Exhibition | Chris Volpe
Exhibition dates: March 3-April 14
Artist talk: March 29, 4pm with reception and refreshments to follow
Chester Gallery, 39 Main Street, Henniker NH
Loomings is a series of paintings combining tar, oil paint, and occasionally gold leaf. Named after the first chapter in Melville’s Moby-Dick, each painting’s title references the novel’s apocalyptic vision of the American quest.
The tar, a fossil-fuel byproduct, functions as a monochromatic signifier of industrialism, particularly reckless over-extraction. Recalling that whale oil was the precursor to petroleum, the titles’ quotations from Moby-Dick and the tar’s metallic blacks and tintype sepia tones invoke Melville’s novel as a cautionary, foundational myth for our own age of accelerating climate disruption and social discord.
Image credit: Argonautica/Dutchman (“Yes, the world’s a ship on its passage out”), 48”x48”, tar on canvas