In Arcadia - A Solo Exhibition by Landon Bailey Higgins
Opening Reception on Saturday, February 12, 12 - 4 PM
"But I was in search of love in those days, and I went full of curiosity and the faint, unrecognized apprehension that here, at last, I should find that low door in the wall, which others, I knew, had found before me, which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden, which was somewhere, overlooked by a window, in the heart of that grey city."
- Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
Gallery Poulsen presents In Arcadia, Landon Bailey Higgins’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Higgins was born in Huntsville, a medium-sized city in the southern state Alabama. In connection to his admittance to Pratt Institute (AAS) and Hunter College (BA), from where he graduated in 2020, Higgins left his conservative home state and moved to the sprawling New York City. Here a new world opened itself to Landon and he finally got the opportunity to explore his own homosexuality, a theme that is prevalent in Higgins’s oeuvre and in the exhibitions nine new paintings. Higgins applies qualities of the still-life, figurative, and landscape painting to illustrate and invite us on this lonely and isolating emotional and physical journey.
Stemming from growing up in a conservative, Christian culture, Higgins felt mired in the struggle to reconcile his homosexuality in an environment where acts of intimacy were reserved for others. As a result of this, the choice of the color of Higgins’s gummy bears is very specific. The red and blue characters symbolize heteronormative and gender-based colors assigned to men and women by societal structures, while the orange gummy bears symbolize “the other”, those who find themselves existing outside of the conventions of society. The portrayal of intimate acts between two characters, one red and one blue, while a singular golden figure peers in is Higgins’s way of illustrating his own longing for meaningful and romantic human connection. The gummy bear in Higgins’s paintings can also be interpreted as a pop-cultural icon and because of this, as an homage to New York, the birthplace of pop art and the city that made it possible for Higgins to live out his identity, free from prejudices.
Though the narratives of the presented works often tell of disconnection and longing, the paintings maintain a playful essence reminiscent of adolescence, pleasure, and innocence. In these whimsical yet tender narratives, the gummy bear functions as a vehicle for self-identification, exploration of light and its application in the figurative painting, and permeating scenes of isolation infused with light-hearted humor. In this body of work, Higgins expands his visual lexicon by introducing elements of the natural world, such as clouds, lily pads, and flowers.
Higgins is known for his vibrant and evocative figurative paintings that replace glistening human flesh with luminous gummy bears. These paintings are characterized by colorful gradients and a dramatic application of light and shadows that is brought to life by the intense depth of the oil paint. This depth is not unlike the way in which light is affected by the gelatinous nature of real, eatable gummy bears.
We are looking forward to inviting you into the universe of Landon Bailey Higgins at the opening of In Arcadia on Saturday, February 12, 12 – 4 PM at Gallery Poulsen, Staldgade 32.
The exhibition presents nine new paintings by Landon Bailey Higgins
For more info please contact the gallery at [email protected] or on tel. + 45 33 33 93 96
In Arcadia – A Solo Exhibition by Landon Bailey Higgins
12.02.2022 – 05.03.2022
Opening reception Saturday, February 12, 12 – 4 PM