SKYLAR FEIN: THE LINCOLN BEDROOM
EXTENDED THROUGH FEBRUARY 22, 2014
New York, October 7, 2013 — C24 Gallery is pleased to announce The Lincoln Bedroom, the second solo exhibition at the gallery by New Orleans-based artist Skylar Fein. The exhibition will present an installation continuing the artist’s re-envision of historic moments and figures. Fein’s exhibition will be on view November 1 – December 21, 2013.
Abraham Lincoln shared a bedroom with Joshua Speed in the 1830s in Springfield, IL. Many historians, biographers, and scholars have speculated about the nature of their relationship, causing an ongoing debate about Lincoln’s sexuality. Fein’s work combines factual and fictional histories, and proposes evidence of these uncertain moments through his imagery and objects. Since no photographs exist of the Speed residence, the artist relied on photos and sketches of similar structures, as well as on his imagination to create an impressionistic, and slightly hallucinatory re-creation that is far from a museum period-room.
Visitors will have the opportunity to enter Fein’s vision by walking up the stairs above the Speed shop and entering the bedroom. They will be greeted by the faint smell of hay and tobacco, and hear music reminiscent of that moment in time. The artist and his team have recreated the facade of the Speed store, along with a replica of the painted miniature of Judge John Speed, the family patriarch, and Speed and Lincoln's bed - complete with straw-stuffed mattress, among other décor and furnishings.
For his research Fein went to Louisville, KY to spend time with the remaining Speed family. He toured Farmington, the family plantation of John Speed, which still stands in immaculate 1840s condition. At the conclusion of Fein’s visit, he received approval from Virginia Speed, a noted art collector and philanthropist, and her assurance that she would view the installation along with other members of the Speed family.
"It would have been nice to have a Speed and a Lincoln be the first people to walk through the installation," Fein says. "But there are no Lincolns left." Abraham Lincoln's last undisputed descendant, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, died childless in 1985.
About Skylar Fein
Skylar Fein (b. 1968, New York, NY) lives and works in New Orleans, LA. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at The Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; The New Orleans Museum of Art, LA; No Longer Empty Project, New York, NY; The Phoenix, New Orleans, LA; and Western Projects, Los Angeles, CA. Fein has been featured in numerous group exhibitions including The World According to New Orleans, Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX; Deutsche Bank’s 60 Wall Gallery, Deutsche Bank, New York, NY; and Prospect.1 Biennial, New Orleans, LA, among others. His work is included in many public and private collections including The Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL; The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, NY; The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; The Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans, LA and The Whitney Museum of America Art, New York, NY.