For Immediate Release.
Barney Savage is pleased to present Bonjour Tristesse, curated by Julian Jimarez Howard, featuring works on paper by Jillian Denby, Nathalie Jolivert, Suyeon Na, Gahee Park, Mithu Sen, Hiba Schahbaz, Sam Vernon, and Lily Wong.
Recasting the title of Françoise Sagan’s iconic tragedy, a line she borrowed from the poem À Peine Défigurée by Paul Éluard, Bonjour Tristesse is an exhibition that looks romantically, if also critically, at certain kinds of melancholia. The eight artists each take a particular illustrative lens, through which they poignantly address social relations, both structural and inter/intrapersonal. The exhibition serves as a reaction against the spectacular in favor of an appreciation of the intimate. Through a deliberate focus on the body, its gestures, and expressions each artist creates a world of emotion, an interior narrative sometimes opaque in details yet, overflowing with tone. An intuitive collection, the work selected here is as much about looking at others as it is about looking at one’s self… To borrow from Oscar Wilde, “It is the spectator, and not life, that art mirrors.” Much like the protagonist in Éluard’s poem or even Sagan’s novel, we find ourselves alone, gazing longingly at a beautiful misery, just out of reach, and yet somehow all too familiar.
Jillian Denby’s earlier works were critically acclaimed for her larger-than life size figures. Her recent works operate on a more conceptual level, investigating the quotidian and the passage of time. Denby's compositions appear poignantly intimate, as her quasi-voyeuristic observations capture human behavior with painterly alacrity. She is the recipient of three awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, has received two artist-in-residence grants at the Roswell Museum of Art, has also received two fellowships from Yaddo, and has had numerous group and solo exhibitions in New York and across the country.
Nathalie Jolivert is a Brooklyn based Haitian artist and designer. In her work, she explores in human relationships, urbanism, and environmental issues. Jolivert draws strongly on vernacular images and her Haitain culture while also speaking to the global diasporic experience. Jolivert holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a Bachelors of Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Suyeon Na’s works explore how the self is shaped by changes in personal, social, and cultural environments. She often incorporates Asian folktales from her childhood along with mythological and fantastic elements exploring the subconscious through metaphor while addressing contemporary issues like migration, cultural adaptation, feminism, and intimacy. Her laboriously created compositions often employ mixtures of painting, drawing, collage, digital and analog photo manipulation in order to manifest enigmatic and dreamlike worlds. Na holds a BFA from Seoul National University and an MFA from Pratt Institute having shown widely in both the USA and internationally including the Jawahar Kala Kendra Art Centre in India, the Seoul Arts Center and Uijeongbu Arts Center in Korea, Studio Kura in Japan. Na has been awarded grants and studio spaces from the Vermont Studio Center, Chashama Visual Arts Studio, and the Contemporary Artists Center.
GaHee Park is a New York based painter whose visually arresting works focus on interpersonal relationships which deeply implicate the spectator through her ingenious treatment of voyeuristic space. Through wry humor and voluptuous volumes, her compositions read like the richest of detective novels, shattering the viewers’ subjectivity and building tension through uncertainty. Park holds BFA in painting from Tyler School of Art, and an MFA in painting from Hunter College.
Mithu Sen, currently based in New Delhi, is one of India's top artists. Her work often explores the human psyche, in particular sexuality and its associations like intimacy, taboo, gender, power, desire, and the body. Common motifs like teeth, birds, and spinal columns allude to the physical but also to their psychoanalytic components, for example Freud noting that dreams about falling teeth represent thoughts of castration or a loss of power, while the spine can represent strength or the will. Indeed Sen's works, while somewhat narrative, often inhabit a dream like "inbetweenness" which leaves them open to nuance while negating the conventions around socially acceptable consumption of sexual imagery. This open-ended engagement allows viewers a chance to step into Sen's psyche as well as their own. Sen is originally from West Bengal and earned both a BFA and an MFA from Santiniketan before continuing her art studies at the Glasgow School of Art. Her work is in many fine collections including the Tate, and is widely known internationally. She is the recipient of many awards including India's inaugural Skoda Prize in 2010.
