Mark Joshua Epstein and Todd Kelly: Part+Parcel
Apr
6
to May 4

Mark Joshua Epstein and Todd Kelly: Part+Parcel

 
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Part + Parcel
Mark Joshua Epstein and Todd Kelly

NARS Project Space
April 6 - May 4
Opening reception April 6, 6-8 PM

Part + Parcel presents work by artists Mark Joshua Epstein and Todd Kelly. Exploring ideas of segmentation, Kelly and Epstein interrogate their surfaces. The artists, situating themselves in a trajectory of abstract painters who explore layering, gesture and geometry, take their work in this show a step further, exploring the notion of the individual object. Whether creating a large work from smaller components, or presenting a new arrangement of existing works, Epstein and Kelly ask questions about what constitutes a singular work of art.

Epstein’s work is made up of several smaller panels. Hand built by the artist in his studio, the arrangement of the panels changes continually throughout the making process as components get added, taken away, and turned in different directions. This modularity, born from his desire to ensure a certain amount of improvisation in his studio, is integral to Epstein’s process. The constant rearrangement aligns with Epstein’s interest in exploring his gay identity through abstraction. While he believes that the idea of one correct presentation for a work of art is a heteronormative conceit, allowing for a work to be reconfigured, or for its components to be added to later works, alludes to ideas of shifting identities and queerness.

For Part + Parcel Todd Kelly presents a new arrangement of existing works, brought together here for the first time. For Kelly, the grid acts as a scaffold upon which to hang improvised compositional elements. Exploring layering, Kelly’s work embraces play, chance and the tension between casual gestures and geometric forms. The forms are symbolic of what Kelly refers to as the 'truth narratives' he was taught as a child. Mostly religious and moral in nature, these symbols are altered and abstracted, becoming more puerile and maybe a little vulgar. While Kelly is not interested in a specific moral or religious stance, he is interested in the equal value of truth, ridiculousness, and absurdity--three elements that all find a place in his pieces.

In Part + Parcel Epstein and Kelly, first time collaborators, each explore the ideas unique to their own practices while simultaneously beginning a new conversation. While their works exist separately in the gallery, the surrounding space is painted by both artists-- creating a visual bridge between the two practices. Decisions that get made in private in the intimate space of each artist’s studio have morphed into a public dialog as Epstein and Kelly negotiate painting decisions together for the first time.

Mark Joshua Epstein received his MFA with distinction from the Slade School of Fine Arts in London, and his BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Solo and two person shows include Caustic Coastal (Manchester UK), Vane Gallery (Newcastle UK), DEMO Project (Springfield, IL), Biquini Wax Gallery (Mexico City), Breve Gallery (Mexico City), and Brian Morris Gallery (New York, NY). Group shows include Beverly’s (New York, NY), AGENCY (Brooklyn, NY), Woskob Gallery at Pennsylvania State University (State College, PA), Schema Projects (Brooklyn, NY), Hoffman LaChance Gallery (St. Louis, MO), and Geoffrey Young Gallery (Great Barrington, MA).. Additionally Epstein has participated in residencies at NARS Foundation, Saltonstall Foundation (Ithaca, NY), Millay Colony (Austerlitz, NY), Jentel Foundation (Banner, WY), Macdowell Colony (Peterborough, NH), I-Park (East Haddam, CT), and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center (Nebraska City, NE). He is the recipient of an Alumni Traveling Fellowship from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Art. Epstein’s work will be in upcoming shows at the Handwerker Gallery at Ithaca College (Ithaca, NY) and the Des Moines Art Center (Des Moines, IA)

Originally from Michigan, Todd Kelly lives and works in New York. He began his career in architecture, an influence that still resonates in his work. Kelly earned an MFA at the School of Visual Arts and a B.A. at Anderson University, IN. Recent exhibitions include Transmitter Gallery, Brooklyn; LVL3, Chicago; Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia; and the New Bedford Art Museum, MA; and he has been included in exhibitions in London, UK; Galway, Ireland; New York, NY; Spokane, WA; Minneapolis, MN; Albuquerque, NM; and Madison, WI. His work has been featured as an Artforum Critic's Pick, and reviewed in the London Times, the London Paper, Art F City, LVL3, Bmore Art, The New Criterion, Gorky's Granddaughter, and Beard and Brush, among others. He is represented by Asya Geisberg Gallery.

 
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Apr
6
to May 4

Aglae Bassens: Surface Tension

 
 
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Aglae Bassens: Surface Tension

NARS Main Gallery
April 6 - May 4
Opening reception April 6, 6-8 PM

The word exotic comes from the Greek exotikos, “foreign,” which in turn comes from the prefix exo, meaning “outside."

Aglaé Bassens is a still life painter whose work about presence and absence is inspired by her uprooted upbringing and her experiences as a foreigner or outsider. Having lived in Belgium, Sweden, England, Turkey and now in America, Bassens’ paintings reflect on how everyday objects and images can look strange from unusual perspectives, both literally and culturally. Views are skewed, things are seen from behind glass, paintings masquerade as wallpaper, things are not as they first appear: even the ordinary can be fascinating when presented in a new context.

In Surface Tension, Bassens returns to the motif of the palm tree which has inspired her for some time. Symbolic of exoticism and travel, but also overused and generic, they perform as a happy/sad motif that celebrates the sameness and difference as each tree becomes interchangeable for another.

Repeated over everything from sofas to wallpaper and shirts, the palm trees lose their exoticism and become a mantra to banality. Despite the cheerful palette of the paintings, the sofas remain empty, the interiors unpopulated, and the shirts hang unworn and loose.

