Through ghosts and buildings, Adam Dumont poses questions about abundance during the mid twentieth century while shedding light on the loss of choice in the contemporary world. The exhibition, Spectral Sprawl: Works by Adam Dumont, is located at the 78th Street Studios on the second floor with an opening reception on Friday, September 19, from 5-9 pm and runs through October 31, 2014. It will be open to the public weekdays during business hours.
Gas stations, fast food, and department store chains from a bygone era haunt Dumont’s landscapes. Identifying the early 1970s as the catalyst for the decline of independent businesses and rising costs through inflation. Dumont explains, “Our options have been stripped down to a couple of big box stores and a handful of fast food chains and gasoline companies.” This loss also has far reaching consequences for the dissemination of modern architecture, as petroleum companies were one of the first industries to utilize prefabricated construction. Buildings themselves became advertising and established thee brand resulting in extremely modern structures to be built in suburban and rural areas.
Paired with these landscapes are the ghosts of celebrities made anonymous via their death shrouds. However, Dumont cleverly seeks connections between his choice of stars and chains. In his Gas Station paintings and drawings, he draws his subjects from sitcoms with rural settings, such as Green Acres, or Petticoat Junction. Some of these figures –like the businesses the accompany in the works– continue to live on in fame, while others are fading or have already faded away.