Born in Karachi, Pakistan and currently based in Brooklyn, Hiba Schahbaz’s works draw upon her schooling in traditional Indo-Persian painting techniques while updating the form to suit a contemporary feminine voice. Simultaneously vulnerable and defiant, her works focus on the female body as a site of conversation around personal freedom, destruction, sexuality, and censorship. Schahbaz trained in miniature painting at the National College of Arts, Lahore and received an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute. She has been an artist-in-residence at Mass MoCA, The Wassaic Project, Vermont Studio Center, and the Alfred Z. Solomon Residency at the Tang Museum.
Sam Vernon is a multi-disciplinary artist focusing on intersections in personal and historical memory. She uses drawing, Xerox, photography, painting, sculpture, and performance in her works. Vernon builds her collage-like compositions layering meanings in physical elements to create narratives at once self-reflective and socially indicting. She holds an MFA in Painting/Printmaking from Yale University and a BFA from The Cooper Union. She has shown at the Brooklyn Museum, Queens Museum, Fowler Museum at UCLA and Seattle Art Museum. Vernon is currently based in Oakland, California teaching printmaking at California College of the Arts (CCA).
Lily Wong’s practice is a push and pull with cultural hybridity. Her works draw on the western cannon of figuration, while resisting the rigidity of their patriarchal norms. Her compositions are thoroughly contemporary while incorporating elements of her mixed Korean-Chinese-American upbringing where elements like skateboards and Cheetos bags intersect with fortune cookies and scholar’s rocks set within a Chaekgeori planar space. Wong holds a BFA in printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design.
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For Immediate Release.
Working with self-imposed structuralist plans, Paolo Arao set out to create a new 18 x 15 inch painting in a single session each week during the 2017 calendar year. The result is a body of 52 dynamic paintings that explore the idea of queer imagery without the depiction of the body.
The gallery is pleased to present all 52 paintings in their entirety, some of which are done directly on canvas or linen while others are pieced and sewn together. They have been hung in grids throughout the gallery creating a week-to-week fluidity. The installation serves as a calendar of sorts, where no piece is more important than the next but each contributes to a continually evolving queer narrative.
In her catalog essay “Yearbook Paintings: Queering Abstraction” (Paolo Arao – Yearbook - 2016) Olivia Murphy writes:
“David Getsy proposes a theory of queer formalism, stating that although forms themselves may not be inherently queer, the relationship between forms can be. He goes further to posit that queer formalism can ‘examine the ways in which forms exceed boundaries; how they behave differently in different contexts; how they are being deployed against their intended use; or how they disrupt the ostensible meaning of a text or an image’s claims to naturalism (in style or content).’ [“Queer Relations” ASAP/Journal, May 2017]”
Establishing a structural challenge with a few rules gave Arao a heightened sense of freedom that can be found in the presence of overcoming an opposition. Arao’s identity and life history became a reference for his weekly exercise in pushing the boundaries of his visual language and through different themes and variations, the artist also identified connections between a nomadic life growing up in a military household, moving from location to location. Each painting’s title begins with a number for each respective session followed by a description in parenthesis, alluding to personal or queer narratives that further challenge viewers looking for a “straightforward” meaning in a title.
His approach to image making resonates within changing meanings of queer identity, also seen in the work of artists like Elmgreen & Dragset, Robert Rauschenberg and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Paolo Arao brings an innovative in-tune sense of painting in a time of fast imagery and employs a personal vernacular of abstraction to challenge structures of gender and identity by bending or queering the geometry in his chosen motifs and color sensibility.
Paolo Arao (b. 1977, Manila, Philippines) has had solo exhibitions at Jeff Bailey Gallery in NYC and Franklin Art Works in Minneapolis. Residencies include: Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, The Studios at MASS MoCA, Fire Island Artist Residency, the Bronx Museum of Arts, the Wassaic Artist Residency and the Vermont Studio Center. He received a NYFA Fellowship in drawing in 2005. His work has been recently published in New American Paintings, Maake Magazine and Esopus. He received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently a Keyholder Resident at the Lower East Side Print Shop in NYC.
June 22, 2018, - maake magazine: Interview with Paolo Arao.
June 20, 2018, - Whitewall: Must See New York: Nick Cave, Justine Kurland, Paolo Arao, and More.
Barney Savage is pleased to present Amulets Ethereal, a group exhibition curated by Jenny Mushkin Goldman, featuring works by Kharis Kennedy, Adam Krueger & Tableaux Vivants, Victoria Manganiello & Julian Goldman, Qinza Najm, Cheryl R. Riley, and Ashley Zelinskie.
