University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Dennis Balk: Early Work 1980-2090


Balk_CataposterFebruary 6-April 5, 2009
INOVA/Kenilworth
East Gallery
2155 North Prospect Avenue
Artist reception: February 6, 6-9 pm


Dennis Balk exhumes his past work, collecting and piecing together fragments of his own history to present a purposely disjunctive narrative. As disparate as the elements of his production have been--plays, props, drawings, diagrams, digital images, speculative photographs, portraits, stories, and books--his subject has remained consistent and coherent: how the frictions, fissions and fusions of competing visions of reality are inscribed upon the world.

This exhibition surveys Balk's work from the 1990s "napkin" drawings project (historical timelines drawn in marker on cloth dining napkins) to his current "Planck State" particle interaction images and beyond. Through a complex, winding style of narrative exposition, built with photographs of Middle Eastern street life, fanciful subatomic depictions, and scraps of text, Balk investigates the constituent material of reality as it shapes and forms cultures that reshape and reform the world.

Dennis Balk is a visual artist and playwright based primarily in New York. From 2006 through 2008 he was the director of the Bahrain Media Lab @ NYIT in the Arabian Gulf and the coordinator of the Department of Fine Arts/ Computer Graphics and an associate professor at the New York Institute of Technology, Bahrain Campus. His recent publications include particles + waves with plausibility (2006), Border Taxi (with Christopher Moylan, 2007), and Colin de Land/ American Fine Arts (2008).

Critic's Pick in artforum.com

Aisha Motlani's review in ExpressMilwaukee.com