Continuing through February 17, 2019
“An Ingenue’s Hues and How to Use Cutty Black Shoes” — it’s a title that is impossible to improve upon as a review opener. That title is nearly manifested in “TorpedoBoy and Screws Wearing some Cutty Black Shoes,” a densely graphic painting affixed with colored lids from various consumer goods (laundry detergent, and is that Ovaltine?). TorpedoBoy, who also stars in “Step and Screw Part Too Soon Underneath the Bloody Red Moon,” seemingly races for his life, hounded and surrounded by a varied and motley cast of characters that are intrinsic to Trenton Doyle Hancock’s thoroughly mined universe.
Half the show consists of a dozen two-by-three-foot black ink drawings that make up Chapter 1 of his relatively recently begun graphic novel, “Trenton Doyle Hancock Presents The Moundverse.” You wouldn’t be off base to assume that Hancock had already published a graphic novel of some sort, considering how well it suits his oeuvre (and indeed, the painting “Step and Screw Part Too…” has a grid of graphic novel panels filling its background).
There are multiple ways to consume “An Ingenue’s Hues.” There is the simply rich visual imagery, bolstered by intricate patterning and complex visual space. There is the existential, pseudo-biblical drawings from Chapter 1 of “The Moundverse.” In “Undom Endgle and the Souls’ Journey (Sculpture)” a female superhero with arms outstretched is surrounded by a full-body halo of brightly colored planet-like balls. They are, in turn, backed by a wall of colorful circles, similar to the trope seen in “TorpedoBoy,” sourced from consumer-product lids to give “Undom Endgle” a universe of her own. There is a lot to digest, which is quintessential Hancock, and it’s a beautiful introduction of “Moundverse” to the art world segment of that future audience.