Robert Davis and Michael Langlois

Robert Davis and Michael Langlois.jpg

On view through April 5, 2009 at the Chicago Cultural Center is House of the Rising Sun, an installation of paintings by the collaborative duo of Robert Davis and Michael Langlois.

Though their output primarily consists of paintings, the pair also collaborates to create sculpture and large-scale installations with a conceptual bent. Their scrupulously crafted, whimsical and stinging paintings explore the lowbrow with a fastidious fixation on the human figure as it undergoes psychological or physical stress. Their work is replete with historical and pop culture characters, loving family portraits, controversial icons, and hard core sensibilities.

For this exhibition, a small number of related paintings are presented in a similar but new configuration from their 2008 exhibition at Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles, under the same title. Among the works on view is Babylon, a large canvas depicting among other things female nudes, airliners, oil derricks, and a pig fucking a goose, all rendered in shades of blue. While this painting is displayed centrally in the gallery space, it is flanked on either side by two smaller paintings to round out the installation: Face of God, and Dads.

Robert Davis and Michael Langlois have been collaborating as artists since they met at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1997, and divide their time between Chicago and Brooklyn.