Commonwealth and Council

Rube's Apprentice

Erich Bollmann


The new works in Rube's Apprentice sidle longways through a realm where Americana and antiquity, lofty idealism and adolescent fantasy go for drinks after the bars close. Where geographic expansion is no longer an option, the artist has picked up where we left off, mining deposits of imaginary minerals. The Saturday morning cartoon is animated from this. The dreams of wide-eyed imagineers access a well-spring of atomic-era unconsciousness; foundational myth runs aground with barnyard farce and confrontational frontiersmen play out endlessly repetitive games of chance (no longer Apollo and Dionysus, but Tom and Jerry, Elmer and Bugs). On the other side of the glass, blank pensive faces, budding knights errant cross-hatched by various networks, enraptured by televisual temptation. Away from the screens, a distant echo of these animations our parents grew up with, the flash of images at once scenic, morose, comedic, yet they stay virile.

It's all Greek to us. A country once unsettled, left pining for backwater roots now gesturing wildly in the name of refinement, the population once again turns inward. One cultivates the land, the other wishes for acid rain on off-days. A country of rustics in high-rise luxury condos. Do they write legibly? Idle hicks spar with lofty ideals. The apprentice learns by candlelight as the drawings succumb to their captions. Held captive, captivated by the words, the images are fixed in place like gladiators before battle. They maintain their silent composure before asphyxiation.

Erich Bollmann was born 1984 in Iowa. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication featuring text by Kyle Tidd.