May 3 – May 27, 2017
Opening Reception Wednesday, May 3, 6-8 pm
Elga Wimmer PCC is pleased to present Strong-Cuevas’ first solo exhibition at the gallery. The exhibition will feature fourteen sculptures with eight drawings all from the 1980’s to this year.
Of her own work, Strong-Cuevas has said; “There is a meditative quality in my work – interior investigation – and I’m also fascinated by physics, cosmology, and what’s out there in the universe. The macro world, the micro world, and the material world are all part of one thing, really.”
In “Brainwaves and Archetypes, The Sculpture of Strong-Cuevas,” Donald Kuspit posits Stong-Cuevas’ sculptures as “cosmically open and epic in scale or hermetically enclosed and intimate in scale, whether constructions or cast in bronze, whether involving single or multiple heads, fuse the modernist traditions of primitivist expression and pure abstraction, confirming their originality by reconciling the opposites. They are, indeed, imaginative brainwaves of the archetypes.”
Space Totem, 1997, has three stacked mask-like heads - the lowest with eyes shut, the middle head with eyes slightly open and the top head with eyes wide open - contained in a stainless-steel frame telescoping towards an aperture that opens to the world. A metaphor for the life force contained in all of us to go further than our physical selves, to reach beyond what is essentially known.
Strong-Cuevas has had over 20 solo and 50 group exhibitions nationally and internationally. She is included in the collections of the Bruce Museum, CT; Grounds for Sculpture, NJ; Guild Hall, NY and The Heckscher Museum of Art, NY. Articles and reviews include: Architectural Digest, Newsday, New York Observer, New York Times, Sculpture Magazine and World Sculpture News.
February 23 – March 18, 2017
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 23 6:00-8:00 pm
Presented by Elga Wimmer PCC and CurcioProjects
January 19 – February 18, 2017
Opening reception: Thursday, January 19; 6 – 8pm
ELGA WIMMER PCC in collaboration with curcioprojects is pleased to present the exhibition daily routines by the Vienna artist group breadedEscalope. There will be a special performance, Zen-Rug, at the gallery for 4 pm on the 19th. Due to space restrictions, to attend please RSVP email@example.com.
Launched in London in 2007, the Vienna-based art and design collective breadedEscalope — Sascha Mikel, Martin Schnabl and Michael Tatschl — deals with spatial structures and subject-object relations. Analyzing and questioning daily routine are constant factors in the group's practice, and keeping everyday life in check is the point of departure for objects, installations and performances that bridge the applied and visual arts. Works by breadedEscalope are in the collections of MAK, the Hofmobiliendepot (Imperial Furniture Collection) and the Vienna Museum, and they had received the Outstanding Artist Award during their solo show at the Kunsthaus Baselland in 2014. Their last group show in New York ran until mid-January at the Austrian Cultural Forum as part of Vienna Design Week. daily routines is their 1st solo show in the US.
daily routines present a body of work addressing such themes as the perception of time, isolated consciousness, and the illusion of order, all of which depend on "social habitus." The show focuses on the habitual, the normative, the average—things that we don't give attention to, since they are anchored in daily routine. Considered self-evident, these behavioral patterns and internalized values claim the status of unquestioned reality. The objects and installations of breadedEscalope, however, play contentiously with notions of use value and consumption. The works' intense subject-object dialog opens new perspectives and a broader discourse. On the one hand, daily routines represent monotony, everyday life, activities "frozen in time"; on the other, it evokes the comforts of familiarity, competence, security, and tradition. It is in the ambivalence between these two meanings that we can find the ideal balance for a fulfilling life. This exhibition suggests conceptual niches and possibilities "between the lines." The artworks serve as a podium for interaction and exchange with the viewer.
In its dimensions, the Bar Non-Lieu is indeed referring to conventional bar furniture. Its central claim to be a non-place, however, is ultimately obtained by the opportunity to enter the furniture and thus be able to experience it as space. This shifted perspective expands the viewer's perception of the piece to an atmospheric bar with room for two people. Thereby, the Bar non-Lieu clearly focuses on interpersonal dialogue and its plain and minimal design offers the perfect setting for an intimate conversation. By closing both doors, you can create a multifunctional space of retreat. From the outside, only the legs of the guests are visible. Gestures and words, however, remain secret. The interior's design enhances the visitors' voices acoustically and you can hear yourself clearly, while exterior noise is shielded from the outside. The central bar-table provides with the ideal distance between the two dialogue partners.
