In this new series, Todd James further develops the longtime theme of his characteristic female figures occupying intimate settings. In Sanctuary we find his women in almost meditative spaces, dreamily inhabiting interiors that are lushly colored, and elaborately detailed. Worlds within worlds, paintings within paintings, and books upon books populate this densely patterned, vibrant decor. The flat blocks of bright colors create fluid and organic forms that materialize into complex compositions, which prompt the gaze to go deeper and deeper, in a constant and engrossing dialogue with the viewer.
In James’ largest work of the group, Mystic Sanctuary, the space depicted expands. Forms come together creating a fresh dimensional perception, and the scene is devoid of human figure, inviting the viewer himself to inhabit the emotional landscape that James has summoned up.
These paintings remind us of the comforts of home, and the human need to feel protected from the vicissitudes of nature.
Todd James (New York, 1969, lives and works in New York) is an internationally recognized American artist. He co-created important art projects such as: Street Market (Deitch Project, New York, 2000) and Beautiful Losers (Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, 2007). In the early ‘80s, Todd James, only 12 then, began painting New York subway cars under the pseudonym REAS, earning a reputation amongst writers. In 1987, he designed the Brooklyn Dust Elephant logo for the Beastie Boys and went on to collaborate with musicians such as Iggy Pop, Eminem, Pharrell Williams, U2, and Miley Cyrus, to name a few.
His work has been in important cultural institutions such as the Venice Biennale (2001, 2015), MOCA Museum in Los Angeles (2011), Brooklyn Museum in New York (2011), Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York (2011), Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati (2004), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco (2004), Tate Modern in Liverpool (2002), Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia (1999).
He’s had solo shows in galleries worldwide: Nature Candy, Nanzuka Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, 2018; Electric Ritual, Alice Gallery, Brussels, Belgium; The Gods Are Smiling on Us, Dio Horia, Mykonos, Greece, 2018; Love To Love You, Todd James, Galleria Javier Lopez / Fer Frances, Madrid, Spain; Interior, Eighteen Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2018; Stay Golden, Aishonanzuka, Hong Kong, China, 2016; Fantasy Island, Lazarides Ratbone, London, 2015; Supernatural, Sandra Gering, New York, 2014; Secret Garden, Galleria Patricia Armocida, Milan, Italy, 2014; Todd James, Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 2011.