REVISITING THE LIZARD CULT
LEE BAXTER DAVIS.
A HARD BUT NOBLE LIFE. 1998. INK, WATERCOLOR & COLOR PENCIL. 19.5 X 27".
TRENTON DOYLE HANCOCK
THE YEAR: PULL. 2009. 25, PORTFOLIO OF 5. ETCHING. 32.5 X 33".
A NEW WORLD, 2009. GRAPHITE ON PAPER. 36 X 44".
INSTANT INSANITY, 2013. GOUACHE, ACRYLIC & COLLAGE. 15 X 13".
TRENTON DOYLE HANCOCK.
THE YEAR: THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL. 2009. 25, PORTFOLIO OF 5. ETCHING & WATERCOLOR POUCHOIR. 32.5 X 33".
LEE BAXTER DAVIS
WOMEN WITH FRUIT BOAT, 2003. WATERCOLOR. 14 X 22".
SYMBIOSIS. 2008. GRAPHITE ON PAPER. 36 X 44"
SONG OF MYSELF. 2012. OIL, AIRBRUSH, GOLD MARKER & GRAPHITE ON PAPER. 25 X 20"
The exhibition reveals the influential vocabulary of Lee Baxter Davis that appears in the contemporary work of Trenton Doyle, Robyn O’Neil, Georganne Deen and Gary Panter.
At East Texas State University (now Texas A&M Commerce), his students absorbed aspects of Davis’ distinctive language including sharp markings, spatial relationships, thin humans and imaginative assimilation in order to create their own style. Along with a select few, Hancock, O’Neil, Deen and Panter composed what was known as the Lizard Cult.
"The red thread truly uniting these artists is the vocabulary of symbolic form inherited from Davis. It is an idiom of iconic references - sometimes abstract, sometimes identifiable, sometimes both - that, while clearly marking Davis's presence and influence in their lives, has become remarkably individuated in each artist's work. Getting to the core of his influence, it is Davis's alchemy of imagination that has been so communicable and expansive among his inheritors, spreading like both branches and seedlings of a magical broad-girth tree living quietly in an enchanted, hallucinogenic forest in rural Texas." -Charissa Terranova
Born in Bryan, Texas in 1939, Lee Baxter Davis received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Davis taught fine art graphics at East Texas State University for over thirty years obtaining the rank of full professor and chairman of printmaking. Now retired, Lee lives with his wife, Waynette, in Greenville, Texas and continues to make art. Davis’ work has been exhibited in the permanent collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, the Contemporary Museum of Art in Houston, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Art in Little Rock, the Haas Private Museum and Gallery in Munich, Germany and the Cue Foundation in New York City.
Ken Johnson of the New York Times describes his work as "bizarre and exhaustingly complicated allegorical narratives in an antiquarian style influenced by artists like Hieronymus Bosch, William Blake and the Pre-Raphaelites."
Trenton Doyle Hancock was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and graduated from ETSU in 1997 with a B.F.A and received his M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He currently shows with James Cohan Gallery in New York City and has shown in the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle Art Museum, and the Cleveland Museum of Art among many others. Being one of the youngest artists in history to participate, Hancock was featured in the 2000 and 2002 Whitney Biennial exhibitions.
Robyn O'Neil graduated from ETSU in 1997. She attended the University of Illinois Chicago and Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School in Los Angeles, California. Her work has been exhibited at the Dunn and Brown Contemporary, Dallas, Praz-Delvallade Gallery, Los Angeles and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston among many others. She was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial exhibition, currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California and shows with Talley Dunn in Dallas and Western Exhibitions in Chicago.
Georganne Deen was born in Fort Worth, Texas and graduated from ETSU in 1974. She moved to Los Angeles, California in 1980 to attend the California Institute of Arts. Described as “fierce” by the LA Times, Deen has had solo exhibitions at The Power Plant, Toronto, The MAC, Dallas, The Dunedin Museum, New Zealand, Van Horn, Duesseldorf, Smith-Stewart, NY, Brand 10, Ft. Worth, Studio Camuffo, Venice and Christopher Grimes, Santa Monica. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Gary Panter was born in Durant, Oklahoma and graduated from ETSU in 1977. In the late 1970’s he exhibited his first major suite of paintings and created posters for the likes of The Germs and The Screamers. In 1988 through 1991, he received Emmy’s for the production design of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Referred to as “King Of the Preposterous”, Panter has created a variety of work from commercial illustrations to fine art. His work has been exhibited at the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, Parson Exhibition Center, New York, Dunn and Brown Contemporary, Dallas, Bape Gallery, Tokyo and many others. He currently shows with Fredricks & Frasier in New York.
Listen to Robyn O'Neil's mixtape for Trenton Doyle Hancock Here