In the installation Zen-Rug a merely functional component of a vacuum cleaner is translated into an aspect of a higher ritualistic order. By developing the absurd product of a glass vacuum cleaner nozzle—hand blown by artisans—breadedEscalope invents a new version of the classic device. In a performance, the artists, with the help of their specially designed vacuum cleaner, imprint a design on carpets that resembles a Zen garden. Here the desire for order and symmetry—prevalent in Zen culture—meets individualism, self-discovery. spirituality and artistic development.
Clocks largely determine our daily routine. Contrary to the usual chronometers, however, Your Clock mostly stands still. It doesn't impose a flow of time on the viewer. Instead it shows a single moment on its dial—the moment of a recent interaction with a human. The clockwork was modified in such a way that one has to pull a chain to activate the dial mechanism. The clock then "catches up" on the time that has passed since it was last activated. It thus renders otherwise timeless space both visual and auditory. Household appliances usually save time, but Your Clock instead steals time from its user. It thereby creates an intense relationship, demanding attention! Through restraint of information the user is able to "gain" a certain quality of life. Your Clock is less about the dictatorial nature of time than about "time in between," which opens up another way of measuring duration. It allows users a meta-level, giving them the possibility to decide about the passing of time!
November 22 – December 22, 2016
Opening reception: Tuesday, November 22; 6 – 8pm
What is consciousness and does it exist outside of the human species? Mirror Tests or Mirror Self-Recognition Tests (MSR), study whether different animals can recognize their reflection on a mirror as themselves. If they recognize themselves, they are aware or have consciouness. Very few animals have this ability: chimpanzees, elephants and dolphins do, while dogs and horses do not. Surprisingly, Rays, the fish with wing-like fins and a remnant sting barb, express this awareness.
In his second exhibition at Elga Wimmer PCC since 2005, Mirror Test, Nordic painter Osmo Rauhala continues his convergence of art, science, and nature. The exhibit comprises two new series of paintings Forms of Silences and Garden of Atlantis, and paintings and a video on DNA which Rauhala calls “the great narrative of modern man.”
The six large paintings and collection of smaller paintings of Forms of Silences are considered to be “portraits” of various rays. Painted with a thin monochromatic background, the ray’s portrait either blends with the background or sits in stark contrast to it with bright glossy colors. In some pieces, there is a color square which Rauhala incorporates from a MSR text underlining the art and science connection to the image of the animal.
In the paintings, Garden of Atlantis, all of life is surrounded by water as if seen in a dream. The paintings are more poetic and visionary being loosely drawn from the myth of the city of Atlantis, rather than scientific concepts as in the other pieces.
The video, Book of Life, 2012, and the series of paintings entitled The Guardians of The Word, delve into Rauhala’s concerns over DNA. While we know the alphabet of life – TCGA – we cannot comprehend the narrative. If we cannot fully understand the narrative, then there is the potential of mutations. This is why the letters of DNA in the video and paintings are caught falling like snowflakes chaotically entwining and crossing. Rauhala sees the moths (nature) resembling knights with spears as guardians of DNA (the word).
In an interview from 2013, Rauhala explained his views - “Life is complex and full of mysteries and we should be humble in front of it. Art is one tool on our way to understand the world around us, as well as science, philosophy and religionBorn on a small organic farm, Rauhala continues a 14 generations long test about natural phenomena.
Osmo Rauhala lives between Finland and NYC. Since 1990 he has embarked on a series of video installations. In 2017, he will have a solo exhibit at the Didrichsen Museum; Helsinki, Finland. He has over 50 solo exhibits in Germany, Netherlands, France, USA, Canada, Brazil and the Scandinavian countries. Rauhala has had 15 solo museum exhibitions including Groningen Museum, Netherlands; Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro; Stadtmuseum Ratingen, Germany; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Millesgarden Stockholm, Sweden; Kiasma - Museum of Contemporary Art at the Finish National Gallery, Finland.
