a mixed media work, primarily using turf, first as a tri-panel backdrop for part of the piece, over which what seem to be shadows from tree branches are cast, and secondly as the shadow—in the form of a human's silhouette—of the central object, which seems to be a chair with very tall legs. Behind this, black and white geese walk in a line.

Sung Eun Park: Pleasant Exchanges

The COVID-19 pandemic has urged us to reflect on our mortality. The intensity of this inevitable shadow forces us to accept the prospect of death—an acceptance that impacts the way we lead our lives.

In each work, Park weaves a narrative that allows you to follow the journey through a surreal world, a journey that will drive you to stay immersed in the present, free yourself from the past and the future, and to contemplate the dignity and value of your life.

Sung Eun Park is an artist working across the medium of drawing, sculpture and painting. In her current body of work, Park explores the conflicts between humanity’s desperate hopes and reality. Such conflicts occur between desire and forbiddance, desire and the ideal, consciousness and unconsciousness, and instinct and rationality in our human nature.

www.parksungeun.com

Sung Eun Park’s Well Well artist page.

Graphite drawing on a square piece of white paper. Hand written words at the top of the paper read TRAUMA, LOL. Below the words is a smiley face made out of smaller words. The circular outline is the words TRAUMA UPON TRAUMA repeated over and over again. The eyes of the smiley are the words IMPORTANT (on the left) and COOL (on the right). The smile is made up of the words STAY POSITIVE.

Facing Pervasive Trauma with Humor and Hope: Christine Sun Kim at François Ghebaly

Christine Sun Kim, Trauma, LOL, 2020. Charcoal
on paper, 58.25 x 58.25 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and
François Ghebaly, Los Angeles. Photo: Paul Salveson.

Despite last year’s somber circumstances, Christine Sun Kim found humor and hope within unending crisis. Known for charcoal drawings exploring the heterogeneity and intricacy of Deaf culture, language, and sound, Kim turns a critical and humorous gaze towards her 2020 experience. At François Ghebaly in Los Angeles, CA, Kim’s Trauma, LOL (all works 2020) remains authentic to the title as it elegantly transitions between unearthing racist histories and presents, jovial insights into American Sign Language, and the unrelenting oppression of others. Grounded in her experience as a Deaf woman of color, the exhibition dances between humor and trauma, work and rest, depicting a struggle familiar to anyone who dares to be anything but cisgender, white, heterosexual, able-bodied.

Kim’s year began with signing a duet with singer Demi Lovato for millions at Super Bowl LIV. Amid the signing and singing, the feed cut away to players, abruptly ending deaf viewer’s access to Lovato’s performance. In the enduring fight for inclusive and accessible media, Fox Sports’ decision came across as cold and disrespectful. She responded with a New York Times opinion article and a pair of drawings. A notation for her America the Beautiful performance hangs alongside the third verse to the Star-Spangled Banner. Kim’s notation of the underpublicized third verse directs the attention to its latent racist origin. The placement of “slave” within the marks for “stripe,” inside the fabric of the country, embodies the entrenched racist history we still occupy. The NAACP has called for the song’s removal, citing its anti-Black rhetoric alongside lyric writer Francis Scott Key’s holding of enslaved people.1 Still, Key’s writing stands as this nation’s rallying cry.

Christine Sun Kim, America the Beautiful, 2020.
Charcoal on paper, 58.25 x 58.25 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and
François Ghebaly, Los Angeles. Photo: Paul Salveson.
Christine Sun Kim, Now Your Turn, 2020. Charcoal
on paper, 49.25 x 49.25 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and
François Ghebaly, Los Angeles. Photo: Paul Salveson.

The pairing of When Grammar Mood and Pronouns in American Sign Language pivot the conversation to languages and the emotions within. While a gravitas still underlies their construction, the tonal shift provides a playful respite. Similarly, the I walk I see triptych jests about homophones and double meaning across English and ASL. The “I” panel has several registers of “eye” atop musical notes while “See” is accompanied by a sea of “spot,” a more faithful translation from ASL. Clock Face, a ring of expressions for various ASL literary art forms, once again interweaves levity and analysis of Deaf experience. The structure is replicated in the adjacent room with Deaf Traumas, now addressing intersectional conflict and privilege across the Deaf Community.

