In an era rampant with political protest and the multitudinous voices of social media, Word Up!- co-curated by Sharon Louden at C24 Gallery, knows what’s up.
Word Up! marks an exhibition that takes risks and is rewarded with a keen grasp of contemporary self-expression. Considering a contemporary art scene saturated more than ever with sociopolitical viewpoints, the time is more than ripe for this exquisite-and timely-exhibition. Featuring works by Liana Finck, Deborah Kass, Karen Finley,Meg Hitchcock and many more, this exhibit marks fearless departure into the diverse ways in which words infiltrate and emerge in contemporary art.
Spanning interdisciplinary artistic practices, this contemporary survey show featured video, photography, installation, painting and mixed media. Karen Finley’s incisive, provocative and genuinely humorous installation, located on the exhibit’s lower level, provides a stunning focal point from which to consider the contemporary art lexicon engulfing the viewer in Word Up! Comprised of archival materials assembled as a centrepiece – a la Judy Chicago’s Dinner Table, if you will – Finley has annotated the materials she has presented to create a thought-provoking work centered around representation, identity and exclusion. Clever illustrations by renowned artist Liana Finck and the inundating, undulating works by Meg Hitchcock also prove to be standouts in this stunning exhibition. Presentation is key, and visitors are grabbed at the entrance by a video work by artist David Krippendorff, whose work also inhabits space on the lower level near Karen Finley’s installation. Hrag Vartanian and Deborah Kass, art critic and artist and notable public artist respectively, also have work on view in this carefully curated presentation of works written expressly into the social consciousness that forms the fabric of contemporary text-based artistic practice.
Word Up! is on view at C24 gallery from 9/26-11/9/2019.
Artworks on view in the deceptively subtle exhibition “Unseen” bring that which is frequently overlooked directly into the public eye. In a world in which most of what directs our behavior goes unnoticed, “Unseen” marks the clever, perceptive type of exhibit that we crave to focus our attention on. Curated by the MFA Boston’s Akili Tommasino for Collar Works, artists on view include Carris Adams, Tania Alvarez, Aurora Andrews, Jose- Aurelio Baez, Raina Briggs, Ryan Chase Clow, Matt Crane, Richard Deon, Carla Dortic, Deborah Druick, Mark Eisendrath, Rebecca Flis, Gigi Gatewood, Chet Gold, Victoria van der Laan, Jesse Meredith, Sarah Pater, James Marshall Porter, Jr., Anne- Audrey Remarais, Eric Souther, Susanna Starr, Paula Stuttman, and Sarah Sweeney. Works by Mark Eisendrath and Susanna Starr in particular sweep into focus, with a distinctive attention to line and form. Spanning sculpture and painting with a hint of lyric poetry, “Unseen” follows those elements that both direct and elude our line of sight.
The unseen can be that which is literally unresolved: that which exists up to a point, then inhabits the realm of both the unseen and the unknown. Artist Mark Eisendrath notes of his work Mysterioso, on view in “Unseen,” “Mysterioso existed only as an idea- not seen or felt. It did not exist, neither did the process I used to make it. It was quite literally- a mystery. ” That which cannot be seen or felt can still hold a palpable presence in our lives. As the curator of “Unseen” notes in her exhibition text, “…the complex algorithms that reinforce our behavior remain hidden to us. Our fear of being unseen makes us susceptible to manipulation.” By making that which is foreign to us palpable, “Unseen” offers the viewer a clever, nuanced portrait of contemporary society.
Susanna Starr and Mark Eisendrath share a penchant for uncovering the sought for-yet undiscovered- form. Curves and delineated lines trace the patterns of our subconscious seeking that which we do not yet know. A mysterious, yet visceral, presentation of new works by contemporary sculptors, painters and mixed-media artists, “Unseen” is a careful selection of artworks that transcend the ordinary in search of a greater meaning beyond the immediately visible.
“Unseen” is on view at Collar Works art space in Troy, NY, through Dec 14, 2019.
