James Croak, one of America's most original artists, has produced an astonishing and distinctive body of work during the past twenty-five years. Using a variety of innovative materials and techniques, including taxidermy, latex rubber, tar, and his trademark cast dirt, he has merged traditional allegiance to exacting craftsmanship with twentieth-first century sensibility, creating sculpture of presence and feeling.
In New York he began creating his "dirt" sculpture made with a combination of dirt and binder that he invented in 1985. Speaking in regard to his choice of dirt as a medium Croak stated, "After I left Los Angeles I wanted to continue making figurative sculpture and began considering different materials to work in. Bronze was too expensive and restrictive of spontaneity, it was an epiphany when I thought of dirt. It was neutral and loaded! It was everywhere but never used. The first batch I swept out of the gutters in Brooklyn mixing it with a binder that I could cast. That year I cast the first dirt piece, Dirt Man with Fish, and immediately after the Dirt Baby pieces. I am falling backwards to a firm footing-everything about dirt seems to be a pun- dirt is solid - firm, common and incredibly neutral."
With the introduction of his dirt pieces, Croak began exhibiting widely in the United States, Europe, and Asia. His work now appears in twenty-seven books including an Abrams monograph on Mr. Croak that is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Croak currently lives and works in Sag Harbor, New York.
2006 Bernice Steinbaum, Miami, Fl
2004 Atelier 31 Gallery, Seattle, WA
2001 Stux Gallery, New York, NY
Byron Cohen Gallery, Kansas City
2000 Brenda Taylor Gallery, New York, NY
1999 James Croak Twenty-Year Survey, Traveling museum show, Contemporary Art Center, VA, and other venues. Book by Thomas McEvilley (NY: Abrams, 1999)
Stefan Stux Gallery, New York, NY
1998 Galerie de la Tour, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1997 Cohen Berkowitz, Kansas City, MO.
1996 Galerie de la Tour, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Catalogue).
1996 Rena Branston Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
1994 Stux Gallery, New York, NY.
Howard Yezerski, Boston, MA.
1991 Blum Helman, New York, NY
Galerie Van der Tann, Berlin, Germany.
Fernando Alcolea Gallery, New York, NY.
1989-90 Hudson River Museum, NY.
1983 The Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, Los Angeles, CA.curated by Al Nodal, (Catalogue).
1982 San Diego State University, CA.
1981 Riverside Museum, Riverside, CA.
1980 Kirk de Gooyer Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1978 Janus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.