Reflecting the painter’s lifelong interests in fine art and the language of comics, Keith Mayerson’s My American Dream presents a nonlinear narrative that he asks the viewer to complete. The “American dream” that it proposes is idiosyncratic, personal, and disruptive of traditional understandings, as it focuses simultaneously on subjects drawn from cultural history and the civil rights struggle and from Mayerson’s own life. The salon-style installation includes images of Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, Abraham Lincoln, and others, and links these stories to those of the nation and of Mayerson, respectively, coming of age. Paintings of Superman and popular musicians such as Marvin Gaye and the Beatles are juxtaposed with depictions of the artist as a child with his family and with paintings based on photographs of Mayerson with his husband, Andrew Madrid.
The paintings were made over a period of about twenty years. The earliest are exactingly executed; in recent years Mayerson has also made more improvisational abstractions, as well as representational paintings that include passages of freely expressive brushwork. Throughout, optimism mingles with desire, portraying Mayerson’s belief that “personal agency could help to define and strengthen this country.”
Keith Mayerson’s work is on view in the Museum’s third floor galleries.
Academy Records and Matt Hanner
Ei Arakawa and Carissa Rodriguez
Robert Ashley and Alex Waterman
Lisa Anne Auerbach
Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna
Paravel, and Sensory Ethnography Lab
Critical Practices Inc.
Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst
Radamés “Juni” Figueroa
Gaylen Gerber with David Hammons,
Sherrie Levine, and Trevor Shimizu
Tony Greene curated by Richard
Hawkins and Catherine Opie
Yve Laris Cohen
My Barbarian (Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon
and Alexandro Segade)
Sara Greenberger Rafferty
Steve Reinke with Jessie Mott
Valerie Snobeck and Catherine Sullivan
Charline von Heyl
David Foster Wallace