Round­ing the corner reveals the large mural Turning Clock in the second room. From the room’s center, you see a series of rotating hands, which signify “turn” in ASL, where the hours would reside. To your back are Now Your Turn and the titular Trauma, LOL, mirroring the mural’s design. The triad of pieces, with their timepiece design and addressing of the audience, communicates the need for shared responsibility in the fight against oppression. The pronoun “your” directs the call to action at the viewer. The artist is tired. Now is Kim’s turn to rest, and those in control and privileged to work. It is exhausting and unsustainable being an unsupported fighter for minuscule gains.

Christine Sun Kim, Trauma, LOL, 2020 (installation view). Courtesy of the Artist and
François Ghebaly, Los Angeles. Photo: Paul Salveson.
Nine graphite drawings on paper hanging on a white wall above a concrete floor. The rectangular frames are arranged like an undulating wave, some higher, some lower.
Christine Sun Kim, Trauma, LOL, 2020 (installation view). Courtesy of the Artist and
François Ghebaly, Los Angeles. Photo: Paul Salveson.

The eastern wall houses Trauma as a Baby, Trauma with Thick Skin, and, bluntly, Trauma. Trauma spans seven frames, each featuring a line undulating rhythmically across a label-less axis, capturing distinct encounters with trauma through variable text and stroke. Trauma as a Baby and Trauma with Thick Skin show different encounters with trauma on a singular graph, labeled as impact over time. Each piece elaborates on the long-term, possibly generational, influence of traumatic moments. Trauma sits with you, regardless of resiliency or coping mechanisms. It becomes not just the incidence of trauma but the labor and healing time that accumulate and weigh on the mind and body, the “trauma upon trauma upon trauma…” as the title work declares. The compounding labor and exhaustion from traumas emphasizes the need for collaborators in the fight for equity prescribed beforehand. Under ideal circumstances, allyship is this respectful symbiotic relationship yet history demonstrates how quickly zealous work fades into passive involvement to apathy.

Decades after the campaign for and signing of The American with Disabilities Act in 1990, fewer than one-quarter of parents sign to their deaf children and globally only 2% receive an education in sign language.2 In this hearing-centric world where live interpretation is classified as “bonus footage,” Deaf culture continues to be suppressed. Kim’s Competing Languages captures this discordant reality. The title’s severing and placement within two upturned notes create tension, mirroring the contending forces of a signed education and a hearing society.

Christine Sun Kim, Trauma, 2020 (detail). Courtesy of the Artist and
François Ghebaly, Los Angeles. Photo: Paul Salveson.

The struggle for inclusion is unsurprising because the system is intentionally designed. Three Tables III (AGB, HPA, DTS) nest musical bars to embody the personal strife for inclusion and access as a consequence of the larger bastions against progress. At the base is “Dinner Table Syndrome”: the common phenomenon of deaf people’s exclusion from dining table conversation by hearing people. “Hearing People Anxiety” is that same dread of exclusion when venturing to any hearing-centric event. HPA also encapsulates the additional effort deaf people undertake before going out in a hearing-centric world. The highest register reads “Alexander Graham Bell.” Bell’s legacy as an oralist and eugenic practices to eradicate signing has scarred the education for generations of deaf children. The layering of phrases crystalizes how macro systems generate an inescapable web, contorting and compressing the public and personal realities for deaf individuals.

Kim captures the moments where deafness, gender, race, and national origin, among other identities, collide with a society ill-equipped to make space. Layering humor, trauma, and lived experience gives multiple threads to connect with, inviting the audience to reflect on personal encounters with oppression and how, despite all odds, we coped and survived. Trauma, LOL reminds us that ally is a verb. Supporting the disenfranchised to create change is a continuous investment and promise from those empowered to help, not just those directly affected.3 While they have fought for the current conditions, it is through intentional collaborations that we advance reform.

Christine Sun Kim: Trauma, LOL
François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
December 12, 2020 – January 23, 2021

This interview is supported by Critical Minded, an initiative to invest in cultural critics of color cofounded by The Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Read more about Variable West’s Critical Minded Grant here.


1 CBS News, “National anthem lyrics prompt California NAACP to call for replacing song,” November 8, 2017, accessed January 24, 2020. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/national-anthem-lyrics-california-naacp-star-spangled-banner/

2 The Nyle DiMarco Foundation, “About the foundation,” accessed January 24, 2020. https://nyledimarcofoundation.com/about/

3 Carolyn Lazard, Accessibility in the Arts: A Promise and a Practice, (Reading, PA: The Standard Group) 2019. https://promiseandpractice.art

blurred depictions of indigenous women are woven onto silkscreened posters, forming a rectangular scene of overlapping, collaged images, featuring primarily earth red and sky blue threads.