Produced by The Hive, an interdisciplinary art community based in Brooklyn, NY, “The Spaghetti-O Incident” dissects cultural references from Guns n’Roses to Martha Rosler in an examination of gendered expectations and hetero-normativity. Curated by Yasmeen Abdallah, Kathie Halfin and Ameta Wegryzn, the exhibit – occurring at 1218 Prospect Ave in Oct 2019 – features a range of interdisciplinary artists including Julia Blume, Victoria Calabro, Kat Cope, Pei-Ling Ho, Sarah Dineen, Vyczie Dorado, Ariel Kleinberg, Alison Owen, Muhajir Subuur Lesure, Jean Carla Rodea, Jordan Segal and Yasmeen Abdallah. Works on view range from performance to photography, installation to sculpture. Examining the expectations placed upon women – as artists, homemakers, cooks, and human beings – “The Spagetti-O Incident” doesn’t shy away from provocative and subversive works questioning and thwarting ideas of identity and performativity.
Gender is digested through performance that takes place in a residence: the living space provides a non-neutral scenario for the exhibit loaded with valuable context. The white cube is denied the privilege of sterilizing these powerful works on view by Kat Cope, Pei-Ling Ho, Sarah Dineen, Yasmeen Abdallah, Jordan Segal & more. The weight of the body and gender in domestic spaces, such as the kitchen, is keenly felt in this artist-curated show. Many artists reflect on ideas of food, meals, and the domestic sphere, with dishware by Jordan Segal seemingly dissolving into itself, reminiscent of cake frosting or, more morbidly, melted skin. Kat Cope’s work similarly addresses the topic of skin: specifically, clothing as a type of armor that adheres to and protects the skin. Cope notes of her fiber-based installations that “like layers of skin, layers of fiber are resistant to tearing and puncture.” Blending together elements of fashion, protection, and performance, Kat Cope’s work lies at the boundary of representation and installation.
Intrinsically linked with these ideas of gender and inequity are the experiences of the body as a home one inhabits. Performances by Vyczie Dorado, among others, display the full force of yearning and attachment that artists have to the corporeal. Connection, longing and expectation cradle the exhibition, with “The Spaghetti-O Incident” proving a necessary, essential exhibition for our contemporary moment. Intersectional feminism and bold experimentation combine to make this exhibit one formidable presentation in this Fall New York Art season.
Y. R. Egon (Ruchira Amare) cuts a stylish, erudite figure.
Based in Brooklyn, NY, the artist arrived on the New York scene from her native Mumbai with an artistic and creative practice balancing influences from Europe and her native India. Her creative leanings are underpinned by a formidable education background in Engineering and Fashion Design. Learning under established Mumbai-based artists while concurrently pursuing a degree in Engineering from the University of Mumbai, Egon distills a wide range of influences into her impressionist, yet geometrically balanced, paintings. The artist holds a Fashion Design degree from the Parsons School of Design.
The artist sat down with ANTE. to discuss themes running through her work and what’s upcoming for her on the heels of exhibitions at Dacia Gallery, Six Summit Gallery, Rochester Contemporary Art Center and The Greenpoint Gallery.
ANTE.: Your work shows formal qualities linking to modernist greats such as Piet Mondrian. Do you see your practice as continuing a dialogue with modern abstract artists from the mid-20th century?
Y.R.: I agree – yes. I have always followed Mondrian, Kazimir Malevich, Mark Rothko and Wassily Kandinsky. As Mondrian once said, “Abstract art is not the creation of another reality but the true vision of reality.” I try to have my own language and to express my emotions through my paintings.
ANTE.: Color and shape are important aspects in your paintings. How has your approach in forming connections between color and shape evolved from your studies to the present moment?
Y.R.: I have always cherished the emotion that comes out of nostalgia and longing for the past. I attempt to capture and preserve these emotions through my paintings. Over time I realized that there is a word for this behaviour in Finnish; that word is ‘kaiho,’ meaning a hopeless longing in which one feels incomplete and yearns for something unattainable or extremely difficult and tedious to attain. I use colour and shape and geometric-like patterns which are not truly geometric: these (patterns) have evolved over time and show some traces of reality.
ANTE.: Your formative education in art occurred when you were learning from painters based in India. How do you see your work forming a bridge between the Indian art canon and the Western art canon?