Under the guise of paper, fabric or crochet, the shape-shifting palm trees become at once images and objects, and ultimately celebrate the transformative nature of paint. This playful back and forth between materiality and image throughout the exhibition offers a visual reprieve from the underlying tension between the melancholy, faded feel of the paintings, and the relentless, manufactured cheerfulness of palm trees as a motif.

Aglaé Bassens (b. 1986, Belgium) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Solo exhibitions include Surface Tension (Forthcoming, 2018) at NARS Foundation, Brooklyn and Front Parting, Cabin Gallery London (2016). Recent group shows include HEADS, The Java Project, Brooklyn (2017), Contemporary British Painting Prize, London (2016), Biennial Of Painting: The Painter’s Touch, Museum of Deinze, Belgium (2014), PAPER, Saatchi Gallery, London (2013) and Jerwood Drawing Prize, London (2012). Her work is featured in New American Paintings No 134 Northeast Issue, and in 100 Painters of Tomorrowpublished by Thames and Hudson (2014). She has a BA in Fine Art from the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University (2007) and an MFA in Fine Art Painting from the Slade School of Fine Art, London (2011).

 
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LAND+BODY=Escape
May
11
to Jun 1

LAND+BODY=Escape

 
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LAND+BODY=Escape
Curated by Tatiane Schilaro

May 11 - June 1 | Opening reception May 11, 6-8 PM
NARS Main Gallery

Artists: Liene Bosquê, Júlia Brandão, Maritza Caneca, Karla Caprali, Jessica Fertonani Cooke, Bia Monteiro, Rodrigo Moreira, Júlia Pontés, Alice Quaresma, Luiz d'Orey, Mauricio Mallet, Fernanda Frangetto, Gustavo Prado, Mateu Velasco, and Talita Zaragoza



Featuring fifteen emerging Brazilian artists based across the US and Brazil, LAND+BODY=Escape subverts traditional representations of Brazilian landscapes and bodies. The works represent a means of escape, while also seizing upon emblematic images of Brazilianness: from beachfronts to the Amazon rainforest, to the urban megacity. In Brazil, both landscape and body have been idealized, either through commodification of “tropical nature,” or via the spectacle of the female body, for instance, in the celebration of samba as defining norms of female sexuality. With a majority of women artists represented, identity, race, gender, and sexuality become either underlying themes or are an integral part of their art-making processes.

For the installation, Pilot City (2018), created specifically for this exhibition, Liene Bosquê produced miniatures of iconic Brazilian architecture, replicated from souvenirs she has collected for years. Bosquê copied the shape of Brasilia’s city plan––one of the world’s most famous modern planned-cities––occupying it with the miniature casts of those familiar monuments. In Pilot City, the problematic aura around modern cityscapes is re-purposed, while in Alice Quaresma’s photographs, it is the memories of tropical beachfronts that are questioned and re-invented. Three of the featured artists have worked in performance, using the female body to reclaim the landscape. In Re-Measuring the Dry Land, Bia Monteiro’s video-performance re-visits Brazil’s colonial past, re-enacting an 18th-century engraving by Carl Friederich Philipp von Martius, a German botanist who travelled throughout Brazil, depicting its landscape. Monteiro’s body and hands are seen measuring trees in the Amazonian rainforest, in gestures of control and delicacy. Julia Pontés visited an abandoned pig iron plant that belonged to her family in Minas Gerais: observing the contours of its ruins, she reclaimed those spaces, photographing her own bare body as if appending it to her family’s past. Jessica Fertonani Cooke, on the other hand, inserted her “ancestral matter” into landscapes in Germany, testing the limits of her body and commenting on her mixed-ancestry.

Gender and sexuality appear in Rodrigo Moreira’s images that tend toward a queer imaginary: in his photographic series, Fusion, he literally freezes prints of found photographs inside ice-cubes and lets them melt, registering the process while blurring gender and family norms; in his All the Names, it is both gender and race that are blurred. On the other hand, in Karla Caprali’s embroideries, she refers to the female universe by mingling images of her daughters, Greek mythology, and feminist symbols, constructing fable-like narratives that suggest female strength. This subtle yet strong female empowerment is seen in other works in the exhibition, such as Maritza Caneca’s cinematographic images of abandoned swimming pools across the world that refer to fraught realms of pleasure; in Women, the idealized female body’s absence becomes a void to be considered. In Julia Brandão’s works, pieces of fabrics she collects from used clothing––knots and draperies––become mementos of fragmented female identities, establishing a dialogue with works in which agglomeration and fragmentation also appear, such as those of Mateu Valesco’s fantastical human figures or Mauricio Mallet’s colorful reminiscences drawn on paper. Landscapes are abstracted in Talita Zaragoza’s drawings of resonances, inspired by the topography of volcanos, while Luiz d’Orey uses print residues directly taken from the walls of New York’s public spaces to “digest” them: his new series refer to both physical space and the digital space of social media. In Gustavo Prado’s practice, both our bodies and surroundings are contained by mirrors, in persuasive acts of regarding the self. In LAND+BODY=Escape, the landscape and the body are re-imagined: conflated, or fragmented, parts of blurred, subverted memories.

The exhibition Land+Body=Escape opens in New York, following an initial edition presented in Miami by The55Project, an initiative that opens spaces for and supports Brazilians in the US, showcasing a spectrum of multinational artists, educators, entrepreneurs, and cultural leaders. For more information, please visit www.the55project.com

 
 

 

Tatiane Santa Rosa, Creative Director at AnnexB, is a Brazilian-born independent curator, art critic and art historian, and a Ph.D. student in Visual Studies at the UC Santa Cruz. She graduated in 2015 from the Art Criticism and Writing Master’s Program at the School of Visual Arts, and has an MA in Art History, Contemporary Art from Sotheby's Institute of Art. In 2015, she coauthored the book Contemporary Art in Brazil (Edições Pinakotheke, Rio de Janeiro). She has curated exhibitions in New York (A.I.R. Gallery and AnnexB), Miami, São Paulo (Fundação Pró-Memória) and Quito (ArteActual/FLASCO). Her essays and reviews have been published by Guernica, ARTNews, Artcritical, Hyperallergic, LatinxSpaces and NewCityBrazil. She was a curatorial intern at El Museo del Barrio, the Museum of Modern Art, and at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She is an adjunct faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute teaching on Latin American and Latinx art history.