After the Fire

Round Weather’s second exhibition recognizes fire as central to our earthen experience.  “We seem almost a fire dependent/ species like this tree,” writes poet Ed Roberson in “Sequoia Sempervirens,” and our next years promise increasing conflagration born of our natural resources.  We must work now toward tomorrow’s recovery.  After the Fire is both the title of Sylvia Fein’s painting of a fuming forest and a primary metaphor and/or method connecting Miguel Arzabe’s paper weavings and kite rituals, Ashwini Bhat’s sculptures of weathered ecology, Sarah A. Smith’s corroded gold leaf and endangered spirit animals, Martha Tuttle’s depiction of space dust and galaxy haloes, and Andy Vogt’s drawing with rust, oxidation using sunlight, and salvaged wood.

Proceeds from every artwork sold largely go to Dogwood Alliance, Friends of the Earth, and Indigenous Environmental Network. Each year Round Weather’s advisory board selects three nonprofit organizations to reward for their track record in helping temper the climate crisis.

You may visit in person by appointment only with all safety precautions in place.

 

black and white drawing of two mirrored silhouettes of open-mouthed faces in profile—the left filled with the image of a woman in work clothes, kneeling to pick flowers; the right filled with images of handguns and assault rifles—against a patterned background of leaves.

Derek Boshier: Headlines

Night Gallery is pleased to present Headlines, an exhibition of recent drawings by Derek Boshier. This will be the artist’s second exhibition with the gallery.

Boshier first rose to prominence while exhibiting in London at the height of the British Pop Art Movement in the early 1960’s. During this time the graphic profile of a head first appeared in his paintings, notably in “Man playing snooker and thinking of other things,” 1961. Originally inspired by Victorian phrenology diagrams, this painting depicts the internal monologue of the subject as iconography contained within a yellow head. Since then this image has reappeared throughout his storied career and has evolved a way of visually metabolizing the news of the day into the “Headline” drawings, featured prominently in this exhibition.

Boshier’s practice has taken many forms over the years: he has produced films, paintings, sculptures, album covers as well as theatrical sets, but drawing has remained central the entire time. Magazines and newspaper clippings are the primary source for his “Headline” drawings and the immediacy of the medium has allowed him to react to current events in real time. While the drawings exhibited here are all recent, they are the culmination of decades of dedication to drawing and conviction to understanding the world at large through lines on paper.

In addition to the ”Headline” drawings, this exhibition includes “Samuel Palmer’s Nightmare,” a sprawling dreamlike landscape. Named after the British Romantic painter, the work reimagines Palmer’s famous pastoral landscapes in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. While the industrialization of Britain took place during Samuel Palmer’s lifetime, any traces of it are missing from his paintings. In Boshier’s drawing, menacing smokestacks puncture fields of intricate flowers and wildlife. By visualizing this moment’s duality, Boshier rejects the romantic and finds beauty in the grit of reality, a theme that has resonated in his work across the years.

Derek Boshier lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad including shows at Gazelli Art House, London, UK; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany; Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin, Germany; The National Portrait Gallery, London, UK and others. His work has been acquired by MoMA, New York, NY; The Menil, Houston, TX; The Tate Gallery of British Art and The British Museum in London; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; and The Centre Pompidou, Paris, among many other collections.

two pieces hang on a white wall: the first seems to be an image from a newspaper clipping of a hand with the words "I BELIEVE" written on the palm in pen; the second features a landscape image on its side of a figure walking toward the camera and away from a barn, alongside a copy of the front page of a newspaper, the headline reading "No does not mean convince me."

As Far As You Can, Tell The Truth

As interest in creating alternative narratives of varying measure grows, ‘truth’, as it relates to reality, has become an inconvenient impediment for a progression of agendas. The truth, becoming all the more elusive, has since become the most powerful course correction to date. In this exhibition an expression of truth is appealed to: it is witnessed, it is allowed for, it is resolved through the object. Each artist in this exhibition has unceasingly examined truth, (that being the reality of historical events and the social conditions as demanded by these actions, and how those points intersect to inform our present moment), for themselves and others, as central to their practice.

