p.m.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Rubloff Auditorium
230 S. Columbus Dr., Chicago, IL
United States

For almost two decades, Trenton Doyle Hancock has been constructing his own fantastical narrative that continues to develop and inform his prolific artistic output. Part fictional, part autobiographical, Hancock’s work pulls from his personal experience, the art historical canon, comics and superheroes, pulp fiction, and myriad pop culture references, resulting in a complex amalgamation of characters and plots that possess universal concepts of light and dark, good and evil, and all the gray in between.

Hancock transforms traditionally formal decisions—such as his use of color, language, and pattern—into opportunities to create new characters, develop subplots, and convey symbolic meaning. Hancock’s works are suffused with personal mythology presented at an operatic scale, often reinterpreting biblical stories. His exuberant and subversive narratives employ a variety of cultural tropes, ranging in tone from comic-strip superhero battles to medieval morality plays, and influenced in style by Hieronymus Bosch, Max Ernst, Henry Darger, Philip Guston, and R. Crumb. Text embedded within the paintings and drawings both drives the narrative and acts as a central visual component. The resulting installations spill beyond the canvas edges and onto gallery walls. Hancock’s mythology has also been translated through performance in an original ballet, Cult of Color: Call to Color, commissioned by Ballet Austin, and through site-specific murals for the Dallas Cowboys Stadium and the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park.

Hancock’s exhibitions include Mind of the Mound: Critical Mass, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; Skin & Bones: 20 Years of Drawing, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; the 2000 and 2002 Whitney Biennials, New York; Temple Contemporary at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Philadelphia; Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida; University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa; Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia; Weatherspoon Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Florida; Institute for Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland; and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Hancock’s work is also in the permanent collections of several prestigious museums.

Presented in partnership with SAIC’s Department of Painting and Drawing

James Cohan Gallery

Shulamit Nazarian Gallery

Whyte, Murray. “A hero’s tale, freshly told at Mass MoCA,” The Boston Globe. 2 May 2019

Onyewuenyi, Ikechukwu. “Trenton Doyle Hancock Talks About “Mind of the Mound: Critical Mass,”” Artforum. April 2019 (PDF)

Pagel, David. “Review: Marvel Universe, this is not. A peek inside Trenton Doyle Hancock’s Moundverse,” The Los Angeles Times. 22 January 2019