Liene Bosquê is a Brazilian-born artist based in New York City. She holds a Master’s in Fine Arts from the competitive School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and completed a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from the Sāo Paulo State University; she also has a BA in Architecture and Urbanism. In addition to being part of the Lower East Side Studio Program and being granted a spot at the NARS Foundation in the past, Liene was a recipient of the Manhattan Community Arts Fund in 2013. Her installations, sculptures, performances, and site-specific works have been shown internationally at coveted locations including the MoMA PS1, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the New York Foundation for the Arts Gallery in Brooklyn.

Júlia Brandão is an artist born and raised in Minas Gerais, she is currently based in New York City. She studied International Relations in São Paulo, Brazil. Her work has been shown across New York, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Buenos Aires. She was artist-in-residence at AnnexB, NY and at Uronto Residential Art Exchange Program, Bangladesh. She is interested in questioning self-identity in relation to displacement, memory and migration.

Maritza Caneca is a Brazilian-born multimedia artist, who started her career as a Director of Photography. Her work has been exhibited in art fairs such as Scope Basel and Art Cartagena. Her most recent solo exhibition was curated by the notable Vanda Klabin at Paço Imperial which hosted over 25,000 visitors during the 2016 show. She also has an impressive background in filmmaking, and was rewarded, during her time as Director of Photography on the film “Pro Dia Nascer Feliz,” as Best Cinematography by Associaçāo Brasileira de Cinematografia Fotografia (2006).

Karla Caprali is a Brazilian-born artist currently living in Miami. She received her art education from the University of São Paulo and came to the United States where she graduated with her first of two BFA’s in the Arts. She has been an instructor and the lead artist at The Artist Lab since 2005 and was the Resident Artist at Bakehous Art Complex from 2011-2015.

Jessica Fertonani Cooke is Brazilian-born performance artist currently based in San Francisco. In 2011 she moved to Berlin and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. In 2016, Cooke received a Master’s in Fine Arts from the Berlin University of the Arts and she is currently pursuing a second MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute. She has completed residencies all over the world and her work has been exhibited at various galleries, including a Solo Exhibition at Le Cousin Fous, Germany; the artist was also part of the Act Performance Festival in Switzerland. In 2018 she presented a 3-hour-long performance, Trans-border 2018, at the ProArts, Oakland, CA.

Bia Monteiro is a Brazilian-born visual artist based in New York City. She completed a Master of Fine Arts from the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York. Her artworks reference matters of displacement and environmental concerns, using the human body and architecture as inspiration. Bia has had work shown in Brazil, Europe, Japan and New York. She is also a founder of the groundbreaking Studio Duo collective based in Long Island, NY. In 2016, she was awarded with ICP's acclaimed Director’s Fellowship Award in New York. In 2018, her video piece, Re-Measuring the Dry Land, won a prize in Venice.

Rodrigo Moreira is an artist born in Minas Gerais, Brazil, who is currently based in New York. Rodrigo holds a BA in Graphic Design and Communication Studies with complementary studies in Fine Arts and works mostly in photography, photo-collage, video, and installation. Rodrigo was a 2016-2017 fellow of the acclaimed NY’s QUEER|ART's mentorship project and his work has been featured in select exhibitions, such as FOUND: Queer Archaeology; Queer Abstraction at the Leslie-Lohman Museum, New York. He was recently artist-in-residence at AnnexB, New York and he is currently participating of the NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program in Social Practice, Brooklyn, New York.

Julia Pontés is a Brazilian-born artist currently living between Los Angeles and Brazil. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Photography at the prestigious CalArts, California Institute of the Arts. She has been awarded by CalArts with the Lillian Disney Scholarship and participated in the Art Forward contest, coming out as the Photography Bronze Winner. Besides having her work exhibited extensively in galleries and studios in New York, Miami, and the International Center of Photography, she has participated as a guest speaker at notable events like the at the New York Foundation for the Arts Gala and Awards Ceremony.

Alice Quaresma is a Brazilian-born artist who experiments with multiple materials, interrupting and altering her photographs with acrylic paint, paper, tape, and pencil over photographic prints. Currently residing in New York, Alice earned a Bachelor's of Fine Arts at the Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, London and a Master’s of Fine Arts (with Distinction) at the esteemed Pratt Institute, New York. Her work has not only been shown in multiple exhibits, both solo and group shows, across American and Brazilian finest galleries, but collections of her work also reside in New York, Texas, and Brazil and she has participated in multiple residencies, nationwide and abroad. Alice’s talent and creativity have been awarded by notable institutions, including the Foam Talent Prize in Amsterdam, and PS122 Prize in New York, among others.

Luiz D’Orey is a Brazilian-born artist, now working and living in New York. He earned his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in 2016 and has since been chosen to represent the institution at the popular Pulse Art Fair in Miami. He has been rewarded by the SVA the esteemed 727 Award, Sillas H. Rhodes Award, and Gilbert Stone Scholarship in response to his work. Luiz has worked as an assistant for two top Brazilian artists: Carlos Vergara and Raul Mourāo. He is currently represented by the Brazilian-based gallery, Mercedes Viegas.

