Rudy Shepherd, Matthew Cusick, Jason Robert Bell, Scott Taylor
The Ergotist, December 2012
Grizzly Grizzly presents a showcase of the debased this November with the group show “THE ERGOTIST”, featuring stunted wonders of the human psyche. The show title “The Ergotist” is a reference to the condition of ergotism, brought on by ingesting ergot, a fungus found in grain crops. The fungus produces hallucinogenic and physiological symptoms: irrational behavior, convulsion, burning sensations in the limbs and even death. In past epidemics, the infected “Ergotists” were believed to be bewitched.
“The Ergotist” is a show comprised of paintings, video and sculpture, by artists Jason Robert Bell, Matthew Cusick, Rudy Shepherd, and Scott Taylor. The exhibition celebrates the debauched outer-edges of society where the infected, irrational and accused reign supreme. Imagine a group of misfits holding court; this is work that will force the viewer to look upon and consider the magnificence of the overflowing abject within the known and unknown world.
Jason Robert Bell’s canvases venture into the unknown; his diseased, father’s remains are used as the raw materials to create unexpectedly fantastical and grotesque creatures, hauled out from nets cast deep into the collective human imagination. Matthew Cusick archives, dismantles, and reconfigures found materials - from Hollywood movies, Victorian engravings, school textbooks, bibles - to examine the nihilistic pursuit of autonomy, escapism, and the transgression of physical and psychological borders. The sculptures of Rudy Shepherd appear as artifacts from a distant past or distant future; they are relics from another time and place, newly envisioned as negative energy sculptures. A figurative painting by Scott Taylor echoes Francis Bacon - or David Lynch’s “Eraserhead” - reflecting the aura of downtrodden homeless wanderers living on the street near the artist’s studio in Los Angeles near Skid Row.
Jason Robert Bell lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. His work has been seen recently at Postmasters, Alcove Gallery, Brooklyn Fireproof Gallery, and Norte Maar in New York, NY, and at Thomas Robertello Gallery in Chicago, IL. Bell holds an MFA from Yale, and a BFA from School of the Art Institute Chicago.
Matthew Cusick’s recent solo exhibitions include The Mind is its Own Place at Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, NY, and File on Motor Transgressions at the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; his work has been included in group exhibitions at The Drawing Center, New York, NY, Lumas in Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany, and at SITE Santa Fe, NM, among many others. Cusick makes his home in Dallas, Texas.
Rudy Shepherd’s work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at Mixed Greens, The New Museum, Freight + Volume, and Location One in New York, NY, Galerie Vanessa Quang in Paris, France, and Analix Forever in Geneva, Switzerland. Reviews of Shepherd’s works and exhibitions can be found in The New York Times, New Yorker Magazine, and Art in America. Shepherd is based in State College, PA, where he is a professor at Pennsylvania State University.
Scott Taylor lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. His work has been shown recently at Sam Lee Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA. Recent solo exhibitions include Yes, Yes, No at Jersey City Museum Project Space in Jersey City, NJ and Scott’s Show at V&A Gallery, New York, NY. Taylor holds an MFA from Rutgers University.