Y.R.: I did not have a formal art education but I studied under great and successful artists in India. I learnt many techniques from them that helped me translate and formulate my ideas using the medium of painting. I try to use my knowledge, my ideas, my inspirations and life experiences to formulate my thoughts. In the process, unintentionally I end up using different techniques and practices that span both the Indian and the Western art canon.
ANTE.: As a full-time artist, you are dedicated to painting and making art constantly; what are some of your goals in terms of exhibiting your paintings? Do you have a dream gallery you’d like to show with and/or museum or similar venue to show your work?
Y.R.: Being an ambitious artist, my goal is to better my art practice and art technique, evolve as a person through enriched life experience and to then translate that into my art and paintings. I fell in love with Gallery Perrotin the first time I went there to check out a show. The space is beautiful and dreamy. My artworks have a lot of colour but come out of the concept of dreams and it would be a dream to be able to exhibit at this space.
ANTE.: You are a poet and have trained as an engineer, alongside your work as an artist and fashion designer. How do you unite all of these disparate elements in your painting? Has it shaped how you approach art-making?
Y.R.: Yes, I studied Engineering and graduated from the University of Mumbai. I write poems but only to express my ideas through another medium. I studied Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design. I am in process of launching some garments/apparel that are inspired from my paintings from the ‘kaiho’ collection. Hence, I feel that even though they all are separate fields, it all boils down to an expression of ideas as they come together in a product or in works of art. I try to carry the same romantic feeling and emotion in all my works including my fashion illustrations. I specifically use watercolours for these, and in my next series of paintings, I plan to experiment more with watercolour in order to capture the haziness of the lost memories.
ANTE.: How has working in fashion impacted your work as a painter? Do you work with a variety of materials as a result?
Y.R.: As a fashion designer, I stand by the principles of creative construction and sustainability. I use only natural fabrics and natural dyeing on them. I also use fabric as a medium to paint and specifically natural dyed fabric which is dyed with the colours made from plants such as logwood, madder and flowers such as marigold and berries as well. I also plan to make my own natural pigments from these plants and flowers and natural materials to paint on stretched fabrics such as cotton and silk.
ANTE.: More specifically, does your work as a painter shift in scale due to your background in the fashion industry?
Y.R.: I actually am not that experimental or easily accepting to change. Hence, I try to usually paint in a certain style and on a certain size as well. But again, the scale changes a bit when it is translated on apparel or fabric paintings.
ANTE.: You’re now based in Brooklyn, NY, and have exhibited with The Greenpoint Gallery and Dacia Gallery. How does living in NYC impact your practice as an artist?
Y.R.: NYC is very dynamic and inspirational, Brooklyn specifically is the epicentre for the modern, contemporary and experimental art that is not commercial. I recently exhibited at the ‘Space 776’ as a part of their Bushwick open studios which was covered by Hyperallergic magazine! I find Brooklyn as a very important factor of my stay in the city and is very inspirational and also motivational to see and meet other artists and their work. I have exhibited at various galleries in Manhattan and Brooklyn and that serves as a booster for myself and my art practice.
In the immaculate words of feminist and activist Gloria Steinem, “Each individual woman’s body demands to be accepted on its own terms.” This admonishment pervades the transcendental exhibition currently on view through Nov 10 at NYU’s Kimmel Windows exhibit space, “Lilia Ziamou: body politic /bädē päl-tik/”. Featuring works by Lilia Ziamou and curated by Pamela Jean Tinnen, the presentation of this collection of works outwardly facing the various passersby on LaGuardia Place and W. 3rd mounts a powerful, visionary response to how we consider ourselves – and others. It can reflect the ways in which our self-perception can become distorted. Perhaps it ruminates on how society constantly projects women’s bodies as idealized forms in various ads throughout public spaces. The exhibition leaves room for speculation and space to absorb the images – true or distorted – which lie before us. Works from this series by Ziamou question how new technology mediates the way we see ourselves or how others anticipate and perceive our appearance. Perceptions of the body are stacked against the realities of the biological building blocks that determines who we are and how we appear. Ziamou bravely steps forward into an artistic inquiry of what makes us human, playing with preconceived ideas of how we establish our physical identities as a whole from the sum of our parts. “By reimagining and reconstructing body fragments, I am constantly exploring and intrigued by the ways we can challenge existing constraints of form, materials, and processes,” remarks Ziamou.