Mauricio Mallet is a Brazilian-born and based artist, working primarily in painting. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Visual Arts in Brazil and is currently represented by Carré Art in Miami. Among the awards he has received are the 31st Chelsea International Fine Art Competition and the 1st place in Salao de Artes Plasticas de Mococa. Mallet has participated in a number of exhibits, such as at the prestigious Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo and Fondazione Giorgio Cini (Imago Mundi Art - Venice, Italy 2015)

Fernanda Frangetto is a Brazilian-born sculptor currently residing in Miami. After finding her passion at the age of four in the Louvre, Paris, she returned to Sāo Paulo and attended the Sāo Paulo Museum of Art. She finds inspiration for her artistic use of beeswax from falling in-love with honey. She performs on both international and domestic levels and has been admitted to the International Association of Art among other esteemed organizations. She currently has her work represented by the Duo Art Gallery with locations in Miami and Brazil.

Gustavo Prado was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1981. He studied Philosophy and Industrial Design and received his artistic training at the School of Visual Arts of Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro. Prado is a recipient of the “Projéteis” Contemporary Art Award by the Brazil’s National Foundation for the Arts (Funarte). He represented his country in "The Year of Brazil in France" as part of a larger exhibition at the "Le Carreau du Temple," Paris. He has participated in residency programs such as “Rumos" at São Paulo’s Itaú Cultural Foundation; and the AIM Program at the acclaimed Bronx Museum in New York. Prado has artworks as part of the collection of the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (MAM-Rio) and has recently shown a monumental installation at the Coachella Music Festival in California.

Mateu Velasco is a Brazilian-American multimedia artist currently based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has a Master’s and a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design from the PUC in Rio de Janeiro, from where he is a notable alumnus and celebrated figure in the street art scene. Though initially known for his inventive graffiti style, Velasco’s paintings and illustrations have evolved beyond the tightening boundaries of the modern street art movement and into the dynamic domain of contemporary visual arts. His work has been shown in Rio’s most influential galleries and in other important art spaces around the world. Velasco’s technical mastery and unique vision have been called upon to shape major ad campaigns for innovative brands like Nike, Converse and Ambev.

Talita Zaragoza is a Brazilian-born artist working mainly in drawings and photography, recently experimenting with installation art. She studied at the International Center for Photography in and received a BFA and an MFA from FAAP- Armando Alvares Penteado University, in Sao Paulo. She has participated in both solo and group exhibitions in Brazil and New York with esteemed galleries, such as the Galeria Concreta and The Marble House Art Residency in Vermont. She has worked with Galeria Emma Thomas in Sao Paulo and her works are in private and public collections such as at the Museu de Arte Contemporānea de Sorocaba.

 
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Naomi Nakazato
May
11
to Jun 1

Naomi Nakazato

 
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Naomi Nakazato: A Nervous Rock Stands in the Sunset

May 11 - June 1 | Opening reception May 11, 6-8 PM
NARS Project Space

The grandiose function of the landscape in art was once a space for the documentation of new and foreign terrain, as well as a complicated understanding of the relationship of self to the natural world.

In A Nervous Rock Standing in the Sunset, Naomi Nakazato presents the construction of an in-between reality as landscapes in which she attempts to re-inscribe her half-white, half-Japanese identity, while visually translating the yearning for a simultaneously inherent and unfamiliar culture.

Relying on the negative space of the void as a potential location of synthesis, Nakazato’s landscapes utilize various modes of representation to reconcile the fraught relationship between the natural and the artificial, revering the often imperfect result. Rocks and branches, fragments of nature that represent the collection of experiences, are placed into compositions of ritualistic desire, not unlike the computer screen or Shinto shrine. Their pixels, fluorescence, and plastic materiality, manipulated by the artist’s hand, question the concept of the authentic and its relevance in the bi-racial narrative.

Nakazato’s in-between reality, laden with memory lapses, barriers, mistranslations, and symbols of loss, ultimately stands as a record of authenticity and the preservation of experience.

 

 

Naomi Nakazato (b. 1992, Arlington, VA) is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist, whose work is an exploration of the fragmentary nature of memory in regards to her bi-racial identity. She holds a BA from Anderson University, South Carolina, and an MFA from the New York Academy of Art. She was awarded an inaugural Brandon Fellowship at the Greenville Center for the Creative Arts in Greenville, South Carolina in 2016, and was a summer 2017 resident at the Leipzig International Artists Program in Leipzig, Germany. She is the recipient of two Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grants.

 
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Alina Grasmann: Paper Town
Mar
2
to Mar 23

Alina Grasmann: Paper Town

 
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Alina Grasmann: Paper Town

March 2 - March 23
Opening reception March 2, 6-9 pm
NARS Project Space
Curated by Eriola Pira

Closing performance: March 23
Jesus Benavente: I'm Not Dancing, I'm Struggling to Survive

NARS Foundation is pleased to present Paper Town, an exhibition of a new work by recent residency artist Alina Grasmann. The artist's first New York City solo exhibition is a series of paintings of houses and other buildings in the fictional town of Agloe, NY. Agloe does not exist, except that it has and it does.

Agloe was first created as a “paper town” or “copyright trap” in the 1930s by Otto G. Lindberg, director of the General Drafting Co., and his assistant, Ernest Alpers. They named the fictional town in their road map of New York state after their initials, in essence signing it and protecting it from copyright infringement. Years later the publisher Rand McNally issued its map featuring Agloe, NY, but by then its originators could no longer claim theft as their fake town had led to the establishment and naming of the Agloe General Store -- an instance of the map preceding the territory. It long survived the store on paper roadmaps for over 90 years, making it to the digital era where one could get driving directions to Agloe. In 2014, after the New York Times inquired about its provenance, Google wiped Agloe off its map. But that hasn’t stopped countless pilgrimages to or in search of Agloe, spurred on by “Paper Town” a novel by John Green, where now a fake, albeit real, historical landmark sign welcomes visitors.