September 15 – October 15, 2016
Opening Reception September 15, 6-8 pm
Elga Wimmer PCC in association with curcioprojects, is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Nicola L - Nicola L and The New Millennium; The Head, LaTête, La Cabeza, Il Capo, Der Kopf. A long day’s journey to the end of the skin. The exhibit features three of Nicola L's signature heads from 1991: Earth, Forest and Fire Head, a set of early paintings around the same theme, with three sets of Giant Penetrables from 2002 and 2012.
July 1 – August 5, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 30 - 6 to 8 pm
Self Portrait, 2010
The Man of Lyon, 2016
Part of what has intrigued generations of readers about the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud is that he'd written all his great works by the time he was 21 – time will tell with this group of exciting emerging artists! There is a special raw quality to this work where the elements of their time and their age come in to play. It is a fun and engaging group exhibit of great diversity, including painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, photography, and video, with works gathered from around the U.S., Europe, and Latin America, giving a wide-ranging snapshot on early talent in all its freshness before it is manipulated for better or worse by teachers and the market.
Speaking of Rimbaud, Daniel Mendelsohn in The New Yorker wrote, "The sixteen-year- old went on to make an assertion that Graham Robb, in his idiosyncratic yet magisterial 2001 biography, refers to as the 'poetic E=mc2': 'Je est un autre' ('I is someone else'). His insight, plain perhaps to us in our post-Freudian age but startling in its time, was that the subjective 'I' was a construct, a useful fiction—something he'd deduced from the fact that the mind could observe itself at work, which suggested to him that consciousness itself, far from being straightforward, was faceted. ('I am present at the hatching of my thought.') He suddenly saw that the true subject of a new poetry couldn't be the usual things—landscapes, flowers, pretty girls, sunsets—but, rather, the way those things are refracted through one's own unique mind. 'The first study of the man who wishes to be a poet is complete knowledge of himself,' he wrote in the letter to Demeny. 'He searches his mind, inspects it, tries it out and learns to use it.'"
Thanks to Rush Arts, Willa Schwabsky, Atlanta Japp and Kathryn McLane for their introductions of fellow artists and support of this exhibit!
April 1 – April 31, 2016
Elga Wimmer PCC is proud to present its fourth solo exhibition of works by Carol Szymanski. The exhibition has been curated by Anne-Brigitte Sirois.
The Cibachrome photographs presented in this exhibition are offshoots of Szymanski’s 2015 sculpture series solfege inflatables and her 2015 painting series Icons: light reflections of the paintings’ colors bouncing off the Mylar silver surfaces of the sculpture. With these abstract yet accurate and unmanipulated images, Szymanski expands the language of her perceptual communication paradigm while deepening her conceptual investigation of Arnold Schönberg’s 12-tone serialism and Walter Benjamin’s concept of aura, "a strange weave of space and time, the unique appearance of a distance as close as it can be."
The exhibition also includes a text work derived from Szymanski’s decade-long cockshut dummy email series. Here, parallel points of views and connecting perspectives converge allegorically through elusive sensorial feelings in various metaphorical situations:
as to titillating the visual nature. A hand was raised in the audience, "Can you speak to the visual aspect of metaphor from your titled position as professor of philosophy of art, not aesthetics as you carefully denied earlier but pronounced instead your obedience to philosophy of art as a more clear definition of yourself?"
"The visual, I have nothing to say about as to its regards to metaphor because metaphor refers only to language."
the mere making thus becomes metaphor for its own sake for if there is no metaphor in the visual as opposed to in the lingual then art merely postures itself in some identity theory or other."
Carol Szymanski is an internationally exhibited artist who has been the recipient of the Rome Prize and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, among others. She will launch Lost Contact With 12 Sentiments, a new work in the form of an instagram and an email, as a successor to the cockshut dummy on May 1, 2016. Please view on Instagram @cockshutdummy or request email instruction.
February 25 – March 24, 2016
Elga Wimmer PCC in collaboration with LuxArt, Taipei, is proud to present the work of New York artist, Richard Humann, and Paris based artist, Triny Prada. Both artists, though different in their approach and realization of their work, have themes of water and light prevalent throughout them.
