As part of the Open House program for October 2011, Chinati hosted an opening and reception for Artist in Residence Justin Almquist at the Locker Plant.
Almquist’s exhibition, entitled You don’t have to scratch me to get meat, was comprised of hats, drawings, and new reliefs. Almquist is a prolific drawer, inspired by incidents and anecdotes from his life, other art, images in newspapers and magazines, marks of his own or others’ making, and entomology. Insects feature prominently in two series that were on display at the Locker Plant, each composed of twenty drawings mounted five to a row in a rectangle. Benthic Processes depicts the checkered careers of aquatic organisms at the low end of the food chain. (“Benthic” refers to the bottom of a sea or lake). The series 20 Solifugae Situations is a kind of arachnid picaresque. Solifugae are better known as camel spiders or wind scorpions. In Almquist’s series of drawings, the Solifugae venture out into our world with various hapless results.
Besides the serial works, many of the artist’s stand-alone drawings were on view, as well as hats inspired by Mexican calaveras and reliefs made from paper mache, spray glue, and pigment.
Justin Almquist is a native Texan who has lived and worked in Munich for the past eight years. He has a BFA from Pratt Institute in New York and the equivalent of a MFA from the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. A book of his drawings was published by Norwood Fine Arts in 2009 and he has shown recent work at the Munich’s Kunstverein and the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau. Public collections include the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen/Pinakothek der Moderne; Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, and Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, all Munich.