Having read about it in German newspapers, the artist visited Agloe in September 2017. Snapshots she took of homes, churches, gas stations and other buildings leading to the historical marker serve as the basis of some 40 oil on paper paintings, a selection of which is on view in the gallery. In these paintings, the fictional town is real. In their reliable precision and ostensible truth, the paintings stand in as objective documents, no less reliable than a map, for Agloe’s existence. The desire to make or believe something real or to have fiction come to life, and for that matter the inverse, is at the heart of why Agloe is still around and continues to fascinate, but it also speaks to the blurring lines between fiction and reality in the era of “fake news.”

Stripped of almost all identifying markers, the town in Grasmann’s paintings could very well be anywhere. This paper town is a Potemkin village. Grasmann places the viewer firmly on the street, at a consistent and forbidding distance, while the town appears in front of her: a picture perfect Americana. Agloe is a typical New England town, the kind that evokes a sense of nostalgia, comfort, and middle-class sensibility. But devoid of inhabitants or signs of activity, something feels off center, strange, and uncanny. Each painting isolates a structure and depicts it with the frontality and precision of an architectural diagram, revealing the essential forms while highlighting particular details of each specimen. But Grasmann isn’t interested in typologies so much as in creating space(s) in her paintings, an effect the installation also achieves --spaces that invite imagination as much as critical reflection. The landscape is lush, as are her colors, but there is little or no horizon line, or background. The frontal and flat manner in which she’s depicts the homes, dinners, or police stations suggests that there is nothing but a facade.

 
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Mar
2
to Mar 23

Of Tongues and Hands

 
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Freya Powell, A Murmuring, 2018, single channel video, 14:42

Of Tongues and Hands
March 2nd - March 23rd
Opening reception March 2nd, 6-9 pm

Closing performance: March 23
Umber Majeed: The Atomically Explosive Love

Featuring: Lauren Bakst (USA), Isak Berbic (USA), Jose Castrellon (Panama), Jesse Chun (USA), Ryotaro Fuyuki (Japan), Maya Jeffereis (USA), Sukjoon Lee (Korea), Wonwoo Lee (Korea), Umber Majeed (USA), Annesofie Sandal (Denmark), Freya Powell (USA), Merel Visse (Netherlands), Lu Zhang (China).

NARS Foundation is pleased to present Of Tongues and Hands, a group exhibition featuring the work of current artists-in-residence. During their 3 or 6 month residency, this group of thirteen international artists have focused on developing their individual practices and research projects that range from engaging with collective and personal histories, memories, and languages to exploring intimate relationships, the body, and materiality. In the process of working alongside each other affinities, collaborations, and exchanges have emerged that will continue to be explored as the gallery, in addition to the artists’ studio, becomes a space for making, sharing, and showing work during their last month in the residency.

Lauren Bakst presents iterations of her work-in-progress Private Collection, a body-based, open-source archive that indexes psychic and somatic architectures of intimate relationships. In the gallery, Private Collection (Room) is a performance on the screen for one person, layering multiple temporalities in one frame. During the opening, pulling from Private Collection, Lauren Bakst, joined by collaborator and performer effie bowen, offers a series of performances for one audience member at a time in her studio.

Isak Berbic's recent work reflects on contested histories and the limits of representation through his use of fiction and documetnts, found and primary material, and explores the image and the literary in the construction of his pieces. On a recent trip to southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, he visited a remote medieval necropolis. He photographed bar reliefs or engraves pictograms on the tombstones. Seen from today's visual culture these images are at once foreign as they are familiar.

Appropriating the infamous Panama palindrome, Jose imposes it over a 1907 advertisement for the newly renamed Panama City, Florida. George Mortimer West, a real estate mogul, rebranded the city after the Central American homonym to capitalize on the recent hype surrounding the United States' purchase of the Canal in 1903. Jose draws a parallel between US expansionism and imperialism in Panama and homegrown land grabs and real estate speculation.

Jesse Chun's In a Manner of Speaking, an ongoing series of modular panels, presented here as a triptych, draws from the artist’s interests and transcultural experience with language. English and Korean, numerals and codes, redacted keyboards indexes and bibliographies—both found and imagined, are mixed to compose Concrete Poetry and highlight the navigation between multilingual system, the familiar and the foreign.

At the start of his six month residency, Fuyuki installed a mirror in his studio and instructed the NARS staff to throw a metal bearing ball at it if they felt negative feelings, like impatience or frustration. No one did! Ryotaro took this as proof that no one had such negative feelings before the exhibition so he renamed the piece “Peace Mirror.” The instructions, however, still hang in the staff’s office. Ryotaro’s work focuses on making the end place between the emotional subjective viewpoint and the analytical comprehensive one. He thinks about emotions the same way as science and mathematical formulas. His art is the method for them.

Maya Jeffereis' Fallout Shelter is a thought experiment about ethics, identity politics, and nation-building that envisions a post-apocalyptic survival scenario with occupants of a fallout shelter. Dozens of participant-performers improvised their roles in a video confessional format, resulting in a polyphonic narrative that complicates identity politics and speculates on a utopic society. Revealing moral values, biases, and ideals, the video confessional and documentary interview formats service to conflate fact and fiction and to complicate the performance of character versus the performance of self.

Sukjoon Lee creates open stages through kinetic and interactive objects that center viewers, calling them deeper into themselves and in relation to the world. Raindrop player is a sound box based on lenticular animation. As we divide the natural state into units such as minutes and seconds, the color barcodes are cut into pieces. This sound box reproduces specific musical notes and raindrop images by recombining the barcodes.