Richard Humann will be exhibiting his large-scale sculptural installation, The Same River Twice along with smaller sculptures and drawings. In The Same River Twice Humann presents a 32 foot long recreation of the Hudson River, but instead of the river being filled with water, it’s filled instead with thousands of cut up words of ink on paper from books and writings that inspired him to move to New York City many years ago from his hometown in the Hudson Valley. For his sculptural bird nests, he has asked people from all over the world to send stories of their youth to him, written in their native language. Humann then took the texts and wove them into bird nests. The work is entitled, The Songbird Sings of Home and will be presented throughout the gallery on sculptural copper branches. Other work includes a series of drawings of graphite on paper, and an edition from his series, Artist Statement.
Triny Prada, Invisible Powers, 2015
Richard Humann was included in the 2003 Venice Biennial, has exhibited in international museums such as the Gabarron Foundation in Murcia, Spain, the Tampere Art Museum, Tampere, Finland, and the Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul, Korea. Humann is a recent recipient of the Pollock-Krasner grant.
Triny Prada combines light and water in her installation, comprised of Murano glass and gold sculpture, and a new series of paintings made with thread, gold powder, gauze, 22 carat gold leaf, and vinyl paint. The glass sculptures presented at the last Biennial in Venice, titled Invisible Powers, were made 2015 in Murano.
The translucency of this work with a drop shaped cell in the center, recalls the body and the cell, which is reminiscent of early Kiki Smith glass sculptures referring to body parts. In this case, however, it is the inside of the body, the part we normally cannot see. The creation of this vessel from liquid white-hot glass symbolically gives life to a new cell, a renewal, a new life.
Her series of new paintings in this show is titled Dialogues de Lucioles (Dialog of Fireflies). The artist states: "Through my paintings I bring you to seeing the phosphorences that bathe in the depths in which we are submerged, and that navigate along our cellular chains. In this way, each one of us, in taking in this experience, like a silent conversation, returns to one’s own depths and uncovers the incandescences of one’ most intimate state."
Triny Prada is an artist, born in Columbia, now working and living in Paris, France. She has participated, among others, at the Biennale in Venice in Palazzo Bambo in 2013 and 2015, and in 2014 at the Polytechnic Museum in Moscow, Russia.
November 21, 2015 – January 31, 2016
Elga Wimmer PCC, in association with curcioprojects, is pleased to present Les Rogers' solo exhibition of recent paintings entitled Just Married. This will be Rogers' first solo exhibition with the gallery; he previously exhibited in the gallery's summer group show A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
When Rogers began his new paintings on mass produced wood doors (referencing De Kooning’s use of doors for his Women series, 1964/65) this past summer, he saw them as singles, without the intention of bringing them together as a diptych. Then in early fall when he placed the singles together as two, he recognized a connection between them as "couples"- either by being argumentative or by finding common ground they helped define and reveal each other. Recently some of the paintings remain "single", but for many of the new "couples" they are "just married".
Bob Nickas, critic and curator, wrote of Rogers’ approach to painting – "Rogers has a tendency to de-stabilize pictorial space. This intentional undermining of a picture gives it a tension and, at the same time, a (dis) equilibrium it would not otherwise have had. His intuitive, spontaneous approach is followed by a slower, deliberate activity – adding, subtracting, canceling out." While Rogers continues to de-stabilize and undermine his paintings through his layers upon layers of veils of watery colorful depth asserting themselves against concentrated solid formations, drips, daps, and splashes, he creates an immediacy found in Abstract Expressionism and a fluidity of action with a definitive brushstroke. These direct and palpably "just made" panels are then brought together to create something altogether new—capturing a moment —the start of a new life together.
Les Rogers lives and works in New Jersey and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989 with a BFA. Rogers will have a solo exhibit at Mier Gallery in Los Angeles next year and has had among others solo exhibitions at Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve, Paris; Leo Koenig Inc, Half Gallery, NYC; The Happy Lion, LA; Galerie Christina Wilson, Copenhagen; Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne., Karlheinz Meyer, Karlsruhe.His work is in important private collections as Jerry Speyer, the Hall Art Foundation as well as Susan and Michael Hort Collection in New York, Elton John, UK, and among others in corporate collections as Bosch—Berlin and Prince Tabacco- Copenhagen.
