Published by KMEC Books. Edited by Todd Bradway and Karen Marta. Text by David Norr.
New York- and Florida-based artist Roger Clay Palmer (born 1947) has been painting, drawing, and writing for over 50 years. Inspired by the Southern oral tradition of his youth, his experiences in the army as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War and Japanese haiga and Zenga, Palmer blends word and image, anticipating artists like Raymond Pettibon and David Shrigley, to a darkly humorous, sometimes difficult effect. Palmer’s witty, grisly animals, figures and cityscapes are paired with phrases like “a lightning storm while buried with your cat” or “there was a time of day when the bulls and I got real bad ideas at exactly the same time.” Together they reveal, in the artist’s words, the “anger, rage, longing, sadness, courage and grace” in American culture. With a focus on recent work, Roger Clay Palmer brings together 60 exemplary paintings on paper and organizes them thematically, with sections focused on his depictions of animals, eyes, landscapes and war. Including an essay by curator David Norr, this long-overdue monograph is an invitation into Palmer’s intense and unruly world, full of idiosyncratic insight and biting wisdom.