In 1967, Raymond Saunders declared “black is a color.” Throughout his career Saunders has questioned the premise that Black artists produce something that should be uniquely identified as “Black art.” In his own work, he looked to separate his practice from the restrictions of identity-driven art “I am an artist. I do not believe that art work should be limited or categorized by one’s racial background.” Featured in this exhibition is a single french door assemblage by Saunders from the 1990s. The significance of a door, as entry way or barrier, has been seen in many of Saunders’s assemblage works over the decades, as a canvas for his assemblage works and paintings.

Through painting, drawing and sculptural installation, Libby Black’s work explores the course of her personal history and broader cultural context, examining the intersection of feminism, LGBTQ+ identity, politics, consumerism, notions of value, and desire. In these recent drawings, Black has replicated portions of recent features published in the New York Times related to the #MeToo movement and the protests over the Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford hearings in 2018.

Cameron Clayborn approaches the history of trauma, its weight and sharp corners, with a tactile exploration through the physical object. As a conceptual sculptor, designer, performance artist, and community organizer, Clayborn creates sculpture that spans the distance between a viewer’s private headspace and the civic sphere. Working with a sewing machine, Clayborn’s sculptures, grouped together titled ‘coagulates’, combines an artistic lineage of queer history, from drag shows to protest banners, zipped through this mechanical lens. Using elements that impose tension (zipper, the physical weight of sand) Clayborn’s sculptures exist within an emotional history searching for liberation. These disembodied sacks that derive their forms via measurements taken off the bodies of the artist and his father—an abstraction of self and lineage into a collection of handsomely constructed objects highlight the intersections he stands in as gay black man raised in the American south. Inherently sexual and playful but also deeply serious, Clayborn’s works taunt the rigid dichotomies of male/female, gay/straight, human/inhuman, and valued/undervalued.

Suné Woods examines absences and vulnerabilities within cultural and social histories through visuals, sound and movement, and is interested in how language is emoted, guarded, and translated through the absence/presence of a physical body. On view, an early work by Woods, ‘From Here We Go Nowhere’ (2015) contains hundreds of color pages from travel catalogues and magazines, each individual page worn and creased. The collage explores the social phenomena that indoctrinate brutality and the ways in which propaganda and exploitation have employed photography. The freedom of collage allows Woods to consider a new topography all together, while addressing perception-based ‘truths’ as separate from reality.

Through portraits, landscapes, and collaborative works, Jim Goldberg’s expansive Open See follows refugee and immigrant populations traveling from war-torn, economically devastated, and often AIDS-ravaged countries, to make new homes in Europe. The photographer spent four years documenting the stories of refugees in over 18 countries, from Russia and the Middle East to Asia and Africa. To convey a “more in-depth understanding” of the people he was working with, he tapped into a practice he had developed while in graduate school: hand finishing photographs, and including handwriting to tell the stories of his subjects, making each a unique object encapsulating a story.

Raymond Saunders (lives and works in Oakland, CA) is part of collections including the Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Walker Art Center. Other collections he is included in are the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Legion of Honor (San Francisco, California), Bank of America (San Francisco, California), the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento, California), Hunter College (New York, New York), Howard University (Washington, D.C.), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, New York), the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum (San Francisco, California), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, California), the Museum of Modern Art (New York, New York), the Oakland Museum of California (Oakland, California), the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, California), the Berkeley Art Museum (Berkeley, California), the Walker Art Center, (Minneapolis, Minnesota), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, New York).

Libby Black is a painter, drawer, and sculptural installation artist living in Berkeley, CA. Her artwork charts a path through personal history and a broader cultural context to explore the intersection of politics, feminism, LGBTQ+ identity, consumerism, addiction, notions of value, and desire. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, with such shows as “California Love” at Galerie Droste in Wupertal, Germany; “Bay Area Now 4” at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; “California Biennial” at the Orange County Museum of Art; and at numerous galleries in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Black has been an artist-in-residence at Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA; Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA; and Spaces in Cleveland, OH. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, ARTnews, Flash Art, and The New York Times. She received a BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art in 1999 and an MFA at the California College of the Arts in 2001. Libby is an Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University.