May 21 – June 14, 2015
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 21 6:00-9:00 pm
Performance by: Hayoon Jay Lee @ 7:30 pm
60 Americans is a response to the ill-gotten gains of flipper based collectors, money corrupted and trend obsessed gallerists, shopping mall (puppy mill/factory) inspired art fairs, nepotism and favoritism of the made men and women of fast track MFA programs in America. This exhibition will offer an alternative perspective on what's arguably relevant and important in the current landscape of American contemporary art.
February 13, 2015 – March 28, 2015
Performance: March 5, 7pm; RSVP required
Chelsea, NYC: Elga Wimmer PCC, in association with curcioprojects, is pleased to present French-born and NYC-based, Nicola L.’s Atmosphere in White. Presented at last year’s Biennial of Liverpool, curated by Anthony Huberman, Atmosphere in White spans five decades of functional objects and furniture, and conceptual sculptures. Gary Indiana, critic and writer, observes that, "Nicola lives in a human universe, a world constructed by humans, and her work reclaims this humanity by reminding us at every point that our constructions emanate from within the envelope of flesh we inhabit."
Fragments of the body: a foot, an eye, a head, and a torso are transformed into a sofa, standing lamp, bookcase, and ironing board. A large white vinyl Sofa Foot, 1968-2013, and a round plastic Eye Lamp, 1969-2013, evoking a planet, represent the Pop era in visual as well as material aspects. The Library Head, 1979-2012, is a bookcase in the shape of a large wooden head where new and old information moves in, around, out and back in, creating an exchange both private and public. With a wink to Duchamp’s "IL FAUT UTILISER LA JOCONDE COMME UNE PLANCHE A REPASSER" Nicola L.’s Woman Ironing Table, 2006, accentuates the duality of the sensual side of a woman with what is stereotyped as women’s work.
Nicola L.’s series of Penetrables are soft sculptures where the viewer’s body and the sculpture embody each other. Suspended from the ceiling, Atmosphere in White, 2005, the viewer "wears" it as a new layer of skin by entering your arms, legs, torso and head into the sculpture. Antartica, 2014, a white vinyl wall hanging with industrial looking gloves and a mask for the head which when worn references the frozen landscape. Pierre Restany, art critic and cultural philosopher, described the Penetrables as "the same skin for everybody."
Penetrables performances, like White Cape on March 5, have been staged since the early 70’s on the streets of Paris, Brussels, Cologne, Barcelona and the Great Wall of China where many coats form one large coat simultaneously worn by performers. White Cape is a large white vinyl coat constructed of four coats, each of the four performers holds a mask with the name and photograph of one of the Beatles as they move through and out of the space to the song "Help!" A merger of contemporary thoughts on the body/skin with the sensibility of 60’s era POP free style.
Nicola L. will be participating in the Tate Modern’s upcoming The World Goes Pop, curated by Jessica Morgan presently director at DIA Foundation, NYC. Currently she is in the EXQUISITE CORPUS curated by Cora Fischer at SECCA, North Carolina. She was included in ARTEVIDA : politica / corpo, Museu de Arte Moderna and Casa Franca in Brazil. Nicola L. has widely exhibited, had film screenings and performed throughout Europe, Cuba and South America, and the US.
For further information contact: Elga Wimmer PCC: 212.206.0006 firstname.lastname@example.org / elgawimmer.com. Robert Curcio: 646.220.2557 email@example.com / curcioprojects.com.
December 3, 2014 – January 24, 2015
New York, NY: Resonance and Memory: The Essence of Landscape is a group exhibition organized by Katharine T. Carter & Associates, hosted by Elga Wimmer PCC, curated and managed by Robert Curcio of curcioprojects. Each of these artists, in his or her own unique way, commemorates the profoundly mysterious, elusive, and imaginary qualities of landscape.