Wonwoo Lee's The Nose is a sculpture that the audience member can touch and enter. Stemming from his interest in “Giants,” as part of a broader inquiry into combating “Anxiety,” Wonwoo's sculpture is also a small room one can sit inside of, becoming a giant, their legs and feet dangling through the nostrils. Alongside giants, the artist’s other methods for defeating anxiety include good luck, dancing, and traveling to the future. These are not offered as solutions as much as evocative attempts through humour and comical situations. Noses, as do giants, hold significant meaning in Korea, symbolizing someone’s pride or dignity. Plastic surgery, especially lifting one’s nose higher, is as a result very widespread among both men and women. The higher nose becomes a shield one can hide behind. In his sculpture, one can recognize someone is behind the nose because like in a fitting room or bathroom stall the legs are hanging out, but not know who is inside it.

Umber Majeed's Hypersurface of the Present is a drawing installation that maps out how green light functions as a mode of sprituality perpetuated and disseminated by Pakistani nationalism, Islamic orientalism, populish green screen interface, and light therapy. The absurdist diagrammatic pencils on paper depict visual perception essentially highlighting the movement of a green cone as a stand in fugure for state hegemony. The materials presented are research materials around the artist's in-progress/extension animation series, Atomi Daamaki Wali Mohabbat (The Atomically Explosive Love).

By combining lists of words associated with the emotional impacts of trauma and excerpts from Shakespeare's Hamlet paired with the imagery of waves crashing and the kneading of clay, Freya Powell's video attempts to portray, visually and aurally, the inner turmoil of trauma.

Annesofie Sandal: According to The European Candle Association the Danes burn more candles per inhabitant than anywhere else in Europe despite the fact that candles shed more particles than cigarettes or cooking. In 1446 the Hangul Alphabet was introduced to the Korean people to promote literacy amongst the common people. Foreign occupation and influences might be the explanation behind a still existing illiteracy amongst older generations. October 9th is official Hangul Day in South Korea. Fur trading started as an exchange between Indigenous people and Europeans and played a major role in the development of North America. Large parts of the border between Canada and the US traces the old trading territories. Todays farmed mink are often raised in pairs, as farmers have learned it results in calmer and healthier fur. The 23rd pair of chromosomes determines gender in a human being – Translocation happens when a chromosome part is rearranged. This can happen balanced or unbalanced.

Merel Visse's The Withheld is about what is beyond our grasp, yet acting upon us. The axion x = x+ emphasizes that words, symbols, and images all point beyond themselves. All mean more than initial encounter suggests. In our relations with others and with works of art, there is a continuous interplay between grasping what a work asserts or claims and understanding what the assertion indicates or signifies. This is a distinction between what a work expresses (or states) and what comes to expression in it (what it discloses). Grasping the first requires an analytical approach whilst the second demands participation in a speculative way. For example, when a musical work (x) presents itself to an engaged participant, the work also discloses the broader horizons of meaning or speculative fields (x+), which constitute it and give it its significance. The part (x) discloses the whole (x+) but only partially, as the whole (x+) can never be fully captured in images or concepts.

Lu Zhang's It Takes Ten Years Practice to be on the Same Boat is a dating experience inside a Chinese river boat, made of ceramic, reed, steel and wood, in the artist’s studio. Lu designed a website through which individuals can sign up to meet up as part of the project, which is ongoing throughout her residency. In the gallery, she presents two paintings of screen grabs of the website, which replicates Chinese pop-culture characters and aesthetics.

Opening night performances by:
Lauren Bakst, joined by collaborator and performer effie bowen, will offer a series of performances for one audience member at a time in her studio. These performances-for-one pull from Private Collection, a body-based, open-source archive that indexes psychic and somatic architectures of intimate relationships.
Lu Zhang’s project It Takes Ten Years Practice to be on the Same Boat is a dating experience inside a Chinese river boat, made of ceramic, reed, steel and wood, in the artist's studio. Drinks and snacks will be offered on a ceramic Chinese checkers and tea table. This project is ongoing, with new dates coming in March. Sign up on the project’s website.
Wonwoo Lee will be holding a Lost & Found session in his studio. Request something that you have lost in your life, and the artist will work for 10-15 minutes using leftover materials to "find" your lost object.

Closing night performance lecture by Umber Majeed: ATOMI DAAMAKI WALI MOHABBAT (THE ATOMICALLY EXPLOSIVE LOVE) 2017- ongoing , Animation/ Lecture Performance, 27:04

 
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Jan
26
to Feb 23

Myth, Memory, Migration: Stories from the Asian Diaspora

 
 Sheida Soleimani,  Maryam , 2017, archival pigment print on cotton, polyester filling, dimensions variable, image in courtesy of the artist

Sheida Soleimani, Maryam, 2017, archival pigment print on cotton, polyester filling, dimensions variable, image in courtesy of the artist

Myth, Memory, Migration: Stories from the Asian Diaspora
Curated by Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin

January 26 - February 23
Opening reception January 26, 6-8 pm


Myth, Memory, Migration: Stories from the Asian Diaspora addresses the interconnections between race, sexuality, class, and debility in relation to cultural myths, migration, and memory. In dismantling the notion of a singular Asian identity, the artists from West, Central, South, Southeast, and East Asian diaspora highlight the complexity in their layered and transnational identities. They investigate the ways in which interweaving histories and ongoing legacies such as colonialism, US militarism, anti-blackness, and Islamophobia construct our understanding of and positionality to Asian identity through archiving, translating, and excavating myths, oral stories, and family lineages.

