Sep 22 - Sep 25, 2016
Press release for the art fair EXPO Chicago
September 22 – 25, 2016
Ann Agee (b. 1959) Agee’s works meditate on the relationship between domestic space and cultural ideology, and the way in which interiors construct and subvert individual personalities. Negishi Heights 1957, a multi-panel painting on Thai Mulberry paper, will be the centerpiece of our presentation. An imagining of one home in the vast Japanese horse-racing complex which was converted in the late-1950s into a residential campus for the US Navy. This spectral, grisaille environment showcases the influence of Japanese aesthetics on modern architecture and industrial design. The tableau created by this 15-foot painting will be completed with a selection of her recent ceramics, which work to elevate utilitarian objects to the level of artwork – in taking a frame, vase or plate, for example, and turning it into a ceramic sculpture. This play between art, material and function is a constant point of exploration for Agee, and much of her work playfully toes the line between object and artwork, form and function, handmade and readymade. Agee lives and works in Brooklyn. She has had installations at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania, and her work has been included in notable ceramics exhibitions, including Dirt on Delight at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Pennsylvania and the Walker Art Center in Minnesota, and Conversations in Clay at the Katonah Art Museum in New York. In 2011 Agee was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and has also been the recipient of The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, among others. Her works are included in the permanent collections of notable institutions including The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; The RISD Art Museum, Rhode Island; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; The Henry Art Museum in Seattle, Washington; The Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin; and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, Florida.
Karen Arm (b. 1962) For over two decades, Arm’s work has engaged a dialogue between micro and macro, mark and object, structure and line. With her most recent series of paintings, the obsessive virtuosity displayed creates infinite spaces which focus on surface and depth as portals into the sublime. Her meticulous process of layering and glazing is essential in creating the dynamism in these meditative works. Arm references nature as a catalyst for ambiguity, abstraction and exploration, seeking to capture an unseeable phenomenon; heightening nature by making the intangible visible. For Arm, the works possess action in their paused state, like the moment of fission that could be destructive or creative. These many ambiguities create a heightened tension that pushes and pulls from the surface into deep space. Arm lives and works in Brooklyn and Shelter Island, NY. Arm received her BFA from The Cooper Union in 1985, and while there, studied at the Tyler School of Art in Rome. Arm graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in 1989. Arm was the managing editor of The Book of Symbols (Archives for Research in Archetypal Symbolism), published by Taschen in 2010. In 2002 she received a New York Foundation for the Arts Award for Painting. Arm’s works were shown in the United States Embassy in Burma from 2012 to 2016.
Sandow Birk (b. 1962) Following his epic, decades-long series The American Qur’an, we are pleased to present Birk’s newest paintings which characteristically focus on contemporary culture and the various perils of social dynamics. Focusing on the uniquely American racial and institutional conflicts that have plagued the final term of our first African American president and pervade the current election, Birk appropriates various Art Historical sources to situate current tragedies in a trajectory of Western democracy. The Triumph of Fear 2016, for example, adopts the density and debauchery of Bruegel’s peasant scenes, using proverbial imagery to situate the industrial-prion complex, corporate greed and chaotic protests in a dystopian landscape calmly overseen by the Supreme Court. Birk received his BFA from Otis Art Institute in 1988. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, fellowships, and grants, including: Guggenheim Fellowship, J. Paul Getty Fellowship, NEA grants, COLA Fellowship in Visual Art, and the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship Award. Birk has had several solo museum exhibitions including: The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Katzen Art Center, Washington DC; San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, San Jose Museum of Art, Laguna Art Museum, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, and Heidelberger Kunstverein in Heidelberg, Germany. His work is in numerous museum collections including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Harvard University Museum, Massachusetts; The De Young Museum, California; The Getty Center, California; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; San Jose Museum of Art, California; The New York Historical Society, and The San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art.
Katharine Kuharic (b. 1962) Though her subject matter has evolved over four decades, Kuharic’s painting can be characterized by an emphatic specificity formed by high-resolution, infinitesimal mark making. Her allegorical imagery is filled with innumerable details achieved through a complex technique that begins with multi-layered drawing maquettes which are meticulously hand-transferred and rendered tonally before discrete layers of color are applied. Her work is a kaleidoscopic synthesis of old-fashion Americana, mid-century domestic kitsch, and contemporary concerns of gender, race, celebrity and the dormant status quo. A devoted educator who has taught and lectured extensively throughout the country, Kuharic’s work is influenced by the working-class Midwestern culture in which she was raised, and simultaneously critiques fetishized consumption through the development characteristic of her Marxist education. Kuharic was born in South Bend, IN, and completed her BFA in Painting and Drawing at Carnegie Mellon University in 1984. She has been in numerous group shows in the U.S. and abroad including exhibits in Paris, Rome, Tokyo, Stockholm, London, and Amsterdam. Kuharic has had museum exhibitions at the St. Louis Art Museum, The Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, The South Bend Regional Art Museum, The Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, and The Portsmouth Museum of Art in New Hampshire. Kuharic is a Professor of Art at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY and while there has been awarded the Dean’s Scholarly Achievement Award and The Class of 1962 Excellence in Teaching Award.
