Overview of Exhibition
The Paternal Suit consists of over 100 paintings, prints, and objects created by Los Angeles-based conceptual artist F. Scott Hess, presented as legitimate historical artifacts, and supported by photographs, documents, and historical ephemera. Each object and artwork bears a fictitious artist’s name and detailed provenance and has been executed in the style of the century from which it supposedly originates. Sculpture, ceramics, furniture, toys, newspaper clippings, historic photographs, guns, and costumes advance an elaborate storyline whose subtext is the seven-year old artist’s abandonment by his own father after a parental divorce. Through the prism of his ancestry, Hess examines the impact of false history and deception within each generation and throughout society as a whole, and questions the authority of these perceived “truths.” Organized by the Halsey Institute, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston School of the Arts.