Featuring: Amna Asghar, Dana Davenport, Umber Majeed, Tammy Nguyen, Ke Peng, Sahana Ramakrishnan, Sheida Soleimani

Amna Asghar speaks on the construction and translation of disparate references, cultures, geographies, and generations from Pakistan and America; Dana Davenport addresses the complexity of interminority racism within her own community and institutions from her experiences as a Black Korean American; Umber Majeed’s practice attempts to unpack the temporalities within South Asia as site, familial archival material, popular culture, and modern national state narratives; Tammy Nguyen interrogates natural sciences and non-human forms to explore racial intimacies and US military involvement in the Pacific Rim; Ke Peng documents the feeling of alienation and disorientation from urbanization and immigration by taking a journey into an imagined childhood in China, Hunan, where she was born and Shenzhen, a modern city where her family relocates to; Sahana Ramakrishan explores myths and religion from Buddhist and Hindu tales to speak upon the magic of childhood and the power dynamics of sexuality, race, and violence; Sheida Soleimani is an Iranian-American artist and a daughter of political refugees, making work to highlight her critical perspective on the historical and contemporary socio-political occurrences in Iran.

Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin (b. 1993) explores the interconnections between sexuality, gender, and transgression; history, memory, and cultural myths; and social hierarchy in relationship to coloniality. Shin uses Taoist indigenous knowledge to explore the porousness of bodily boundaries and the ceaseless movement of living processes, like fermentation, echoing the history of colonialism. Shin is interested in entangling the history of conquest and the literal digestion of materials - herbs, medicine, and food - into a new system of relations that emerge from a complicated history of entanglement.

Shin has exhibited at Trestle Gallery, Local Project, Abrons Arts Center, Miranda Kuo Gallery, and many others. Shin exhibited her first solo show at the AC Institute. Shin works and lives in Brooklyn, NY.


Public programming:

Opening reception | Friday, January 26, 7:00 PM
Performance by exhibiting artist, Dana Davenport

Thursday, February 1, 6:30-8:30 PM
Exhibiting artist panel

Thursday, February 15 | 6:30-8:30 PM
Roundtable discussion with community organizers and activists

Roundtable Panelists:
Mieko Gavia, independent writer
Monica Mohapatra, board member of South Asian Diaspora Artist Collective
Mark Tseng-Putterman, writer and PhD student, Brown University Department of American Studies
Ambika Trasi, artist, board member of South Asian Women's Creative Collective, curatorial assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art
Betty Yu, multi-media artist, educator and co-founder of Chinatown Art Brigade


Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin is the winner of the 7th Annual Emerging Curator Open Call.

Bottom row credit: Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin and Mark Edwards

 
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Jan
26
to Feb 23

New Monuments for a Better Tomorrow, pt I

 

New Monuments for a Better Tomorrow, pt I
Curated by: Jesse Bandler Firestone

January 26 - February 23
Opening reception January 26, 6-8


New Monuments for a Better Tomorrow brings together seven artists and their proposals for new public works. These new works are not shown as pristine 3D renderings, but are instead exhibited as artworks that utilize a range of techniques and mediums to convey their ideas to the viewer. By treating each artwork as a stand-in for an unrealized monument, the viewer is asked to use their imagination and complete the image of each proposed work. In turn, the exhibition creates a scenario where the viewer must actively imagine multiple worlds where these monuments can exist within and thus impresses the importance of collective participation in manifesting alternative realities.

All together, these artworks look critically at the commemorative qualities of monuments and take aim at the shortcomings of historical public works that do not reflect a contemporary consciousness but are emblematic reminders to marginalized groups that we live within a society that does not support victims, queers, or people of color. In turn, a number of these proposals seek to expand the function of a monument by treating public sites as places for collective healing and tools to critically examine whose histories and stories are sanctioned. Similarly, others proposals seek to directly confront social norms and societal standards by embracing taboos and openly examining aspects of capitalism and material culture that are used to justify the subjugation of Earth and the suppression of its people. Ultimately, these works posit a future that is yearned for but has yet to come.

Featuring: Mattia Casalegno, Peter Clough, Whitt Forrester, Catalina Ouyang, Emmaline Payette, Julia Sinelnikova, and Andre Springer.

Jesse Bandler Firestone is a curator currently based in Brooklyn. His projects have been featured in Hyperallergic, Artnet, New York Post while his writings have been published in Sleek and The Brooklyn Rail. Firestone was Trestle Projects Curator in Residence 16-17, Wassaic Visiting Critic (March '17), and a guest critic at RISD (Dec '17). He is currently pursuing his MA in Curatorial Practice at SVA and is interested in how curatorial projects can be used to create temporary spaces where new thoughts and ideas are sustained by art and social interaction.

Emmaline Payette (b. 1987, Boston MA) is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Emmaline’s work is rooted in her academic background in Environmental Anthropology; her installation and experiential-based projects question issues of ecology in the Anthropocene. She creates installations with recycled and living material, engages in bio-remediation through planting projects, and does stick and poke tattooing. She is also the founder of curatorial project ECO AGE. ECO AGE happenings are collaborative projects of art, sound and performance in our future Ecological Age. Emmaline has shown work with Sunday Sessions at MoMA PS1, Trestle Projects and Silent Barn in Brooklyn, and the Feigenbaum Center for Visual Arts at Union College. She attended artist residencies on Governor’s Island in 2017 and at Vermont Studio Center in 2013. She studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Pont-Aven Academy of Contemporary Art with Brown University and RISD in 2010. Emmaline graduated from Union College in 2009 with a BA in Anthropology.

