Trenton Doyle Hancock
(born 1974, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; lives and works in Houston, Texas)
Trenton Doyle Hancock is known for his epic mythology surrounding the fictional human/plant hybrids that he calls Mounds. The narratives featured in his prints, drawings, and collaged-felt paintings collectively relate their unfolding story. Having come to life 50,000 years ago when an ape-man masturbated into a field of flowers, the peaceful Mounds are constantly threatened by their mutant nemeses, the Vegans, who value the purity of compactness and oppose the Mounds’ expansive girth. The Mounds, as do most of the characters that inhabit his narrative, serve in some way as Hancock’s alter ego.
The structure on view here reprises part of Hancock’s performance Off Colored (1998). In that work, he brought a Mound character to life, wearing a colorful, fur-striped sheet that mimics the appearance of the Mounds in his paintings and works on paper. Whereas the initial performance, Off Colored, critiqued the commercialization of his work, for the present exhibition Hancock will perform a new interpretation entitled Devotion, which focuses on the spiritual legacies of his childhood.
Trenton Doyle Hancock received his BFA from Texas A&M University, Commerce (1997), and his MFA from Temple University, Philadelphia (2000). He is the 2007 recipient of the Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize. His solo exhibitions include Trenton Doyle Hancock, James Cohan Gallery, New York (2012); Trenton Doyle Hancock: Fix, Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE (2011); We Done All We Could and None of It’s Good, University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa (2010); Work While It Is Day . . . For When Night Cometh No Man Can Work, Dunn and Brown Contemporary, Dallas (2010); Trenton Doyle Hancock: The Wayward Thinker, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland (2007); In the Blestian Room, James Cohan Gallery, New York (2006); Moments in Mound History, Cleveland Museum of Art (2003); It Came from Studio Floor, Dunn and Brown Contemporary, Dallas (2003); and The Life and Death of #1, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2001). His group exhibitions include Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN (2012); The Value of Water, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York (2011); Mutant Pop and the Living Image, Loyal Gallery, Malmo, Sweden (2010); Best Laid Plans, Drawing Room, London (2010); Prospect.1 Biennial, New Orleans (2008); Wunderkammer: A Century of Curiosities, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008); Darger-ism: Contemporary Artists and Henry Darger, American Folk Art Museum, New York (2008); The Compulsive Line, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006); Perspectives @ 25: A Quarter-Century of New Art in Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2004); Political Nature, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2004); Splat Boom Pow! The Influence of Cartoons in Contemporary Art, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2003); Poetic Justice, Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (2003); It Happened Tomorrow, Lyon Biennial, Lyon, France (2003); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2002); Freestyle, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2001, traveling); Out of the Ordinary: New Art from Texas, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2000); and Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2000).