“Harmony Korine: Shadows and Loops” November 4, 2016–January 16, 2017

NASHVILLE, TN. (September 14, 2016)—An exhibition of paintings by Nashville-based filmmaker and artist Harmony Korine will be on view at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts from November 4, 2016, to January 16, 2017. Korine, who is best known as the filmmaker/auteur of such films as Kids, Gummo, Trash Humpers, and Spring Breakers, is also an accomplished painter, having shown works in museums throughout the United States, as well as in Europe and Japan since 1999. The twelve large and dynamic works of Shadows and Loops have the improvisatory spirit of outsider art and share some of the disruptive qualities of his films.

Seen together, the crudely painted figures, shadowy sublayers and psychedelic looping patterns of the paintings offer up an environment of alienated weirdness, with an emphasis on raw expression and impulsivity rather than intellectual clarity. “His figurative works have the spontaneity of old-school graffiti, with patches of color, rough textural elements, and random marks developed into characters that have the amorphousness of ghosts,” says Frist Center Chief Curator Mark Scala.

Viewers familiar with Korine’s films will recognize cinematic references in some of the paintings as well as his practice of mixing high and low production aesthetics and materials. In the nightmarish Kotzur Gift (2014), paint is smeared over photographic images of characters wearing grotesque masks of creepy old people, such as those seen in Trash Humpers. In another celluloid connection, the painting Mini Sitter 2 (2014) features afilmstrip-like sequence of black-and-white photographs of a room where his family babysitter is seated. This looping tableau is overpainted with white spatters and drips, which obscure parts of the seemingly neutral setting.

In Korine’s Chex paintings, a series of works in which a checkerboard-like grid is painted over abstract backgrounds of shapes, the grid ripples and twists to create competing allusions, often to hypnotic effect. “The surfaces are disorienting more for their optical effects than the unsettling content of the figurative works, although they retain a pungency that seems central to the sensations Korine wants to elicit,” says Scala.

Korine’s continuing body of visual work show him to be an artist of psychological complexity, adept at drawing repressed forces to the surface. While his polarizing films are known for their visual intensity and dark humor, Scala notes, “Visitors familiar with Korine’s transgressive films that defy boundaries of taste and convention might find the droll restraint in his paintings somewhat surprising.” Korine hopes that his abstract paintings will alter perceptions. He says, “I’m chasing something that is more of a feeling, something more inexplicable, a connection to colors and dirt and character, something looping and trancelike.”

About the Artist

Nashville-based film director, screenwriter, and artist Harmony Korine (b. 1973) studied dramatic writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, dropping out after a semester to pursue a career as a skateboarder. In 1993, the photographer and director Larry Clark invited Korine to write a script that became Kids (1995), their film about drug-using, homophobic, sex-obsessed skaters in New York. Subsequent films include Gummo (1997), Julien Donkey-Boy (1999), Trash Humpers (2009), and Spring Breakers (2012). As an artist, Korine is represented by Gagosian Gallery and has exhibited his work in museum shows throughout the United States, as well as in Belgium, France, Germany, and Japan.

Exhibition Credit

Harmony Korine: Shadows and Loops was organized by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

Sponsor Acknowledgment

This exhibition is supported in part by the Friends of Contemporary Art, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Public Programs

Thursday, November 10
Artist and Curator Dialogue: Harmony Korine: Shadows and Loops presented by Harmony Korine and Mark Scala
6:30 p.m.

Frist Center Auditorium
First come, first seated

In the Frist Center’s exhibition of paintings by noted artist and filmmaker Harmony Korine, the improvisatory spirit of outsider art collides with the rawness and spontaneity of graffiti. Through his use of raw and distressed surfaces, unpredictable layering, and checkerboard patterns, Korine disrupts perceptions of topography and space. In this hour-long discussion, Korine will share his sources of inspiration and artistic process with chief curator Mark Scala.


Buddy Kite: 615.744.3351, ”
Ellen Jones Pryor: 615.243.1311, ”

High-Resolution Images Available

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About the Frist Center
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit art exhibition center dedicated to presenting and originating high-quality exhibitions with related educational programs and community outreach activities. Located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., the Frist Center offers the finest visual art from local, regional, national, and international sources in a program of changing exhibitions that inspire people through art to look at their world in new ways. The Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery features interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions. Information on accessibility may be found at fristcenter.org/accessibility. Gallery admission is free for visitors 18 and younger and to members; $12 for adults; $9 for seniors and college students with ID; and $7 for active military. College students are admitted free Thursday and Friday evenings (with the exception of Frist Fridays), 5:00–9:00 p.m. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservations by calling 615.744.3247. The galleries, café, and gift shop are open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; and Sundays, 1:00–5:30 p.m., with the café opening at noon. For additional information, call 615.244.3340 or visit fristcenter.org.

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