Duane Reed Gallery presents the latest work of artist Mark Newport. Exhibition opens April 11 with a reception that evening 5 until 8 pm. The exhibition will run through May 10th.
Mark Newport is an artist with an alter ego. His super power is generating a forcefield, or protective bubble, by knitting and embroidery. As a hero, he fights evil and protects those around him by knitting sweaters. Channeling memories of both his mother and grandmother making sweaters to keep their children safe and warm, he relates the act of knitting as a heroic gesture. Further inspired by the heroes, toys, and action figures of his youth, Newport humorously challenges ideals of the hero by hand knitting replica costumes and the suits of heroes of his own invention. His work offers narratives of the popular personal hero through a contemporary textile outlet.
Newport’s knitted costumes are life-size wearable objects that hang limply on hangers; the standard muscular form of the hero is deflated, offering the space for someone to imagine themselves wearing the costume. The doll-like figures, photographs, and prints that accompany these costumes raise the relationship between childhood play and adulthood, between toy and figurative sculpture, and between how our ideals about the body clash with the real and the possible.
Newport is the Artist-in-Residence and Head of Fiber at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He has also been recognized with grants from the Creative Capital Foundation, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the Illinois Arts Council.