Posts tagged 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.

Lizbeth Mitty
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Described by New York Times critic Ken Johnson as a combination of “painterly verve and hellish beauty”, the work of veteran artist Lizbeth Mitty has long been focused with examining and amplifying the intrinsic abstract beauty of deteriorating or overlooked corners of urban architecture and interiors.

Her latest endeavor ‘The Thread’ is a joint exhibition with her daughter, Dana James on view at M. David & Co. through April 14th. Taking its title from their genetic and psychosocial bond, ‘The Thread’ presents an intergenerational between two contemporary painters with independent practices yet close-knit lives, whose artwork is undeniably influenced by the presence of one another.

Born in Queens, NY to a family of artists, inventors and actors, Lizbeth was immersed in the world of visual art from a young age. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in both the United States and abroad and is held in public and private collections including the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New York State Museum, The Orlando Museum of Art, The Zimmerli Archive, The U.S. State Department, and Trierenberg Holding AG (Austria). Her studio is based in Brooklyn, NY.

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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

5 Questions with a Curator: Eileen Owens, Philadelphia Museum of Art

We were so thrilled to be able to chat with Eileen Owens, currently a Research and Exhibitions Assistant in the European Paintings Department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She curated the exhibition ‘Biting Wit and Brazen Folly: British Satirical Prints, 1780s–1830s', which opened at the museum earlier this year. The show will be on view for a few more weeks, until December 5th, so we highly recommend that you go and check it out!

Connoisseurs, 1799, by Thomas Rowlandson. Hand-colored etching. Given to the Philadelphia Museum of Art by Carl Zigrosser, 1974.

Connoisseurs, 1799, by Thomas Rowlandson. Hand-colored etching. Given to the Philadelphia Museum of Art by Carl Zigrosser, 1974.

Installation view. Photo credit: Joseph Hu.

Installation view. Photo credit: Joseph Hu.

Talk about your background in art and art history. Was it something that you were always interested in growing up?

Yes and no. I grew up in the southeast of Ireland, in a medieval city that was steeped in history. I would visit Kilkenny Castle often (my sister and I could probably still recite the tour now, decades later!) and loved learning about the city’s history. So, I had an appreciation for art in a very broad sense, but I didn’t visit my first art museum until I was a 17. When I moved to New York State, my high school offered an art history class, and I was immediately intrigued--I could actually learn about all these paintings I only vaguely knew about from TV or magazines. Taking that class, and having opportunities to visit the Met and MoMA on field trips, truly unlocked something in me. It was as if I was suddenly in on this secret new world--one I felt profoundly connected to.   

Even with this passion though, the understanding that I could have a career working in an art museum came to me fairly late. It wasn’t until I studied abroad in Rome my junior year of college that I committed to adding Art History to my major. The cliché of falling in love with art in Rome is true for me. I challenge anyone to live there for three months and not contemplate how important, enlightening, and continuously relevant art is in our shared history. Not to mention the sheer thrill of seeing so much beauty in one place! It was impossible to ignore.

You went on to study at Temple University for your MA in Art History. What was your focus and what did you enjoy about the program?

I studied nineteenth-century French art, with a focus on prints and print culture. I felt really supported by the faculty at Temple. The size of the program made it easy to develop solid mentor relationships with professors and some great friendships with fellow students as well. Being in an art history program that is part a renowned fine arts school—where people are creating and exchanging ideas in real time—was really appealing to me too.

Temple’s connection to Philadelphia and its arts and culture scene was also a huge influence, not only for access to exhibitions and arts institutions, but for internships and post-grad job applications, too. Being able to capitalize on that network really helped me get my foot in the door.

Tell us about how you ended up at the PMA! That must have been an exciting transition out of grad school.

It definitely was! I was very fortunate to have gotten a fellowship right out of school and to still be working at such a valuable institution now. I was selected as the Suzanne Andre Curatorial Fellow in Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, which is a two-year fellowship that I began in 2016. In grad school, I developed a love of works on paper—how they were made, how they functioned in society, who collected them—and this was my first museum position where I got to interact directly with these objects on a daily basis. Running the department’s busy study room, preparing for acquisition meetings, completing condition reports, taking courier trips—it was all vital training in the daily tasks of a curator.  