Kathleen Elliot’s (CA) flameworked glassworks arose from her great love of plants, their life cycles and the beauty of all their parts – the spiritual connection she feels with nature in her own imagined Garden of Eden. Sandra Gottlieb (NYC) shapes perception, time and place in her sensual ocean images photographed at Rockaway Beach, Queens. In her sixth series, October Waves, she deals with the pure essence of each wave; the dramaturgy of the wave; its strength and strum and drang. J.J. L’Heureux (CA) has provided us with an image of a tiny portion of the Ross Ice Shelf... the face we see is 50-150 meters high and extends for 800 kilometers; in its entirety, it is the size of France. Overwhelming and awesome in its silent majesty, it remains fragile and ever changing.
John Lyon Paul’s (NY) sculptural devices reference abstract, organic and geological forms, suggesting the burden of human suffering and hope. True to their material origins, he creates a deep connection to the fragile world that we inhabit. In Rebeca Calderón Pittman’s (OH) recombinant drawings, reality becomes transparent; places that are ordinarily distinct become part of a single, flowing image space; her delicate layered drawings are dominated by the emptiness that pervades them.
Gerry Tuten’s (PA) work investigates the relations between gestural abstraction, and her ongoing interest in nature, often illuminating the site she is rendering. Of an ephemeral nature, her paintings describe the intangible qualities of water and forest. Gail Watkins (MD) combines paint with organic substances (sand, stone, and glass), often mistaken for a geological sample; creating an intimacy between the viewer and work that is at once primitive, spontaneous, and powerful. Martin Weinstein (NYC) creates paintings on 3-5 sheets of plexiglass layered together to form an image of illusionistic depth; he interprets this special theatre by depicting the same scene multiple times, and by inserting discontinuous elements... a reminder of the tenuous nature of reality itself.
For further information contact: Katharine T. Carter, Katharine T. Carter & Associates: 212.533.9530, firstname.lastname@example.org / www.ktcassoc.com. Robert Curcio: email@example.com; 646.220.2557.
December 5, 2013 – January 25, 2014
Ulla Enevoldsen likens the abundance and longevity of nature to humanity composing her works out of hand-made paper sometimes combining it with other materials like metal, stone, or even optic fibers. Consequently in her Human Snow Crystal, appears a human form juxtaposed upon a cut out of a snowflake. Enevoldsen works with other celestial phenomena as well orbs that can be read as galaxies, the moon, sun or planets. Moreover, she creates interactive sculptures such as Sea Gobble and Wave that come alive as the viewer approaches. At times they emit repetitive ocean wave sounds while simultaneously responding to light. With her constantly changing sculptures Enevoldsen overcomes stativity, creating dynamic pieces that interact with the viewer. Enevoldsen’s installations although beautiful and subtle in coloration, contain a critical twist that is evident in such orb pieces as Ice and Stone, Ice Holes, and in Ice Sandseen in their deteriorating aspects. Ice and Stone’s cool grayish/turquoise colors and pock marked surface are reminiscent of a moonscape while Ice Holes emits a feeling of coldness and melting ice in its blueness, and Ice Sand is much like a burning dessert.
Vibeke Fuglsang-Damgaard is environmentally aware with a focus on water energy from which everything flows. Her interest in water flows with that of the writer Austrian Viktor Schauberger whose works inspired her. He wrote of water reaching its highest density at four degrees, that it gains energy in curves and spirals, creating enough counter-streaming for trout to jump upward in a river. In her statement, Fuglsang-Damgaard points out that we live in water (amniotic fluid) before we are born. In her installation, a leaking faucet is attached to a pink cardboard box instead of a natural source. Furthermore, the box is open, as it ostensibly appears, the water has been depleted. In another area of the installation water is spilling out of an open blue box while nearby aquatic life forms appear to be swimming downstream. Visible upon closer examination these fish shaped forms contain hooks with fishing flies that necessitate we read them critically. Similarly, in the same installation is a heart-shaped area comprised of black daggers with blue water drops painted on them. What becomes obvious is that Fuglsang-Damgaard is an artist dedicated to the continuity of life creating her works from recycled materials so as to contribute to its survival. All of the works in this show formulate a holistic message about the world’s survival and the abuses perpetrated by humanity on the natural habitat.
