ANTHONY GIANNINI
FIELD MANUAL:CONFINEMENT& IMAGE VIOLENCE

FEBRUARY 21 - MARCH 21, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Harmony Murphy Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by artist Anthony Giannini. Field Manual: Confinement & Image Violence focuses on the visual culture surrounding masculine and military psychology, image violence, and the click-to-open, click-to-close mindset that results in the compartmentalization of pervasive psychic violence.

Twentieth century British psychoanalyst Edward Glover saw war as “a mental disorder of the group mind…provided you remember that insanity is simply a dramatic attempt to deal with individual conflict, a curative process initiated in the hope of preventing disruption, but ending in hopeless disintegration.” In his works, Giannini reflects on this collective threat using charged imagery and various modes of dissonant mark-making to disrupt both complacency and linear thought.  His multi-cell compositions distort the densely stifled surfaces, channeling the chaotic presentation of violence, media, and memory.

This exhibition will feature five new paintings and a series of four limited edition prints by the artist. Leveling Effect (2015) uses camouflage and cover-position diagrams found in the armed forces field manuals to reflect on what Chaim F. Shatan calls the “inevitable authoritarian reflex.” Shatan describes the deliberate sadism of military training, in which soldiers are robbed of their masculinity and pillaged of their individuality. Coupled with photographic imagery from military hazing rituals such as the Line-Crossing Ceremony, Giannini’s layered vocabulary and visual poetics focus on the incessant humiliation and degradation used by the military. To successfully transform recruits into ‘disciplined soldiers’ who behave only as a ‘reflex action’, these works borrow their threatening condition from the behavior they examine. Field Manual: Confinement & Image Violence focuses on the sadomasochistic response to the dehumanizing experience of war and use of power.

Anthony Giannini (b. 1984) is an American artist who currently works in the Bronx, NY. He studied at Michigan State University in 2007 and received an MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. Giannini’s work has been exhibited at Walter Otero Contemporary Art, San Juan, PR; Oliver Francis Gallery, Dallas, TX; Pace Gallery, New York, NY; 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, New York, NY; The Bruce High Quality Foundation, New York, NY; The Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Providence, RI; The Museum of New Art, Pontiac, MI; MAN Museum, Berlin, DE; Galerie Christian Hosp, Dubai, UAE; Trailer Park Proyects, Rio Piedras, PR.

In 2013 Giannini was awarded the MacColl Johnson Fellowship from the Rhode Island Foundation.  This program is considered to be one of the largest no-strings attached awards available to artists in the United States. The fund provides up to three artists fellowships each year, rotating among composers, writers and visual artists on a three-year cycle. 

Giannini was also nominated for the 2013 College of Arts & Letters Distinguished Alumni Award through Michigan State University and has received grants and fellowships through the Joan Mitchell Foundation, The Roger and Gayle Mandle Foundation, Michigan State University, and Rhode Island School of Design. Giannini has participated in several national and international artists residencies including Denniston Hill, Woodridge, NY; Contemporary Artists Center, Woodside, Troy, NY; Ox-Bow, Saugatuck, MI; Culturia Berlin, DE; Takt Kunstprojektraum, Berlin, DE.