Cameron Clayborn was raised in Memphis, TN and lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. In 2016, Clayborn received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, and in 2018 attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME. Recent exhibitions include Ralph Arnold Gallery at Loyola University, Chicago, IL (2019); Fat City, Chicago, IL (2019); Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL (2019); Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL (2018); Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago, IL (2018); Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL (2018); Bawdy (solo), Boyfriends, Chicago, IL (2017); Rover Gallery, Chicago, IL (2017); Lawrence & Clark Gallery, Chicago, IL (2017); and Tritriangle, Chicago, IL (2016).

Suné Woods (b. Montréal, Canada, works in Los Angeles). Woods received her BFA from University of Miami, in 1997, and MFA from California College of the Arts, in 2010. Most recently Woods was featured in Made in L.A. at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018). Her work has been included in exhibitions at Light Work, Syracuse, New York (2017); Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York (2017); Urban Video Project, Syracuse, New York (2017); Papillion Art, Los Angeles (2015, 2014); Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles (2015); 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, California (2012); Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, Los Angeles (2012); Performance Art Institute, San Francisco (2011); and Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco (2009), among others. She has had residencies at Light Work (2016), Center for Photography at Woodstock (2015), Vermont Studio Center (2014), and Headlands Center for the Arts (2012). She is a recipient of the Artadia Award (2020), a John Gutmann Photography Fellowship Award from the San Francisco Foundation (2015), Visions from the New California Award from the James Irvine Foundation (2012), and Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship (2009).

Jim Goldberg has exhibited widely, including shows at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; SFMOMA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Corcoran Gallery of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Yale University Art Gallery. His work is also regularly featured in group exhibitions around the world. Public collections including MoMA, SFMOMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Getty, the National Gallery, LACMA, MFA Boston, The High Museum, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Library of Congress, MFA Houston, National Museum of American Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Goldberg has received three National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships in Photography, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, among many other honors and grants.

Two paintings hanging on a white wall. The painting on the left is square and features a side profile portrait of a man with brown skin a, black hair, and a black mustache, looking to the right on a blue background. The words "Will E Mays" hover the man's large nose. The paining on the right is rectangular, and features a man in profile, facing left, with darker brown skin, black hair, and a black mustache on a deep blue background, wearing a lime green shirt.

Billy White

Adams and Ollman is pleased to present a solo exhibition of paintings by Billy White (b. 1962, lives in Hercules, California, and works in Richmond, California). Marking the artist’s first solo exhibition on the West Coast, the show will feature a selection of his expressive portraits made between 2016 and 2019. The exhibition is on view January 9 through February 6, 2021.

With graphic marks and emphatic colors, White conjures portraits that are celebratory and personal. Muscular and energetic brushstrokes coalesce to form complex images that are more emotional than representational. White’s subjects include his family and himself, as well as iconic figures from the worlds of film, television, music, sports, and art history. Captured in profile and at the front of the picture plane, each figure appears isolated, their likeness distilled to essential elements and forms assembled with bold lines and gestures. Often with unexpected shifts in perspective, the resulting works are psychologically-charged depictions of the human form.
Since 1994, Billy White has worked at Nurturing Independence Through Artistic Development (NIAD), a progressive art studio in Richmond, California, that supports the careers of artists with disabilities.

 

An arm reaches out from the bottom left of the frame to touch a sandy-colored rock wall. The arm has a long sleeve white shirt, the rock wall has grooves and marks of various depths. The image is slightly blurred, indicating that it was taken while the camera-holder was in motion, as if walking.

Timelines for the Future: Christine Hope Sandoval

We already know where we exist in the land, how we have remained for thousands of years in the place of our ancestors. We are rising from the ground and literally toppling colonial structures and its monuments to genocide. The seeds of our future have always been alive and present, and are growing into visible manifestations of what we know to be the truth.”   –Christine Howard Sandoval

Christine Howard Sandoval’s practice revolves around the embodied act of walking on sites of precarious and contested land. Negotiating the material contours of urban and rural landscapes, their inherent layers of human memory, and their political and ecological stakes in the present, she seeks to un-learn things as they are. Through sustained artistic research, and working through video, drawing, and sculpture, she forges future imaginaries of place that emerge from competing records of human inhabitance.

