Posts tagged Solo Exhibition
Kle Mens at REJEKT Gallery
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REJEKT Gallery presents Hybrid Prophecy, a solo show of one of Poland's exceptional young artists, Kle Mens. Her work will be exhibited at 82a Commercial Street, a former public toilet in London’s East End and is curated by Elaine Tam. The show runs 14-23 June 2019, with an opening reception on Thursday 13th June 2019, at 6pm.

Kle Mens is a Warsaw-based visual artist working across painting, sculpture, performance and film. Following the death of her father, Kle Mens grew up in an extreme Catholic sect in Poland, under the care of her mother, a schizophrenic, devotee nun. As such, a major tenet of her work is the exploration and exploitation of religious iconography, which calls forth a brave new world of the feminine in post-secular art practice.

The paintings at the heart of her practice involve a traditional technique, one which requires the painstaking application of a hundred translucent layers. Through this steady dedication we witness the transfiguration of Kle Mens as a Saint, martyr and hybrid creature, which emphasizes the transmutable nature of timeless mythical bodies.

Having exhibited in her native country multiple times, the controversial nature of Kle Men’s work means that the artist has received notable backlash from a more conservative Polish audience, including the staging of protests outside her exhibitions.

In her first UK solo show, Kle Mens makes a brave incantation, summoning both religious martyrs and mythological hybrids to evoke the formidable force of female transformation, which underlies all her work. This exhibition sees Kle Mens revisiting the idolatry of female purity of her youth through the martyr’s series, with focus on those whose punishment was sex-related or sexuality-specific.

In a relational gesture of self-sacrifice, paint becomes embodied flesh in St. Agata, the venerated saint a prime example of the extraordinary sufferance endured by female devotees. A tense and disarming dedication, Kle Mens’ severing of her own breast is a profound moment of ekstasis propelling her into the temporality of long-standing religious order, a remark upon the continued urgency of feminist concerns. With similar spirit, she investigates the unusual, always-timeliness of the apocalypse — the recurring crisis of individual, collective and planetary future that haunts existence.

In Hybrid Prophecy, Kle Mens presents us with this provocation: a stunningly detailed film work, which animates and subverts Hans Memling's The Last Judgement. The centerpiece around which the themes of the exhibition revolve, The Last Judgement sees her assuming new bodies and fictions, while persisting with the religious iconography that she is passionately indebted to. As such, two mythological hybrids that feature in the Apocalypse of St. John become proto-Renaissance self-portraits.

Kle Mens adopts the mystical poise of the famously ambiguous, riddling Sphinx. Her traditional painting technique begets a certain magic — one of majestic strength, and silent yet photorealistic liveness — which also courses through Harpy. While the eagle is emblematic of the Polish state, in the Apocalypse it behaves as a premonition, heralding a collapse between sky and earth. With this, Kle Mens continues her elegant foray into mythic territories, their power and their promise.

Kle Mens (Klementyna Stepniewska, b. 1985) graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in 2014 under the direction of Jarosław Modzelewski and Igor Przybylski. In 2016, she was winner of the The Geppert Competition XII, the most prestigious prize for young painters in Poland. To date, she has had three solo exhibitions, the most recent of which is Hail Mary (2019). Her works St. Rita and Kummernis are held by a key public collection, National Museum of Gdansk.

REJEKT Gallery are representatives of future pioneers of contemporary art from Eastern Europe. They curate unprecedented, unconventional events for new East artists in London. REJEKT seeks to represent and garner respect of Eastern European artists. Founder and Director, Sarah Sosnierz started promoting electronic music through hosting parties, aiming to collaborate various artists between London and Warsaw in the hope that this exchange would open new channels of cultural communication between East and Western Europe.

REJEKT do not conform to a traditional gallery setup. Their selection of unadulterated art is exhibited in unusual spaces, from industrial units to disused public toilets. Based in London, REJEKT has transitioned from illustrious clubs in Praga, flirting with underground dance club culture, to an arts platform occupying unique Heterotopian spaces; providing unconventional conduits; simultaneously mental and physical, geographical and digital representation.