Peter Clough makes performance, sculpture, video and collage that engage queer sexuality and fetish through humor and childhood wonder. Clough's work is insistently personal, celebrating narcissism as a political tool and queer strategy. Clough’s work is rooted in collage, cutting and manipulating images of his own body to create works that exist on the borders of desire and repulsion, sexiness and silliness, pleasure and suffering. Peter Clough was born in Boston in 1984 and received a BA from Grinnell College in 2006 and an MFA from NYU Steinhardt in 2009. Clough has presented work in New York at MoMA PS1, Printed Matter, Fresh Window Gallery, Microscope Gallery, Southfirst Gallery, Wayfarers Gallery, LeRoy Neiman Gallery, SPRING/BREAK Art Fair, the Center for Performance Research, and Dixon Place Theater, in Pittsburg at the Andy Warhol Museum, in L.A. at Human Resources, in Nashville at Open Lot, in Berlin at Peres Projects and Space/Time at FLUTGRABEN e.V., in Seoul at Konkuk University and The House of Collections, in Antwerp at the Monty, in Ghent at Off/off Cinema and in Oslo at Kunstnernes Hus, Fotogalleriet, and SOPPEN Performance Festival at Ekebergparken. Clough’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Frieze, and Time Out magazine. Clough lives and works in Brooklyn.

Whitt Forrester is based in Chicago, IL. They attended Oberlin College for undergrad and receive his MFA in Photography from Columbia College. They have exhibited widely, in both national and international contexts, and have a range of aesthetic interests that include: practices of accumulation, manifestations of power, diaspora, noetic science, new materialisms, discourses around the transcendent and the material relationship between self and world.

Andre Springer is lives and works in New York City His practice spans sculpture, performance, film, activism, and research. He is a collective member of The Dazzle Dancers (PS1, Dietch Projects, Museum of Sex), and HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? (Whitney Bienelle 2014).

Catalina Ouyang is a visual artist and writer. She has had exhibitions with Field Projects (NY), the Millitzer Gallery (St. Louis), Parapet Four Seasons (Los Angeles), Kilroy Metal Ceiling (Brooklyn), the Luminary (St. Louis), Hardesty Arts Center (Tulsa, OK), Granite City Art and Design District (Granite City, IL), Westminster Press (St. Louis) and fort gondo compound for the arts (St. Louis). Her writing has appeared in the Blueshift Journal, River Teeth (2017 Pushcart nomination) and CURA Literary Magazine (2015 CURA Prize). She has attended residencies at the NARS Foundation (Brooklyn), OBRAS (Evoramonte, Portugal) and Atlantic Center for the Arts. Ouyang is pursuing her MFA in Sculpture at Yale.

Mattia Casalegno is an Italian interdisciplinary artist, live-media performer and installation artist working in a broad range of media. His multidisciplinary work is influenced by both post-conceptualism and digital art, and has been defined relational, immersive, and participatory. His practice explores the effects new media have on our societies, investigating the relationships between technology, the objects we create, our subjectivities, and the modes in which these relations unfold into each other.

His work is been exhibited extensively and featured in publications such as “A Touch of Code” ed. Gestalten Books, “New Media Design” ed. Sometti; and “Deleuze and Audiovisual Art”, Manchester Metropolitan University. He is recipient of a Center for Cultural Innovation and a Young Italian Network Grant; winner of Electrowave in 2003 and finalist to the New Technological Art Awards in 2014. In the last year he was artist in residence, among others, at Budafabriek Kunstcentrum in Belgium and Eyebeam, NY

Julia Sinelnikova is an interdisciplinary artist who works with holograms, performance, and digital culture. Her light installations have been exhibited internationally, and she has performed widely as The Oracle of Vector Gallery. She has received commissions from Pace University, Michael Madden (Maroon 5), SELECT Fair, Webster Hall, and Norte Maar. Heavily inspired by electronic music, Sinelnikova has designed sculptural sets for performers including Lee Burridge, Machinedrum, The GZA (Wu Tang Clan), and Aurora Halal. Selected profiles of her work have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, VICE, Artnet, Huffington Post, The Creators Project, PAPER Mag, and The Fader. Her work has been presented at the Contemporary Art Museum of Houston, The Oulu Museum of Art, and Williamsburg Art & Historical Center. Sinelnikova has also exhibited site-specific installations for Miami Art Week / Art Basel annually since 2011. She holds a BFA in Sculpture from The Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY). She lives and works in Brooklyn.

 
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Dec
1
to Jan 19

Bryan Martello: Please don't spit in my garden

 
 
Martello_Garden.jpg
 

Spotlight: Bryan Martello
Please don't spit in my garden
December 1 - January 19

Opening Reception December 1, 6-8 pm



In Please don’t spit in my garden, Bryan Martello explores themes of queer generativity, paternal instincts, indulgence, and aging through the construction of a makeshift garden. His garden acts as a queer space of opportunity where heteronormative standards are suspended and hierarchies dismantled. The work thinks of alternative ways to continue a lineage and prevent it from being lost. Fluctuating between different modes of representation: installation, photography, found objects, and debris, the work creates its own formula and then contradicts it. The garden simultaneously attracts and invites pleasure as it repulses and denies. Seeking to reconcile gay identity, Martello rethinks the way gay people are seen as virtuous, frivolous, apathetic, or selfish in connection with wealth, indulgence and self-care. Using the camera as an elevating force and a means of limitless reproduction, subjects are transformed through the lens. Elaborately costumed and adorned, ordinary things are transformed into almost alien, impenetrable mysteries, gaining new meanings and connotations. By manipulating, disguising, and combining everyday objects, the garden creates queer spaces where inherent value is reconsidered and the synthetic and decadent are valorized, embracing the abject and ostracized in a playful way. This work thinks critically about the line between self-care and extravagant pampering. Many products associated with self-care can be hazardous to the body and the environment, items such as: health and beauty supplies, disposable take-out food containers, and fast fashion. The garden takes pleasure in the immediate joys of the disposable and synthetic without anxiety of its toxic consequences. It differentiates giving up from giving in and making the best of what you have, and accepting failure.
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Bryan Martello is a New York-based artist whose work reflects on issues of class, gender, and sexuality. Martello earned their BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2010, and their MFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 2016 where he was a Graduate Endowed Continuing Fellow. He was a participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2016.

 
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