Working with community members, anthropologists and scientists, and researching historical documents, Howard Sandoval often creates scripted narratives that are performed as voice-overs in videos that trace her laborious walking paths. Through an experimental use of film, she provides disorienting bodily perspectives that destabilize the norms of viewing, moving away from the photographic gaze and its extraction of images from place. Walking thus becomes an active form of knowledge creation. Embedded with site-specific materials, Howard Sandoval’s drawings and sculptures seek to counteract the distance and abstraction of cartography and its complicity with territorial imposition. Her archival constellations act as an unwinding of imaginaries in search of alternate forms of inhabitation and human agency.

The Disjecta exhibition will present a series of new and recent works that encompass these many facets of Howard Sandoval’s oeuvre. Channel (2016-19), a passage of sculpture, video installation, and mixed media drawings, addresses the complex relationship between Hispanic and Native agrarian histories and current riparian rights and land uses. Live Stream (2018) is a performance-based video that re-inscribes disappeared migratory paths and waterways in and around the site of the Acequia Madre in Taos, New Mexico; drawing on her research on ancient water democracies (Acequias). Filmed using a body-cam, the video work sets out to deflect the surveillance-oriented nature of this technology to create an embodied portrait which foregrounds invisible and contested narratives of human inhabitation.

Howard Sandoval’s latest project A wall is a shadow on the land (2020- ) un-tells the story of Spanish “missionization” by taking the departure point of her Chumash great-grandparents. Unfolding a history of enslaved laborers who built the missionary adobe structures along the Pacific Coast, her research teases out the material forms of this architecture and engages with modularized constructions built on top of Indigenous sacred sites and architectures from South America to Alta California. Through archival images and adobe drawings, Howard Sandoval re-maps these sites to work towards alternate political and material imaginaries.

Christine Howard Sandoval (b.1975, Anaheim, California) is an interdisciplinary artist of Obispeño Chumash and Hispanic ancestry based in Vancouver B.C. Her work challenges the boundaries of representation, access, and habitation of contested places through performance, video, and sculpture. Recent solo exhibitions include Channel at The Colorado Springs Fine Art Center (2019) and A Wall is A Shadow on the Land, opening at Vancouver Art Gallery, B.C., opening in January 2021. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at, among other venues, El Museo Del Barrio (Bronx, NY); Socrates Sculpture Park (Queens, NY); The Museum of Capitalism (Oakland, CA), and Designtransfer, Universität der Künste (Berlin, Germany). Howard Sandoval has been awarded residencies at the Santa Fe Art Institute, Triangle Arts; The Vermont Studio Center, and Colorado College. She holds a BFA from Pratt Institute (NY) and an MFA from Parsons The New School for Design (NY). She is currently an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Praxis at Emily Carr University, Vancouver (BC).

 

A close-up photograph of a small rectangular box with two eye wholes. The exterior of the box is painted with swaths of green, brown, blue, grey, and yellow paint. The inside of the box, visible through the holes has a small video screen. The moment caught in this photograph shows a person in all black bending over with arms outstretched, as though bowing.

Like Apples and Knives: Estefania Velez Rodriguez & Michael Siporin Levine

Like Apples and Knives uses painting, drawing, collage, printmaking, and video to explore autobiography, abstraction, and narrative—three themes that are inherent to Estefania Velez Rodriguez and Michael Siporin Levine’s artistic process. In this exhibition the artists created personal work that is in direct response to their everyday life, as they consider the changes brought about by the global pandemic. Painting is a device: one that can hinge, move, activate, sing, task, travel, negotiate, and change. Painting is an object that can enact change, just as a knife cuts. Both artists’ approach to video-making, specifically the ‘thing-ness’ of the physical object and process of making, are immediately seen with the artist’s hands showing in the finished works. Whether it’s jumping at the opportunity to work out of her friend’s studio in Mexico City, or creating a stop-motion animation in his girlfriend’s kitchen window, both artists trusted their intuition as they adapted to a new routine.

Working across mediums, we see a relationship between how Estefania and Michael mix abstraction with observation, through their experimental approach to process, interest in formal composition, use of humor, and each artists’ personal introspection into memory and daily experiences. Both artists’ approach to video-making, specifically the ‘thing-ness’ of the physical object and process of making, are seen through the evidence of the artists’ hand in the finished piece.

In Like Apples and Knives, Michael will present new work including a large-scale work on paper, several smaller scale monoprints, and two recent animations. Imagery in his new body of work includes references to observations on his daily bike commute through Manhattan, park scenes, construction workers, home gyms, and cooking utensils. In his animation KITCHEN, he explores aspects of his daily life in the beginning part of the NYC lockdown through facetime conversations between himself and his girlfriend, the NY Dept. of Labor’s answering machine, and his mom explaining her matzo ball soup recipe.