For more information please contact: Anna Beketov, Damson Communications at anna.beketov@damsonpr.com or +44 (0)20 7812 0645.

The Stranger, Solo Exhibition by Alex Merritt at Booth Gallery
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Booth Gallery is proud to present The Stranger, a debut solo exhibition by Alex Merritt, on view May 17 - June 12, 2019, at 325 W. 38th St in New York. Popularly known for his large-scale oils and brutal approach to painting, Alex Merritt will be exhibiting 20 new paintings and drawings in large and small formats.

Merritt’s works include a recurring motif visualized through expansive landscapes juxtaposed by isolated figures which directly confront the viewer. In works like “Hermetic Bliss” (detail above), the subject is visceral and haunting yet vulnerably human. A distinct narrative is intentionally concealed and left for the viewer’s interpretation, much like the artist’s process: it is hidden amongst the layers.

Through a constant working and reworking, the paint is scraped down and built up to range from a thick paste to liquid. The sheer physicality of the canvases showing layers of paint 3-4 inches in depth reveals they are as much of an object sculpturally as they are a 2-dimensional image. Subject and object become one, and the finished works represent a direct result of these layers, weaving in and out of one another, often obfuscating the literal.

Merritt’s influences include the likes of Chaim Soutine, Joan Eardley, Antonio Mancini, and Frank Auerbach; Inspired by their bravado to compose large-scale works and to experimentation with surface quality.

Alex Merritt was born in 1981 in Washington, DC. In 2015, he received his B.F.A. in painting from the Mary- land Institute College of Art and in 2018 completed his MFA from The New York Academy of Art. The artist joined Booth Gallery in June 2018; this will be his first Solo show to date. Works from are in numerous private collections worldwide and currently has had a collection of works acquired by liana Gore Museum in Tel Aviv, Israel.

On Friday, May 17, 2019, an opening reception will be held from 6-9pm and is open to the public.

Solo Show of Harlem artist Stan Squirewell at Gallery 8, London | April 1-13, 2019
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FACTION Art Projects is delighted to present a solo show of Harlem-based artist Stan Squirewell at Gallery 8, London. Following an exhibition of Squirewell’s work at FACTION’s Harlem space, the FACTION team is bringing him to London for a display of multilayered collages, which through elements of mythology, sacred geometry and science, tackle themes of race and memory. This marks Squirewell’s first solo show outside the US. A Private View of the exhibition will be held on April 2, 2019 from 6-9pm.

Squirewell’s newest works, which have evolved over two or three years of archival study and exploration, are heavily influenced by a recent revelation of his paternal ancestry.

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Squirewell says:

‘For most of my life I believed my family were African Americans who had arrived to the US on slave ships, and it wasn’t until my twenties that I discovered my true heritage, that they were indigenous Americans. As a teacher working closely with the national curriculum I constantly see how history, even now, is curated. My art attempts to rewrite these assumed histories. The beauty of the works capture the viewer, but it’s the ugly that intrigues and leads them to look deeper.’

Rediscovering his ancestry has prompted Squirewell to question his identity, particularly in the western hemisphere. It also speaks to his battle with the omnipresent slavery narrative, when he himself comes from a black family that is not believed to have a history of slavery. Through portraiture he challenges histories and presents a more empowering narrative for black identity, seeking to change the terminology around the very word ‘black’.

The portraits have a16th, 17th and 18th century aesthetic with a contemporary awareness. The depicted figures are both real historical figures and fictitious characters that are in some way related to the artist. Through demonstrating the misrepresentations of history, they critique what we colloquially describe as fact. Each artwork is complete only after he ceremoniously burns both the collage and its hand carved frames which include motifs and markings from ancient indigenous American and African cultures.

