Art Out: REPRISE: SUMMER SHOW 2018
Exhibition: Reprise: Summer Show 2018
Ronald Feldman Gallery
Artist names: Eleanor Antin, Cassils, Nancy Chunn, Eric Dyer, Margaret Harrison, Kelly Heaton, Kim Levin, Oakes Twins, Bruce Pearson, Jason Salavon, Federico Solmi, Diemut Strebe, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Hannah Wilke, Gil Yefman
For its summer show, the Feldman Gallery will exhibit works by fifteen gallery artists, selected from more than 50 artists represented by the gallery from 1973 to 2018, which spans the history of the gallery. Most of the artworks have been previously exhibited at the gallery. The exhibition provides the opportunity to view early work from a current perspective and to preview the direction of future projects. Incorporating themes of social engagement, the artists work in a variety of media.
A seminal work by Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Dressing to Go Out - UnDressing to Go In (1973), which was commissioned initially for Lucy Lippard’s 1973 exhibition, C.7,500, and exhibited at the gallery in 1998, marks the original inspiration for the artist’s lifelong project, Maintenance Art Works. Photographs depict caring for the family, a subject subsequently broadened to the maintenance of cultural institutions, urban and social maintenance, and the artist’s interaction with the New York City Department of Sanitation as official unsalaried Artist in Residence since 1977.
Nancy Chunn is represented by works exploring the media’s role in contemporary American culture. The Land of the Stupid (2001) conveys the onslaught of breaking news stories during the presidential election of 2000 through an explosion of signs and symbols dropped over map fragments of Washington D.C., Miami, Tallahassee, Palm Beach, and Crawford, TX. Chicken Little Lock Up (2018), a collaboration with David McDevitt, is a 30-minute animated film that sees the eponymous paranoid fowl locked in prison with a melange of crooks, cultural icons gone bad, and dangerous batshit political crazies ripped from our nightmares.
Eleanor Antin, performance artist, film-maker, installation artist, conceptual artist and feminist artist who engages with history in her work, will exhibit a large-scale photograph Casting Call (2007), which depicts an elaborately-staged recreation of an imagined scene of Helen of Troy’s fragmented life. Friends of the artist in costume depict the dramatic scene. Antin writes: Helen of Troy was the most beautiful and dangerous woman in the history of western culture. Her story comes down to us from European literature’s founding epic…. But what do we know of her? After three thousand years of notoriety she remains strangely silent as the most beautiful and disastrous objectification of male anxiety and desire.
Hannah Wilke, whose feminist-themed work included photographs of her traditionally beautiful body, is represented by Intra-Venus Series Triptych (1992-1993), shot during the last two years of her life in collaboration with her husband Donald Goddard, and documenting the effects of lymphoma on her body. Twenty of the six-by-four color prints were exhibited posthumously at the gallery.
Jason Salavon, a new media artist, uses software of his own design to transform masses of data collected from the internet. Good and Evil (2012), archival inkjet prints and digital video, is a diptych consisting of pictures gathered through web image searches for the 100 most positive and negative words in the English language. Its colorful composition is a patterned collage of a seemingly infinite number of smaller than stamp size images.
Bruce Pearson, who makes multi-layered kaleidoscopic paintings on large, intricately carved Styrofoam panels, is represented by And Who Hasn’t Dreamed of Growing Up to Become a Princess 1 (2013). Pearson reconfigures the traditional painting surface to carve out nooks and crannies to imbed text and patterns that form the underlying structure of his paintings. The text is difficult to read and comments on our current culture.
Margaret Harrison, a British artist, whose sexually explicit images in the style of comic book heroes and pin ups address sexism and question the idea of fixed sexuality, is represented by the diptych, Shut the Fuck Up (2013), which was shown in her exhibition, On Reflection, at the gallery in 2015. Her first solo exhibition in London in 1971 was closed down by the police who said that they didn’t mind the images of the women but that the way she had depicted the men was disgusting. Works by the Israeli artist, Gil Yefman, from his exhibition at the gallery in 2014, are Ladder of Bones (2010), comprising knitted bone sculptures, and Time Table (2014), a take on a pinup calendar, using key Nazi figures mixed with pornographic images. The artist challenges society’s traditional definitions of gender and deals with Germany’s dark past. Shamanic Bee (2015) is a large-scale work on paper by Kelly Heaton. The drawing is based on an arresting vision of a honeybee that the artist experienced and perceived as a plea for help from nature. Also from her Pollination series are Weeds and C in which the artist juxtaposes a vitrine of hand-made wildflowers with a sculpture of an electronic device that is enlarged to appear strangely personified. Bees have souls; weeds are memorialized; people are electronic. Heaton provokes us to think about humanity's impact on pollinators and the natural environment upon which we depend.
Diemut Strebe’s Invisible Man (2015) is an allusion to the photographer Jeff Wall’s homonymous work. The inside of a lightbox has been photographed with a high-resolution camera, each of the 4312 single LEDs/308 panels with each 14 LEDs, and mounted together. The arrangement of the digitally constructed image, which is extremely bright and illuminated by the large number of the LEDs underlying the print, relates to a spacetime model of the physicists Alan Guth and Sean Carroll who propose a model of spacetime that describes the origin of the universe as dependent from the observer, involving a symmetry of time and introducing two futures of which each forms the past of the other.
The critic Kim Levin, who was a painter for ten years before she became a well-known art critic, will exhibit Sahara VIII:Uranus (1967), from her series of North African Horsemen of the Sahara which, like all her series of paintings, contains an unstated theme of power. The painting was from a time when it was rare not only for artists to paint from photographs, but also controversial. The seemingly unfinished surface of the paintings reveals not only the texture of the primed linen, but also a conceptual structure that enhances the abstract reality.
On view is a print from Cassils’ Alchemic series (2017). The entire set of three was included in their solo exhibition Monumental at the gallery in 2017. Presented alongside Cassils' sculpture PISSED, which contained 200 gallons of the artist urine collected in protest since the current administration overturned an Obama era order allowing trans teens to use their bathroom of choice, the Alchemic series display torqued metallic abstractions which gild and exalts self-determined trans embodiment. These photographs ask the questions: Whose bodies are valued and whose are deemed disposable? The series is a homage to Robert Mapplethorpe’s Male Nudes and Statuary series.
The Oakes Twins, who explore the intersection of art and perception, are represented by two of their panoramic concave drawings of real spaces, Winter Garden I and Winter Garden II, initial capture drawn 2011, hand-assembled multiple, 2018, which were exhibited at the gallery’s booth at the Armory Show in 2018. During the show, the artists were present on a platform to capture the moving visitors above and to engage with them in the booth below. An interactive wall-hung sculpture from 2018 by Eric Dyer, originally exhibited at the gallery in the winter of 2018, returns for this summer show: Artisan Obsolescence, which shows a frantic kinetic college of hands attempting to reclaim their usefulness by futilely emulating the motions of the machine, the iconic KitchenAid Artisan Mixer, which replaced them.
The exhibition introduces Federico Solmi as a new gallery artist following his inclusion in the group show Art on the Front Lines in 2017. On view are two video painting animation loops: The Great Expedition (2017) and The Gracious Conquistadors (2016 - 2018). Solmi uses bright colors and a satirical aesthetic to portray a dystopian vision of our present-day society. His videos are extravagant, rowdy, ironic, and over the top.
Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 - 6:00, Monday by appointment July and August: Monday to Thursday, 10:00 - 6:00. Friday, 10:00 - 3:00. Closed Saturday, June 30 & Wednesday, July 4
Gallery Address: 31 Mercer Street New York, New York 10013
All of the images © Yanika Anukulpun