Estefania Velez Rodriguez includes videos embedded into painting boxes which insulates the viewer into the confined world of the moving image. The videos are created with elements of painting and drawing activated by time, and oral language. Abstracted language, slang, and multiple tongues are explored in the videos as the artist processes life’s inputs through translation. In her video Salta Monte, meaning grasshopper in Spanish, but references transcending obstacles, she quietly chants in multiple languages about moving mountains while pushing painting through an unidentified space. Estefania utilizes cut out paintings and collages to further process notions of isolation, and cultural context of islands, which also isolate societies from larger transitory spaces.

Estefania and Michael met in 2017 while working as artist assistants for the New York based painter, Emily Mason. As Michael and Estefania worked together in Emily’s studio, they shared videos and images of recent work, and both felt a connection to each other’s artistic process– specifically the way they incorporate humor, identity, and performative elements in their paintings, prints, animations, installations, and videos.

 

 

A dreamlike illustration on paper. A blue sky with wispy white and peach clouds creates the background. A mask-like face floats on the left half of the upper edge, looking down. There is a curved row of eight sparrows flying across the sky. A full moon hangs on the right half of the upper edge. The bottom has three light grey mounds. One mound has a cartoonish face with a black bowler hat. The second mound has the face of a large cat. The third and smallest mound has a lifesaver/buoy. Between the two larger mounds, a crying person holding a tissue to their eye floats in a cloud.

In Search of Lost Time: Viola Frey, Fay Jones, and Akio Takamori

James Harris Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition titled “In Search of Lost Time” focusing on three artists, Viola Frey, Fay Jones, and Akio Takamori. Inspired by the Proust novel, the pandemic and our last exhibition at our Pioneer Square address, this show draws connections with the nature of time, the transportive quality of memory, and the immense pleasure in the details of looking at objects. The exhibition demonstrates how artists engage with their personal histories to present a reflection of humanity in their work. Each artist chosen often draws on their lived experience for the basis of the objects they create. Proust’s novel “In Search of Lost time” emphasizes the link between reading and self-knowledge. He believed that with each reading of a book, a different meaning emerged. This can be said to be true when looking at art. Seeing things again often will lead to new interpretations. The exhibition is organized into three chapters, Akio Takamori’s drawings and sculpture will be on view in first room when you enter the gallery, Viola Frey’s works on paper and ceramic sculpture will be displayed in the middle space and Fay Jones in our back gallery.

 

 

Artist Rachel Kessler standing in front of a coniferous tree on a grass field. She is wearing a purple shirt intricate embroidery along the neckline. She has long brown hair with blue tips. She is smiling and looking off to her left.

ArtVentures: Animal Mappings with Rachel Kessler

What can we learn from the way other animals sense the world around them? If we move through space as a bat, what do we notice that we might not as humans? Cross-sensory exploration opens up aspects of our everyday world that are extraordinary. Inspired by the upcoming Bugs & Beasts Before the Law exhibition and its reflection on the constraints and freedoms of different bodies, we will re-imagine our spaces by attempting to navigate them as non-human animals, sketching our movements and spaces using our ears as our guides. Be ready with a piece of paper to draw on, and your preferred drawing materials, for this combination movement, drawing, and sensory activity.

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Rachel Kessler explores landscape and community through writing and multi-disciplinary collaboration. Her work is deeply rooted in place: she lives and works on Yesler Way, the street her great-great grandparents immigrated to, worked on, and died on. As artist-in-residence at the public housing project Yesler Terrace, she activated a vacant apartment slated for demolition with community story-telling, potlucks, music, dancing, and collective murals. She co-founded the collective Wa Na Wari, a residential reclamation project centering Black art and media in Seattle’s Central District. As a mother of young children with limited resources she experimented with boundary-breaking performance art and video, co-founding interactive poetry collaborations Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society. Their book of collaborative poems, 100 Rooms, is forthcoming Spring 2021.

The upcoming cycle of ArtVentures will be conducted online, via Zoom. Join us for artfully imagined sessions that will move you beyond the limits of your screens, as well as foster meaningful connections through them. ArtVentures take place between 1 and 2:30 PM on first Sundays from November to June. FREE!