The titles of Stan Squirewell’s works reference particular moments in our shared history. One work entitled ‘Willendorf’, is inspired by the prehistoric female figure of ‘Venus of Willendorf’, while another, ‘Amerindian’ refers to the ‘$5 Indians’ - those who, 125 years ago, paid for falsified documents that proved them to be Native American.

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About Stan Squirewell:

Stan Squirewell was born and raised in Washington, DC and currently lives and works in Harlem, New York. His artistic training began at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Since graduating he has continued his tutelage under many of DC’s legends including artists Michael Platt and Lou Stovall. Squirewell, is a painter, photographer, installation and performance artist. His work is multilayered and his subject matter tackles themes such as: race and memory through mythology, sacred geometry and science. He draws his inspiration from theory books, science fiction movies and novels, avant-garde jazz and indigenous storytelling. He is a (2007 MFA) graduate of the Hoffberger School of Painting where he studied with the late, Grace Hartigan. Squirewell is the first winner of the Rush Philanthropic and Bombay Sapphire Artisan series. He has performed with Nick Cave (SoundSuits) at the National Portrait Gallery and Jefferson Pinder with G-Fine Arts. He is privately and publicly collected, his works are in the Reginald Lewis Museum, the Robert Steele Collection and recently acquired by the Smithsonian for the African American Museum (2015.) Squirewell is currently exhibited as part of ‘Fashioning the body’ at projects+gallery in St. Louis alongside Bisa Butler, Soly Cissé, Renee Cox, David Antonio Cruz, Kenturah Davis, Hassan Hajjaj, Basil Kincaid, Mario Moore, Chris Ofili, Fahamu Pecou, Katherine Simóne Reynolds, Jacolby Satterwhite, Mickalene Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley.

About FACTION Art Projects:

FACTION is a flexible collective, from the team behind the hugely successful Gallery 8 and Coates & Scarry in London, who have created a unique model for artists and gallerists to work together. FACTION addresses the changing market place and the erosion of the traditional art market, where galleries were gatekeepers for artists. FACTION provides artists with promotion and opportunity to access collectors and a wider audience, with all the support of a gallery but without the constraints of the traditional model. They aim to deliver a program of artists that is diverse and inclusive. FACTION launched in February 2018 at Gallery 8 in Harlem, New York and since then has become strongly imbedded in the Striver’s Row community and a highlight of Harlem’s cultural scene.

For more information please contact Anna Beketov, anna.beketov@damsonpr.com, +44 (0)20 7812 0645

Sarah Leuchtner

“Sarah Leuchtner’s practice deftly incorporates precepts of contemporary culture with a painterly approach that calls on formal relationships with the graphic, the iconographic, and the structural.”

-Bianca Bova, Curator

To create a work of art that causes the viewer to slow down to a full stop in order to spend just a bit more time with it is an accomplishment all on its own. To do the successfully twelve times over, compelling a longer examination of the surface of each piece, is something else entirely. In her recent solo exhibition at Hubbard Street Lofts in Chicago, artist Sarah Leuchtner presented twelve new paintings, filling the room with a distinct tone and palette, both moody and rich with energy. Her visual language weaves together elements of design, pattern, and palpable texture. Paint is at times washed across the canvas, and at other times appears built up, revealing pockets of layers and hidden mark making. Leuchtner’s skills in painting are only matched by her mature and distinct voice as an artist, one that can be heard cohesively throughout her body of work, and one that will only continue to resonate louder over time.

Sarah Leuchtner is a Chicago-based contemporary artist. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016. Follow her on Instagram at @sarahleuchtner.

Images courtesy of Sarah Leuchtner and curator Bianca Bova.

Art on Paper in Brussels

We were so excited to be given the opportunity to visit Art on Paper [in collaboration with BOZAR] a small, international drawing-focused art fair in Brussels last week. Besides the fact that it highlights a specific medium - one which can be defined broadly due to its potential to be used in a seemingly infinite amount of ways - the fair is unique in that each gallery's booth presents one solo exhibition rather than a group show of their roster of artists. Below you'll find a few of our favorites!