June 19 – July 31, 2013
Artists have always been challenged by creating works on a very large surface, be they ceiling paintings, murals, graffiti, or projections of video or film. The artists in this show (Lydia Dona, James T. Greco, Richard Humann, Nicola L, Gerard Mossé,and Osmo Rauhala) have each created a large new work, or contributed one from an earlier series.
Bigger is not necessarily better, but in this case the viewer can be the judge, interpreting and enjoying the impressive over-sized work in this show titled XXL.
The Art Market MA program at FIT is pleased to present Don't Feed the Animals, a group show featuring works by contemporary artists who transgress social norms to reveal the ways people respond to actions performed out of context. Working in a variety of mediums, the artists shock, amuse and satirize social behaviors by setting up absurd or outlandish situations to provoke viewers into questioning personal standards and the accepted rules of society.
In videos and stills of performances, several of the artists in Don't Feed the Animals make themselves intimately available to strangers: Nate Hill – dressed in a dolphin mascot costume – offers to let subway riders bounce on his lap, while Sean Fader invites people to make a wish by stroking his chest hair. Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares engage in a prolonged public kissing session while riding up and down a busy escalator, and Yolanda Dominguez criticizes the farcicality of the fashion industry in her videos, which show everyday women, who strike model poses in crowded public spaces that make themlook rather absurd and cause concern from people walking by.
Don't Feed the Animals is organized by FIT Art Market students, Class of 2013, School of Graduate Studies. In their second year, students take a two-semester practicum in which they organize, curate, and promote a group exhibition. They graduate from the program with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed for professional careers in the art market. The 2013 curators are Lisbet Krogslund Bertelsen, Rose Frisenda, Elizabeth Landau, Vivian Lee, Anna Matos, Kathleen Mulvey, Marcela Nascimento, and Kara Romano.
A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the show. For further information, please contact Fitartmarket@gmail.com.
Wang paints young girls in alluring stylized poses in fashionable clothing that in their pouting manner totally win our hearts. They invite us through their sexy demeanor and colorful attire to share their constructed spectacle. They are a cross between fashion models and Barbie dolls with porcelain skin. Their huge eyes, reminiscent of 1960s Keane figures, are heavily made up with long eyelashes, plucked eyebrows, and pouting lips in red lipstick. It can be said that Wang is stereotyping the fashionable consumerist modern female, but in reality he's engaging in tongue and cheek humor. Girl #5, #6, 7 and 11 are dressed in military uniform perhaps as an excuse to juxtapose the soft femininity of their painted faces against the rough army garb. Or, perhaps as a way of punning military dress that has become appropriated by the fashion industry today. Perhaps even to compare the sameness of this fashion icon repeated over and over in different costumes, with that of troops. But, though her morphology is similar, her moods, makeup and dress change to produce lively sexy females aware of their own power. These girls are not afraid and they're not objectified females because they're not vulnerable. They invite and warn us at the same time as seen in Girl #4 who holds a gun in her left hand while a parrot sits on her right arm. Girl #6 wears a red army hat and carries a pink backpack while smoking a cigarette. She turns away from us protecting her nude right breast with her left hand, all while she looks behind her. This is not an innocent little girl but rather a dangerous siren that Wang depicts. The devil wears Prada in Girl #9 who is highly made up, with bleached white hair and, except for a pearl drop earring and a purple pocketbook that conceal her body, is nude. This is not a vulnerable creature available to the male gaze but rather one who warns us through her demeanor-- crossed arms over the chest and head turned to stare at the viewer.
Wang's fashionable females are reminiscent of the 8th Century Chinese master Zhou Fang's many depictions of women as models of ideal feminine deportment as seen in his scroll Ladies Wearing Flowers in their Hair. Indeed it was very common during the Tang Period to create ideal female models in art because real women were forbidden to appear in public. A similar situation took place in ancient Classical Greece. Rather than paint individual personalities artists painted, women's roles. And as seen in both Fang's, and Wang's paintings, women have been rendered with meticulous detail in their wardrobe and make-up. The ancient models of deportment have now become fashionable femme-fatales.
Curated by Elga Wimmer: