If the Creek Don't Rise: Thomas Doyle Solo Exhibition, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers NY
Mixed Media, 2015
We are living in the Age of Anxiety. From threats of terrorism to global warming, we experience gnawing fear for our country, our culture, even our planet. Our longing for order and control is palpable. Reflecting this unease, Thomas Doyle shows us perfect worlds about to be unhinged by disaster. His miniatures lure us with their charm but looking closely we see the fragility of their secure and bolstered life. Thomas Doyle draws the title of this exhibition, If the creek don’t rise, from the 19th- century expression, “if the good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise,” that is, God and Nature control our fate, whatever plans we make.
The Culminating Point
Mixed Media, 2015
Playing with the idea that “every man’s home is his castle,” Doyle creates the stages in the life of a suburban home. Lit to suggest shifting times of day from dawn to dusk, his dioramas reach their “culminating point” in #3, the central “perfect” house. In #4 the home is literally “underwater,” its plight symbolizing the crisis of home ownership today ─ that the monetary loan for the home is greater than the diminished value of the house.
In #5, after the flood,the property on which the house stood is now returned to its empty lot status before before its construction, and is a reminder of the transience of contemporary culture where the average American moves once every five years.
HOLDOUT, Dustoff, Staging Area
You remember it, it remembers you, Acquitted
In works from 2014, Thomas Doyle creates unease in his viewers by placing families in the dangerous path of the military who infiltrate their suburban homes. Holdout presents the façade of a suburban home juxtaposed with a bunker, leaving you to wonder if the residents are collaborators or enemies.
Dustoff shows a soldier rappelling from the sky into a typical suburban front yard. In Staging area, the subterranean world of the soldier is unsuspected by the residents above. In You remember it, or it remembers you, soldiers haul household goods to a giant pile—whether debris, salvage, or pillage is unclear, while Acquitted shows a soldier sheltering a civilian from an aftermath explosion.
About the Artist
Thomas Doyle, born in Grand Haven, Michigan, is now a long-time New York resident. He has shown his sculptures at galleries and museums across the United States and in London, Los Angeles, Florence, Seoul, and Beijing. If the creek don’t rise is Thomas Doyle’s first solo museum exhibition.
All Photos: Courtesy of the artist
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