2018 NEW MEMBER EXHIBITION
A PLACE IN THE SUN
Noel W. Anderson
Curated by Deric Carner
September 12 to November 30, 2018
Opening: September 12, 2018, 6-8 pm
THE ELIZABETH FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS
323 WEST 39TH STREET, 3RD FLOOR
NEW YORK, NY 10018
The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program is pleased to present an exhibition introducing the work of New Member Artists who joined EFA this Spring. The seven artists were chosen by a jury panel from a competitive pool of applicants. Member Artists are awarded a subsidized studio for a period of two years which may be renewed indefinitely based on continued professional excellence.
The exhibition A Place in the Sun showcases a diverse and talented group of artists working in photography, painting, collage and sculpture. The title is taken from the 1951 film version of Theodore Dreiser's novel An American Tragedy. It is the story of a man whose desire for wealth and class advancement ends in tragedy. A life of promise is ruined by the toxic effects of selfishness. The artists in the exhibition consider place and human relations as both generative and fraught with tragic histories. They question how we see the world and suggest ways of healing or acknowledging the damage that is done. The generous and unflinching vision of these artists offers a way to think through the challenges facing us without defeatism.
Justin Kim uses water-based painting and drawing media to tell stories about places from memory. These are good memories of travels with lovers and children playing, but they are suffused with a delicate sense of fragility. The marks that make up his images seem to fragment on inspection, with the foreground and background oscillating with weird uncertainty. Many of his paintings, such as the one in the show, depict scenes around Deep Springs College where Kim teaches painting in the summer. The tuition-free college is a remarkable place where 25-30 young men self-govern, debate humanities and sciences, study the arts, grow food and run a functioning cattle ranch.
Science is a double-edged sword which has brought both astonishing progress and the potential for devastating ruin. Amy Myers' father was a physicist and she grew up discussing the big bang theory, quantum mechanics and string theory. This abstract understanding of the universe is reflected in her paintings and works on paper. Her crisp lines and flowing symmetries are suggestive of hidden logic and unpredictable energies. Not cooly rational, Myers work bursts with generative energy.
Ronald Hall's paintings create thought-provoking and narrative interpretations of historical and contemporary African American themes. Born of fictional or non-fictional stories, and using imagery found in African American history books, newspapers, or internet resources, Hall's work provokes a dialogue around race and socio-political issues. The painting Free Soiling depicts a plantation turned into a football field and an astonishing Jim Crow era cartoon. In the foreground is an image of Henry "Box" Brown, a slave who mailed himself north to freedom.
Shimon Attie's work allows us to reflect on the relationship between place, memory, and identity. He is particularly concerned with issues of loss, communal trauma and the potential for regeneration. His series Facts on the Ground were created at many sites across Israel and Palestine. Intensely site-specific and using carefully chosen texts, Attie's light boxes were staged primarily for the camera.
Park McArthur uses ready-made materials and the structures of the built environment to confront issues of visibility, utility and the aesthetics of everyday life. Her work often comes in the form of concrete interventions or subtle gestures which question the role of the artist and the institution. For this exhibition, McArthur has contributed a photograph of a public housing building that she proposes to convert into an intentional community where caregivers could live in proximity to their clients. Elsewhere in the show is an advertisement for the Toto Neorest toilet which speaks to ideals of comfort and cleanliness.
Noel W. Anderson's multilayered work begins with existing imagery particular to African American experiences such as Ebony magazine, FBI files, etc. He weaves these into Jacquard tapestries which are dyed, distressed and overpainted. He frames these with African purple hardwood. This hybrid materiality addresses the polemics of black representation and black masculinity while connecting historical dialogues of painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, and weaving.
The fictional landscapes depicted in Cheryl Molnar's collage paintings are inspired by places from her life. Her epic panel collage Mulholland Drive is a synthesis of Los Angeles and Levittown. Her vision exaggerates and focuses on humankind's alteration of nature. Private homes, strip malls and industrial parks overwhelm the landscape and erase natural beauty. In other works, ruins of a previous gilded age are overrun by vegetation.
Image: Justin Kim, Ada in the Garden, Deep Springs CA, 2017
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11-6 pm
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