Wolfgang Gallery is pleased to announce Deathbed Scene, a solo exhibition by Jacob Todd Broussard. Broussard earned his MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University School of Art and is currently an Assistant Professor of Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University. He lives and works in Richmond, VA. This will be the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery.

Deathbed Scene is a continuation of Broussard’s research into the erasure of queer histories in his home region of the Gulf South. Faced with distortions and irretrievable losses in the archive, Broussard engages painting and collage to materialize an alternative, fantastic genealogy, weaving material from his own ancestry back into the folds of shared subcultural life.

Like the archive itself, Broussard’s latest body of work partakes of the strikingly fragmentary; yet, unlike the archivist who is bound by standards of preservation, the artist seeks to perform a transformation within the gaps of what is known. In his latest body of work, Broussard conjures Gulf Coast fisherman and visionary painter Forrest Bess (1911-1977) to hold a kind of dialogue on family, longing, sex, and death. Channeling Bess—in some surprisingly literal ways—Broussard explores queerness as a constant reconfiguration of self, desire, and loneliness.

Lodged somewhere between the real and imaginary, Broussard’s paintings feel as if they are staged in homes of the recently deceased. In his collage-based approach, the form of painting itself becomes something of a storage space, bearing the traces of one who sifts through disordered but meaningful ephemera. Found imagery collides polymorphously with memory, while vivid colors twist and refract from sources of light supernatural or artificial (in one painting, an old television screen projects Bess’s Untitled (No. 30) as it really appeared on Antiques Roadshow). Amplifying the strangeness in mundane instances of illumination, Broussard’s work subtly examines what might be read from interior spaces about our relationship to time.

For Broussard, painting represents an expressive mode of operation concerned with devotion, memory, nostalgia, and the spirit. In the dramatic deathbed trope of literature and film, close encounters with mortality bring haunting truths to light. Likewise, Broussard’s paintings visualize a pursuit of clarity and relation within the mire of a fragmented archive. The artist’s practice is nothing if not an earnest revaluation of being stranded in time.