Monster Soup Commonly Called Thames Water, Being a Correct Representation of that Precious Stuff Doled out to Us, William Heath, 1794%2F95 - 1840 Gift of Mrs. William H. Horstmann, 1955.

Monster Soup Commonly Called Thames Water, Being a Correct Representation of that Precious Stuff Doled out to Us, William Heath, 1794%2F95 - 1840 Gift of Mrs. William H. Horstmann, 1955.

As part of your two-year fellowship you had the opportunity to curate an exhibition. How far in advance did you begin planning for it, what was the process like and what did it entail?

All in all, from concept to opening day, the show was in planning for the better part of a year and a half. I started throwing around potential exhibition ideas pretty much as soon as my fellowship began. I had a standing interest in caricature, having researched French satire for my masters’ thesis.  The museum’s holding of caricature, specifically British caricature, is so rich it just made sense to showcase these fantastically funny and perpetually relevant images.

I spent a long time looking through the more than 300 British caricatures in the museum’s collection. Early on, I made the choice to focus specifically on social satire, intentionally leaving out political works that might be less relevant (or understandable) to a modern audience today. What was so revealing, and actually pretty heartwarming, was how similar our collective sense of humor is now and then. What Londoners in the 1800s found funny and what we laugh about today really hasn’t changed that much. There are so many relatable threads running through the comedy of these centuries’ old prints—from anxieties about new technologies and environmental issues to the struggle to keep up with the latest fashion.

The Gout, James Gillray, c. 1745 - 1818. Purchased with the SmithKline Beckman Corporation Fund, 1949.

The Gout, James Gillray, c. 1745 - 1818. Purchased with the SmithKline Beckman Corporation Fund, 1949.

The show has been up for several months and has been extended until December, congratulations! What are you working on now or what's next?

Thank you! It has been so fun to share the exhibition with visitors. I love sneaking in the galleries and watching people, young and old, giggling at the prints!

I was fortunate enough to stay on at the PMA once my fellowship ended. Currently, I am a research and exhibition assistant in European Painting, working with curator Jenny Thompson on an upcoming Impressionist exhibition that will open in April 2019. In addition to the exhibition, we are planning a reinstallation of the PMA’s nineteenth-century permanent collection galleries too. Both are exciting projects that I’ve really enjoyed digging into!

*Photo credit for all exhibition installation images: Joseph Hu.

Ida Ivanka Kubler at Salena Gallery, LIU Brooklyn

Artist Ida Ivanka Kubler will be presenting a solo exhibition of paintings entitled "Birth of an Idea" at Salena Gallery, LIU Brooklyn. The show will run from September 4 - October 26 with an opening reception on Wednesday, September 12 between 6 and 8pm. 

LIU Brookyn
Salena Gallery

First Floor, Library Learning Center
1 University Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday 9 am-6 pm, Saturday-Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm
Travel: B, Q, R to DeKalb Avenue; 2, 3, 4, 5 to Nevins Street; A, C, F to Jay Street
For more information please contact Nancy Grove at 718-488-1198 or nancy.grove@liu.edu

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Ida Ivanka Kubler (born January 3, 1978, Bulgaria) is an international artist based in New York.

“Up to my 7th year, I lived with my grandparents in a small village in South Bulgaria, almost at the border to Greece. The village was well known for its silkworm sericulture. I often was sitting under the mulberry trees, painting silk cocoons with reddish paint I made from crushed red bricks. The silk cocoons became the initial material for my artwork.” (2012)

Organic in appearance and abstract in presence, Kubler's Birth of an Idea series features simple circle settings consisting of an abundance of painted and sculptured silk cocoons positioned on large canvases. Using what she calls “imaginative touch”, Kubler transforms cocoons left behind by the silk moth from their original identity into transcendent assemblages of colors and shapes reminiscent of Indian Mandalas or ancient Greek mosaics.