This exhibition at the Kimmel Windows is curated by NYU’s own Pamela Jean Tinnen. The curator notes that she was drawn initially to Ziamou’s examination and recreation of human bones, re-contextualizing them as artworks. In the art canon of portraiture, it can be argued that Ziamou’s hip-bone 3-D scan recreations are a continuation of a centuries-long tradition of figurative art. Tinnen also reflects on other areas where these works draw parallel lines to long-existing or contemporary traditions. “What’s very interesting about Lilia’s work is how it plays on the abject, but through her ability to refine the subject through various media-processes, she creates visual distance while maintaining conceptual resonance.” Tinnen continues, “I’ve always been intrigued by Julia Kristiva’s writings on Abjection which discusses human reactions to encountering, as a primary example, a corpse. These encounters elicit horror but also a certain fascination. A corpse, or in the case of Lilia’s work, the human bone, puts us in the presence of ‘signified death.’ Kristiva suggests our horror-reaction results from a threatened breakdown in meaning caused by the loss of the distinction between subject and object, or between self and other.” This breakdown that occurs when the body perceives another body, yet recognizes this fragment of bone also depicts an invisible portion of one’s own self, causes a ripple of self-awareness. It can be argued that this exhibit also sparks empathy for others and an intimate acceptance of our own appearance – an appearance that can shift over time due to factors such as time and environment.
The environment of the exhibition itself, facing outward from the Kimmel Center, has shifted over time as the ground zero for artists in bohemian Greenwich Village in the mid-20th century to a haven for NYU students today. This public-facing exhibit – which some students can pass several times a day, along with other members of the community – offers a repeating opportunity for reflection and deeper engagement with how we can intrinsically seek deeper meaning in the very things we take for granted: the architecture of our physical selves and the urban planning and architecture defining our immediate presence in a larger cityscape. By keeping the vestibules in which Ziamou’s transcendental works are exhibited stark, almost clinical, those encountering the work can focus their attention on the prints and sculptures facing them from the Kimmel. “The exhibit’s design, simple and starkly white, contributes to a certain visual sterilization, which works well to present the artwork,” notes Tinnen. This simple structuring can be seen as a skeleton in itself: supporting works on view and allowing for immediate access of each fragment of the perpendicular exhibition along LaGuardia and Third.
Ziamou here has considered not only the internal structure of the body, but also how we decorate and define ourselves as members of a society. Her bone sculpture informs the installation referencing a garment she has presented in this same exhibit: an installation that servse as a recreation of our bodies as presented through our fashion choices. Her work speaks a subtle message about the inner psychology that determines our outward appearances: we can knowingly or unknowingly select garments that flatter and project aspects of our anatomy that we take pride in. The artist considers and puts forth artistic hypotheses about how various aspects of our countenance can be mistaken or recreated, creating subtle provocations for the audience. What effect do photo filters on apps have on our psychology? How can our appearances be manipulated for those who consume them? When is the last time we considered that the majority of who we are is not visible to the naked eye? Ziamou deftly plays with these questions, and more, in this impactful solo exhibition.
Curated by Pamela Jean Tinnen, don’t miss “Lilia Ziamou: body politic /bädē päl-tik/” – on view through Nov 10 at NYU’s Kimmel Windows exhibit space on LaGuardia Place and West Third at New York University.
A certain slant of self-reflection pervades artworks on view in Anthropocene Blues, on view at Wayfarers, Brooklyn (1109 DeKalb Ave) from September 29th through October 20th, 2019. Inspired by a poem written in 2012 by one of the last remaining Beat poets, the exhibition features reference to an elegiac view of nature – one foregrounded by our current climate crisis. The poem, written by Anne Waldman, refers to a “tragedy of the Anthropocene.” Works on view for the exhibition intimate at these ongoing issues, selections soaringly curated by Jane Ursula Harris. A New York-based writer who has contributed to Art in America, Artforum, BOMB, The Paris Review & more, Harris is an art history faculty member at the School of Visual Arts.
