blackbirdonline journalSpring 2014  Vol. 13  No. 1

Introduction to Stagecoach: The Paintings

Bernard Martin’s Stagecoach, twenty-four sequential paintings based on twenty-four consecutive frames of film in the John Ford movie of that name, opened at Gallery A in Richmond on November 18, 2013 and ran through January 19, 2014. Gallery A, which closed with the show, was located in the historic Hill Building at 114 A Virginia Street in downtown Richmond’s Shockoe Design District and exhibited a range of contemporary art including painting, sculpture, photography and printmaking.

Stagecoach: The Paintings, Gallery A
 Photo by Cade Martin

The paintings, by obsessively tackling a moment of classic American iconography, direct us to question our relationships with image and representation and how we use them as facile markers for national or cultural identity. They also address the role that painting itself can continue to play in a technologically charged world where pictures pixellate through our perception so quickly that they risk becoming visual flotsam, abandoning their role in helping us to focus our eye and fix our attention.  

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