Ms. Kubler’s Birth of an Idea series has been recognized by the Behring Institute for Medical Research as having a positive influence on public health. She has worked worldwide, including in Germany, France,  Bulgaria, Norway, USA and the UK and has a wide base of international collectors. Ms. Kubler attended the National Academy of Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria; the University of Applied Arts, Bielefeld, Germany; and the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK. 

Ida Ivanka Kubler is fiscally sponsored by The Solo Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax exempt organization providing artists and not-for-profit organizations with operational and programmatic assistance.

Artist Statement

Capturing the beauty of transformation, the empty cocoon represents the completed process of change and its success. The brightness of the colors celebrates the transition from one state of being to another and honors its glorious unfoldment. The arrangement of the cocoons within the circular shape represents unity and connection. The contrast in colors creates a center point on which to focus the mind.  It is within the cocoon, in isolation and in silence, that the metamorphosis happens. This is true for the human mind as well. Similar to a mandala and its incredible potential to assist in the practice of meditation, the Birth of an Idea series expands on this tool by incorporating nature into its structure. As such, the viewer enters and experiences the artwork, be it consciously or in a trance-like state, and is encouraged to pause and remember the healing power of stillness and silence that resides within each of us.

Paradigm Gallery: Scott Albrecht at Scope Miami Beach

Scott Albrecht was born in 1983 in New Brunswick, NJ, and raised in Bethlehem Township, NJ. In 2003, he received a degree in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Philadelphia. Scott is currently based in Brooklyn, NY and a member of The Gowanus Studio Space. His work incorporates elements of woodworking, hand-drawn typography, geometric collage using vintage printed ephemera and found objects and has been published and exhibited both domestically and internationally.  

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What inspired your recent work?

A large part of my work is directly inspired by daily experiences or relationships that I have and I wind up using my work as a way to get a deeper understanding of what’s happening. I think this past year I’ve been influenced by a lot of situations that overlap on one another, and I’m more and more trying to understand my relationships and take stock in what is important. 

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How do you come up with the geometry and color palette in each piece?

All the works in this collection, in one way or another, stem from abstracted typography, so the base of each piece builds up from an underlying message. Since the words themselves are abstracted, the color palettes do a lot of the initial work in terms of setting the mood and tone of a piece. I spend a lot of time trying to think about how that idea can be translated with color.

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Tell us about the work that will be on display at Scope during this year’s Art Basel Week in Miami. What is this year's focus?

I’ll have a collection of new woodworks on view with Paradigm Gallery that are stemming from a few different series’ that I’ve been working on and evolving. Each work is comprised of several dozen (if not 100+) individually cut pieces of wood that are then sanded, painted and re-assembled.

Conceptually a bigger theme for me this past year has been the idea of acceptance and understanding and learning to embrace a situation as-is. I think the works in the collection that I have been meditating on the most are a triptych stemming from the Wabi Sabi philosophy that all things are imperfect, incomplete and impermanent.

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What is a day in a life like for you? How do you find a balance between your studio practice and other commitments?

Each day varies depending on what I’m working on or what my focus is, but I try to keep a pretty large pool of projects and pieces going that I can work on so that if I get burned out or just need to switch gears I can do that and come back to whatever it is with a fresh perspective. One day I might be in the wood shop working on some pieces, the next I might be getting proposals together or making a zine… it really varies day-to-day and I like that flexibility to keep the days from being monotonous. In terms of other commitments, I’ve learned that giving myself a set schedule in the studio is really important. I generally work from 10-7 and having that cut-off forces me to really focus on what I need to get done that day, otherwise I’ll totally just work all day and all night.

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What is an important element in your work that you want viewers to be aware of?

I don’t know that I want viewers to be aware of anything in particular. Because the work is more abstract, there’s something really nice in that someone may see something that I may not see, or that they can form their own relationship to a piece.

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Share a piece of advice with other artists that helped you along the way.

Always keep going. The harder you work, the better luck you have.

Also don’t compare yourself to other people. Everyone is at a different time and place in their journey.