The exhibit features works by Wayfarers member artists Kate Alboreo, Yael Azoulay, Brian Davis, George Ferrandi, Cynthia Mason, Kharis Kennedy, Kate Kosek, David McQueen, Cynthia Reynolds, Maureen O’Leary, Meredith Starr and Elise Wunderlich. Mixed-media sculptures, paintings, installation and new media all combine to showcase a considerable range of artworks on view in this exhibit. Of particular notes, Azoulay’s installation True Cover provokes vivid links to alienation and immigration by tracing the introduction of the Eucalyptus plant to Israel, where it is not native. Meredith Starr’s almost obsessively crowded installation Plastic Pools/Look At What We’ve Done suggests, in miniature, the overwhelming amount of plastic that we have hoarded and discarded through our rampant consumerist attitudes.
Particularly haunting is Maureen O’Leary’s painting Untitled, in which attendees at a nighttime barbecue seem look past one another, obscured by smoke and flanked by ghostly dark trees and a bright moon. O’Leary’s deft treatment of light and shadow transform a social event into a scene of foreboding: the shadow of the trees behind seem to embrace the rising smoke emanating from the cooking fire below, forming a joint visual block that crowds out the human figures in the center and right side of the picture plane. Food is being cooked and consumed. Guests are overshadowed by the forest beyond. This juxtaposition of familiar and alien, consumption and rejection, elevate O’Leary’s subject matter – as does her study of contrasts between realism and impressionism. O’Leary depicts enough to make the scene feel vaguely familiar while leaving the trails of smoke and memory to each individual’s imagination. This blend of personal and universal – the view of consumption reminds us of our presence as consumers endangering the wider environment – proves to be almost intoxicating.
On October 11th, the curator held a conversation with artist Maureen O’Leary, who has both a painting and a photograph in the show. In conversation with O’Leary, Harris noted the prominence of the firelight by remarking that fire is a primal expression of humanity’s control over nature. The conversation continued around light: O’Leary engaging in the relationship between light and human nature, our existence and our yearning for belonging, both now and in the future, on an uncertain planet. Time and light, it turns out, are intrinsically linked: the relationship between humanity’s existence and the evolution of light’s role in advances in society can be distilled – it turns out – to a single barbecue scene in the Long Island woods.
Anthropocene Blues, curated by Jane Ursula Harris and on view at Wayfarers, Brooklyn (1109 DeKalb Ave) from September 29th through October 20th, 2019, serves as the 9th Annual Juried members show at the space.
ANTE. Mag is proud to serve as Media Sponsor for this groundbreaking performance art presentation by Performance is Alive – a survey of the most exciting emerging and mid-career performance/new media artists with an intersectional lens, representing a diverse group of bodies and identities. Don’t miss the full roster of Performance is Alive-curated programming, with two especially notable events occurring Friday, October 4th at 8 pm when notable artist Barbara Rosenthal discusses her work in tandem with a screening of “News to Fit the Family” and Saturday, October 5th at noon for “Queer Form: A Panel Discussion” centered around queer body politics in new media and performance – for full list of events, follow the Performance is Alive Schedule on their Facebook page and also available HERE.
Now on to our Top 12 ANTE. Mag picks for Performance is Alive @ Satellite Art Show, October 3-6, 2019…
Alison Pirie – a juggernaut working across performance, installation, new media and more, Pirie juggles simultaneous explorations of gender, identity, language and sexuality: with a particular lens onto female sexuality and the concept of “female hysteria”. With past projects at LaMama Galeria in NYC and the Situation Room in LA, Pirie is a force of nature to be reckoned with in her powerful considerations of these contemporary themes. Make sure to experience her performance on opening night at Performance is Alive: she will be presenting her work Thursday, 10/3 at Satellite.
Kathie Halfin – living and working in the Bronx, Russian-Israeli artist Halfin is an interdisciplinary artist working across installation, performance, sound and costume production. Her performances tease out the nuanced narratives attached to female objectification. Halfin holds an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, and is affiliated with Wassaic Project, Vermont Studio Center, the Bronx Museum and more.
Amanda Hunt & IV Castellanos – a collaboration that has lent itself to a studied exploration in reciprocity through repetitive catching of one another’s bodies, Hunt & IV Castellanos sets the stage for a longed-for Queer and Feminist Utopia. The artists have performed in the US and abroad, creating a set of actions in tandem that seek to provoke audiences to re-examine social approaches to equanimity and labor.
SUNGJAE LEE– based in Chicago, LEE is a multidisciplinary artist whose work investigates periphery and its relationship to center. An MFA Graduate in Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, LEE has presented works in the US, Canada, and South Korea among other locations. The artist’s candid and perceptive responses to other-ing augment Performance is Alive’s 2019 programming.
Wild Actions (Patience, Carley McCready-Bingham, Ginger Wagg)– Hailing from North Carolina, Wild Actions presents a sculpture garden for Performance is Alive that presents their focus on interactive performance installations. Their radical, performative and eco-conscious approach marks a breath of fresh air among the PIA presentations.
Barbara Rosenthal – A conceptual artist working across (seemingly) limitless mediums, Rosenthal’s inclusion into Performance is Alive is a true coup. The artist will be present on Friday, Oct 4 for a screening – as noted above – and any true connoisseurs of performance and conceptual art should be in attendance. Based in the West Village, Rosenthal has influenced modern art and philosophy: influence which continues to exert its presence through her projects based in the present day.
Nadja Verena Marcin – An artist working across borders in Germany and the United States, Marcin’s multidisciplinary work across photography, video, and more exudes a deceptive straightforward quality. The artist engages across a broad platform of eco-conservation, feminism, and sociopolitical inquiry. Catch her work while you can on view at Performance is Alive!
Katina Bitsicas – Exploring trauma, crime and the psychological presence of architecture on the human psyche, “other”ing and the personal experiences driving overarching social justice issues. A new media artist who has shown in the US and abroad, Bistsicas’ work delves deep into issues that are driving contemporary political discourse in the United States.
Tales Frey – A founding member of eRevista Performatus, Frey’s artistic practice explores elements relating to body and ritual. A multidisciplinary artist, works by Frey have been exhibited across Latin America and Europe and involve incisive visual constructions to form social commentaries.
Sylvain Souklaye– A sound, video and performance artist, Souklaye contrats personal narrative with collective memory, identity and demographic. His works have been shown in Europe and Latin America, and involve performative acts by the artist as well as interaction with diverse populations in disparate urban centers.
Cherrie Yu – Yu’s work mines pop culture and performativity in equal measure through a practice rooted in new media and performance. Ideals attached to assignations such as “queer” and “open” are interrogated through surveys of existing bodies of work by and by placing the spectator in a dissociative state in relationship to other “bodies” – such as in interdisciplinary performance and new media installation. Yu’s new media work will be displayed as part of “Performance is Alive”.
Rachel L. Rampleman – Brooklyn-based artist Rampleman explores identity and spectacle – intimacy and grandeur – through a multi-disciplinary lens. With solo exhibits in the US and abroad, the artist’s work delves into the latent tension underlying masculine and feminine identities.
Clockwise from upper left: Artists featured at Performance is Alive include Kathie Halfin, Igor Furtado and Sylvain Souklaye.
ABOUT PERFORMANCE IS ALIVE
Based in Brooklyn, NYC, Performance Is Alive is an online platform featuring the work and words of current performance art practitioners. Through interviews, artist features, sponsorship and curatorial projects, we aim to support the performance community while offering an access point to the performance curious. Performance is Alive at SATELLITE ART SHOW is curated by Quinn Dukes (Founder + Director). | performanceisalive.com
ANTE. Mag is dedicated to bringing under-the-radar contemporary artists to a wider audience.To this end, ANTE.’s Editorial team specifically focuses on highlighting works by intersectional artists and cultural producers to our readership. If you believe you are working on a project that fits this description and deserves wider recognition, please email our editor: firstname.lastname@example.org