TOBY BARNES | Altared States


Altared States

TOBY BARNES, “Orbital” (2013) synthetic polymer on printed canvas, 56” x 40”
TOBY BARNES, “Orbital” (2013) synthetic polymer on printed canvas, 56” x 40”

July 17 – August 24, 2014

Opening Reception:
Saturday, July 19, 6PM – 9PM

Gallery Hours:
Thursday + Friday, 3PM – 8PM
Saturday + Sunday, 12PM – 5PM
Other Days by Appointment

Yellow Peril Gallery is pleased to present “Altared States,” a mixed media exhibition exploring the making of the sacred in everyday urban life by Toby Barnes, opening Thursday, July 17, 2014. The opening reception is Saturday, July 19 from 6PM – 9PM.

While the notion of the sacred is traditionally associated with grand institutional spaces, individuals in contemporary settings continually transform their daily environments to carve out spaces of worship, adornment, and memorialization: from a teenager’s locker, to the walls of a college dorm, to memorials on roadsides and ribbons on trees that have become ubiquitous aspects of our contemporary landscape. Working through the mediums of painting, photography and installation, “Altared States” is an exploration of these practices and the tensions expressed within them between the sacred and the everyday, beauty and decay, memory and impermanence, and the meaning and function of space in today’s world.

Taking inspiration from the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of Pujas and Mandalas, Barnes creates a series of “altar simulations” using found objects, original digital photography, and the intricate blending of layers of painting and drawing over photographic collages. This exhibition is the culmination of a five-year long exploration that began in previous attempts to synthesize traditional with contemporary Asian iconography and that included travels to India and Thailand.

“By exploring the making of sacred spaces in the everyday,” Barnes notes, “I hope to prod my audience to engage with these practices in their own lives, practices that bridge with very human concerns with seeking affirmation, wanting adoration, commemoration and memory, as well as reflecting ritualistic practices individuals engage with their daily lives.”

The opening reception for “Altared States” is Saturday, July 19, from 6PM – 9PM. The exhibition will be on display until Sunday, August 24, 2014. This is Barnes’s first solo exhibition at Yellow Peril Gallery.

About Toby Barnes
Born in Miami, Florida, TOBY BARNES is an artist of Thai-American heritage. He earned his BFA (1997) from Cooper Union and his MFA (1999) from the University of Michigan. Barnes has exhibited nationally and internationally, including a solo show in Bangalore, India, and invitations to exhibit in Japan, P.S.1 MOMA and galleries throughout the greater New York City and New England area. His work has been reviewed in publications such as The Japan Times, Art Asia Pacific, Time Out (Bengaluru), The Hindu, Nishi Nihon Shimbun, Artnet, and has been featured in the cover of publications such as NYArts Magazine. In 2008-2009, Barnes participated in the Emerge 10 program at Aljira: A Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, NJ. Barnes is currently based in Amherst, MA. For more info about Barnes, visit

About Yellow Peril Gallery
Founded in 2011, YELLOW PERIL GALLERY is a contemporary art gallery located at The Plant, a historic mill complex in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island. The Gallery fosters modern art critiques on popular culture and society from emerging, mid-career and established artists in the United States and abroad. Our inventory comprises of works of art from critically-acclaimed artists who have been featured in biennials and museum exhibitions, participated in top tier art fairs and acquired by private collectors worldwide. Artists that we represent share our commitment to social responsibility, and 10% from the sale of all artwork is donated to a charitable organization of the Artists’ choice. For more info about future exhibitions, visit

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If you’d like more information about this press release, or to schedule an interview with TOBY BARNES, please contact Vanphouthon Souvannasane at +1 917 655 1497 or via e-mail at