Lester Goldman - Welcome to the Ragball

solo exhibition

April 6 – May 19, 2001

Welcome to the ragball was an exhibition of new painting and sculpture by Lester Goldman at JNG in Kansas City in 2001. The exhibition also debuted a limited edition book by Goldman and Brady Vest of Hammerpress in Kansas City.

Culminating in 1996 with the exhibition "Wombshot" at Grand Arts in Kansas City, Lester Goldman completed a 10 year project of carnival-structured events including large-scale paintings and sculpture, texts and diagrams, animated loop devices, music and performance. The new works in "welcome to the ragball" were his most conceptually refined to date. They continued the then recent reduction, both in materials and complexity of imagery first seen in the paintings exhibited in his 1998 exhibition at the Jan Weiner Gallery, and furthered Goldman's investigations into "base liquidity, color alert, life support systems, weightlessness and expressive movement". In these new paintings, there were now larger fields of color, more dialogue with abstraction and further obscuration of figurative references. What remained and came to the forefront were the resultant forms, colors and emotions that resulted from the earlier "actions" that continued to inform his work. The new sculptures, too, were simplified and refined and related closely to the paintings in scale, feel, color and form.

In collaboration with Brady Vest of Hammerpress, Lester Goldman also created a letterpress edition of "welcome to the ragball", a 32 page handprinted book limited to 250 copies. By chance, Goldman found some original 1930s comic illustration plates with prevailing social values relevant to that era. The book reproduces those plates, which Goldman has then "drawn into" as a response and in order to construct new associations without literal erasures. Additional responses to the 22 pages of drawings were made by five local poets in the second section of the book.The writers include Rush Rankin, Harvey Hix, Debra Di Blasi, Victoria Brockmeier and Christopher Leitch.

Lester Goldman, welcome to the ragball, installation view

Lester Goldman, welcome to the ragball, installation view

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