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Visiting Artist Talk II: Trenton Doyle Hancock

colorful painting with interlacing elements and characters surrounding large disembodied legs with leaping foot

TRENTON DOYLE HANCOCK,The Former and the Ladder or Ascension and a Cinchin', 2012, Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 84 x 132 x 3 in.
Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, New York 

The Department of Art and Art History is pleased to welcome Trenton Doyle Hancock as the Spring 2018 artist-in-residence. As a part of Hancock's residency, he will be delivering two lectures at The University of Texas at Austin on his sprawling practice.

Trenton Doyle Hancock has received national and international attention for his hybridization of comic book narratives and abstraction within a wide range of media from prints, drawing and mixed media to installation and performance. Most recently, Hancock’s work was exhibited in a solo exhibition, Mind of the Mound, organized by Art League Houston and exhibited at the former Rice University Art Gallery. Hancock’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including in the 2000 and 2002 Whitney Biennials.

Hancock transforms traditionally formal decisions—such as his use of color, language, and pattern—into opportunities to create new characters, develop sub-plots and convey symbolic meaning. Hancock’s works are suffused with personal mythology presented at an operatic scale, often reinterpreting Biblical stories that the artist learned as a child from his family and local church community. 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 sprawling installations spill onto beyond the canvas edges and onto gallery walls.

His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX; The Contemporary (formerly The Jones Center for Contemporary Art), Austin; The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; Institute for Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; The University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa; The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.