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From the Art on Paper press release:

The line, to infinity. As everyone knows, drawing is first and foremost a line, potentially infinite. This line evolves and expands over time. In 2018, Art on Paper grows and doubles in size. Since its inception, Art on Paper has been emphasizing the variety and diversity of contemporary approaches to drawing through artist solo shows. This is the main principle of the show, it is THE specificity renewed every year: one booth, one gallery, one artist. Thus, for 5 days, 50 Belgian and international galleries are investing BOZAR exhibition spaces to offer, in the heart of Brussels, 50 SOLO SHOWS from established and emerging artists: the best of contemporary drawing. Building on the success of its latest editions, Art on Paper is setting itself up this year in the prestigious "Ravenstein Circuit", always in collaboration with BOZAR, and has new parallel projects to reflect the most current creation and the most experimental practices in terms of drawing.

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1. Gamaliel Rodríguez at ATM Galería

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5. Serena Fineschi at Montoro 12 Contemporary Art

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6. Anneke Eussen at Tatjana Pieters

Far from the Tree Exhibition by Katherine Fraser

January 11, 2018 (Philadelphia, PA) – Paradigm Gallery + Studio is pleased to present Far from the Tree, a solo exhibition of new oil paintings by artist Katherine Fraser on view February 23 – April 21, 2018.

In her third solo exhibition with the gallery, Fraser draws inspiration for Far from the Tree from fables and explores what it means to have control over our own destinies. Universally-known stories and endings are suddenly given the ability to change. The artist’s most cohesive series to date, each character is presented with the agency to alter their own outcomes.

In the work, The War of Independence, the natural beauty of the Acadian National Park acts as the backdrop. Having grown up in rural Maine, the landscape is a reference to the artist’s childhood – a symbol of a time when Fraser felt her most strong and independent. Fraser says, “When I use the rural landscape in my paintings it symbolizes the homeland; I use it to create a feeling of peace and protection. I mostly paint solitary figures, and being alone in nature is the best kind of alone. In nature I feel most myself, vibrant, and at one with the world”.

Fraser’s figurative compositions ‘depict moments of quiet reflection and insight, of wonder, vulnerability, yearning, determination, humility, strength, and growth’. She cites realist painters Edward Hopper and Bo Bartlett as influences, but also sees parallels between her work and photographers like: Diane Arbus, Mary Ellen Mark and Sally Mann. All of these artists act as storytellers, capturing individuals in moments and settings with a great deal of intimacy.
Classically trained, make her paintings beautiful, but also to emotionally engage with the viewer. Fraser likes to draw attention to dynamic and conflicting emotions within
individual characters. In her overall practice she seeks to portray ‘our continual need to reckon expectations with truth, and the struggles we endure to feel satisfaction with our choices’.
In Far from the Tree, Fraser asks the viewers, “how much power do we really have to change the narratives of our own lives”?

ABOUT PARADIGM GALLERY + STUDIO

Established February 2010, Paradigm Gallery + Studio started as a project between co-
founders and curators, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston, to create a space to make
artwork, exhibit the work of their peers, and invite the members of the local community
to make their own artwork in a welcoming gallery setting. Over the years, Paradigm
Gallery + Studio has become a gallery of diverse contemporary artwork from around the
world, while maintaining a focus on Philadelphia artists.

ABOUT KATHERINE FRASER

Fraser exclusively works with oil paint for its flexibility and luminosity, striving to Katherine Fraser has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States. She is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and of the University of Pennsylvania. As a student she received the Thomas Eakins Painting prize, the Cecelia Beaux Portrait prize, and the William Emlen Cresson Memorial Travel Award, among others. Since graduating in 2002, she has received awards including the Lucy Glick Award and the Victor Klein Family Award. Her work has been published in Studio Visit Magazine, Philadelphia Weekly, Die Blumen die Frauen, The Fertile Source, New American Paintings, The Southern Review, the Best of American Oil Painting, and more. Her work may be found in many permanent and private collections nationally and abroad.