Robin F. Williams (b. 1984) Williams’ paintings function as psychological portraiture using highly saturated color to convey a full spectrum of sensations. Williams constructs narrative images that engage with women’s varied—often contradictory—societal roles, as well as their relationships to children, teenagers and men. Williams’ experimental painting techniques have continued to develop alongside her expanded subject matter. Within these works Williams draws guidance from a number of art historical sources including the innovative mark-making of post-impressionist Georges-Pierre Seurat, Mary Cassat’s emphasis on depicting female subjectivity, Edouard Manet’s construction of the viewer as an active participant in a painting's narrative and, more recently, the psychedelic palette of nineties graphic designer Lisa Frank. Williams currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Williams has been included in numerous exhibitions internationally and abroad including an exhibition at Gallery Poulsen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Her work is currently on view in Et in Arcadia Ego at the New Museum Los Gatos, CA. Williams has been honored as the Josephine Mercy Heathcote Fellow at The MacDowell Colony and the 2010 Brooklyn Academy “Playbill Artist.” Her work has been featured in numerous publications including The Brooklyn Rail, Juxtapoz, and The Observer.
Martha Wilson (b.1939) Since the early 1970s, Wilson has created conceptually based performances, videos, and photo/text compositions that grapple with constructions and manifestations of feminism, identity, and the way we construct and present ourselves. Her early performance, video, photography and text work investigated the self, as well as the notion of self-perception, through both physical and cultural lenses. Our presentation will focus on her works that deconstruct political personas through ideological critique of the postures of President Clinton, Tipper Gore and most recently, Donald Trump. Trained in English Literature, Wilson was teaching at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design when she became fascinated by the intersection of text and image. Wilson moved to New York in 1974, and in 1976, established Franklin Furnace, a non-profit art space, which she has ran ever since, providing a platform for over-looked and underappreciated artists of the 1980s and 1990s. Since 2009, Independent Curators International has traveled the exhibition Martha Wilson: Staging the Self to six institutions throughout the United States and published a corresponding catalogue Martha Wilson Sourcebook: 40 Years of Reconsidering Performance, Feminism, Alternative Spaces which received The Specific Object 2011 Publication of the year award. Wilson’s work was recently exhibited at The Renaissance Society and, Mona/Marcel/Marge, her recent solo exhibition at P•P•O•W, was reviewed by The New York Times, The New Yorker, Hyperallergic and Artforum.
David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) channeled a vast accumulation of raw images, sounds, memories and lived experiences into a powerful voice that was an undeniable presence in the New York City art scene of the 1970s, 80s and early 90s. Through his several volumes of fiction, poetry, memoirs, painting, photography, installation, sculpture, film and performance, Wojnarowicz left a legacy, affirming art’s vivifying power in a society he viewed as alienating and corrosive. Wojnarowicz died of AIDS-related complications on July 22, 1992 at the age of 37. His artwork has been included in solo and group exhibitions around the world, at institutions such as The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The American Center, Paris, France; The Busan Museum of Modern Art, Korea; Centro Galego de Art Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain; The Barbican Art Gallery, London; and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne Germany. His works are in permanent collections of major museums internationally and the subject of significant scholarly studies. Highly influential to the current generation of artists, writers and activists, his work continues to be the subject of important exhibitions. Wojnarowicz has had three retrospectives: at the galleries of the Illinois State University in 1990 curated by Barry Blinderman; at the New Museum in 1999 curated by Dan Cameron; and his forthcoming traveling retrospective will open at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2018, co-curated by David Kiehl and David Breslin.
Martin Wong (1946-1999) was born in Portland, Oregon and raised in San Francisco, California. Wong's works are charged with his personal, poetic and social concerns, reflecting empathetic self-identifications that still resonate today. During the '70s he was active in the San Francisco Bay Area art scene, and was involved with the performance art groups The Cockettes and Angels of Light. In 1978 Wong moved to Manhattan, eventually settling in the Lower East Side, where his attention turned exclusively to painting the textures of urban life in his neighborhood. His mature ouvre functions as a visual diary built from stacked bricks, crumbling tenements, constellations, hand signals and portraiture. Wong died in San Francisco from AIDS-related complications in 1999. Wong's work can be found in museum collections including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Bronx Museum, de Young Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Cleveland Museum of Art. He had a one person show, Sweet Oblivion, at the New Museum in 1998 and was the subject of Human Instamatic, a retrospective which opened at the Bronx Museum of Art in November of 2015 before traveling to the Wexner Center for the Arts in May 2016. The retrospective will travel to the Berkeley Art Museum in September 2017.