Amulets Ethereal contemplates humankind's capacity for resilience and self-preservation through the presentation of individualistic artworks united by the shared motif of protective coverings. By being presented together, the artworks are recontextualized as mystical objects with the power to shield the viewer from the most tenuous of perceived dangers. Concurrently, interwoven throughout the exhibition is imagery that conveys technology’s indifference to these human fears and its potential to allay or precipitate them.
Ashley Zelinskie, Android III and Android IV, 3D printed nylon, nickel plated, 10 x 10 x 11 inches (25x25x28cm) each
Cheryl R. Riley, Transcendence Preserved: Rake I, 2017, Gold paint, rake, vinyl case, 42x8.5 inches and Transcendence Preserved: Shovel I, 2017, Gold paint, shovel, vinyl case, 39x10 inches
Barney Savage is pleased to present Lucy Mink, in her first solo exhibition at the gallery.
There is a unique exuberance in this selection of new oil paintings. These modest worlds all have an inner space that is alive with the movement of bright floral hues. They both spring forth at one moment, with visual poetry, and elegant gestural brush strokes; creating movement and guidance for the eye; while then retreating into intimacy. The corners of inviting shapes, and terrains play on figure ground relationships, and are cloaked with patterns, and motifs reminiscent of quilts, fabrics, and flattened color relationships.
There is a story here, undefined by narratives, and instead is a moment like before a blanket settles on its resting object, whether that is a love seat, or a mountain, or a coalesced space, somewhere between still life, and a full heart.
The titles of these exhibited paintings invite further intrigue. Some resonate like a glib answer to a question spoken between close friends. Others are like notes, and reminders that have a subliminal familiarity, that almost complete the experience of viewing, by returning you to your own subconscious order.
Lucy Mink, b. 1968, was recently included in Color We’ll, Curated by Alex Allenchey, at Barney Savage Gallery. She was a grant recipient for the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in 2012, and has since been exhibited in New York and Brooklyn. She is the upcoming artist-in-residence at Dartmouth College, NH, and will be exhibited at Dartmouth’s Jaffe-Friede Gallery, Fall 2018.
Lucy Mink, On Top of It, oil on linen, 24 x 20 inches (61x51cm) Inquire about this artwork
(above) First Hangouts, 20 x 24 inches (51x61cm), oil on canvas. If You Want It, 20 x 24 inches (51x61cm), oil on linen.
Barney Savage is pleased to present Color We’ll, the gallery’s inaugural exhibition curated by Alex Allenchey, featuring paintings by Andrea Bergart, Lucy Mink, Corydon Cowansage, Theresa Daddezio, Emily Kiacz, and Lauren Silva.
Color We’ll brings together a collection of painters whose work, while all rooted in abstraction, proceeds in different directions, like spokes from a central axle, showcasing their own personal revolutions within a larger movement. Each artist traverses a unique aesthetic avenue and leads the viewer, either in a direct or more roundabout way, toward an individual experience of form and color that is both distinct and dislocating, intimate and unbound.
Lucy Mink ’s compact abstractions act as a visual diary of internal experience. Repeating lattices evoke a terrain of the mind where foreign and familiar ideas are concealed and uncovered through subconscious exploration. Also playing with conceptions of place, Corydon Cowansage confronts the viewer with immediately indecipherable perspectival paintings. Flattened and compressed geometries slowly yield to examination however, as color changes divulge hidden depth and unexplored space.
The irregular shapes and inherent luminosity of Emily Kiacz’s paintings play with staid notions of the medium’s materiality. Breaking from traditional forms, Kiacz proposes a lighter and brighter future. Lauren Silva similarly works to present a fresh perspective, pairing new processes with traditional approaches. Seamlessly unifying digital and analog techniques, Silva provides a slimmer of hope for our increasingly divided attentions.
Theresa Daddezio’s paintings are populated with organic yet otherworldly shapes. Subtle shifts in tone conjure a tangibility from optical effects, and imply that there may be even more than what the eye can comprehend. Drawing inspiration from incidental details of everyday urban life, Andrea Bergart melds textures and painting techniques from her personal travels and encounters to create patterned pieces full of vibrant colors that call our attention to the often unnoticed and accidental splendor of the world around us.
(From left to right) Lauren Silva, Theresa Daddezio, Corydon Cowansage
(From left to right) Theresa Daddezio, Lucy Mink
Emily Kiacz, Upsurge, (61x61cm)   contact for information
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