Feb 13 - Feb 16, 2020
Press release for the art fair Room 1232
February 13 – 16, 2020
P·P·O·W is pleased to present historical and contemporary works by Elijah Burgher, Kyle Dunn, Elizabeth Glaessner, Tom Knechtel, Judith Linhares, Hew Locke, Gerald Lovell, Carlos Motta, Hunter Reynolds, Erin M. Riley, Allison Schulnik, Martin Wong and David Wojnarowicz. Works by Carolee Schneemann, Betty Tompkins, and Martha Wilson will be on view in Cruel Optimism, curated by William J. Simmons.
Defying categorical restraint, Kyle Dunn (b. 1990) combines sculptural and painterly traditions, including bas-relief and trompe l'oeil, to create deeply personal paintings that pulse with emotion and sensuality. Mining movie stills, novellas, and melodramas, Dunn describes male sensuality as emotionally deep, soft, dramatic, and vulnerable. In his Artforum review, Alex Jovanovich wrote, “Dunn’s unequivocally queer work is slyly revolutionary—a raised fist that doesn’t shy away from the power of a gentle caress.” Dunn received his BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture at Maryland Institute College of Art. He has had solo exhibitions at Sardine and Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York, and has been included in exhibitions at P·P·O·W, New York; Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich; Little Berlin, Philadelphia, PA; Nationale, Portland, OR; Part 2 Gallery, Oakland, CA; and Ground Floor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, among others. P·P·O·W will present a solo exhibition in June, 2020.
Elizabeth Glaessner (b. 1984) takes elements from traditional history painting and re-contextualizes them within an uncanny, sensual, and unearthly setting that flows between figural and abstract. An exploration of memory, personal history, and ritual, Glaessner’s work questions the ways we relate to and environ our past. Glaessner received her MFA from the New York Academy of Art where she received a post- graduate fellowship in 2013. Her work has been exhibited at P·P·O·W, Louis B. James, Sargent’s Daughters, New Release, BRIC, BAM, 1969 and more. Her work has been featured and reviewed in Art in America, Interview Magazine, Art of Choice, ARTnews and Modern Painters, among others. She was awarded residencies at the Leipzig International Art Programme, Glogau AIR in Berlin and the Galveston Artist Residency, where she is living and working for one year.
Working in paint, sculpture, and animation, Allison Schulnik (b. 1978) seamlessly transitions between mediums, imbuing her work with a distinct sensibility that melds theatricality with intense emotional vulnerability. Known for her uncanny approach to traversing the internal and immaterial terrains of nostalgia, childhood memories, and dreams, Schulnik choreographs an honest, complex, and contemporary portrait of new motherhood and life seen through the red haze and black silence of the desert. Schulnik lives and works in Sky Valley, CA. Solo exhibitions of Schulnik’s work have been presented at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, OK; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles; ZieherSmith, New York, NY; and Galeria Javier Lopez & Fer Frances, Madrid. Schulnik's work can be found in numerous museum collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Santa Barbara Art Museum; Museé de Beaux Arts (Montreal); Laguna Art Museum; The Crocker Art Museum; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art; and The Albright-Knox Gallery. Hatch, Schulnik’s first solo exhibition with P·P·O·W, will open February 20, 2020.
Garnering immediate recognition for his instinctual approach and heavily impastoed canvases, Gerald Lovell (b. 1992) began painting at the age of 25 after dropping out of the graphic design program at the University of West Georgia. Frustrated by the codified, academic methods ingrained in formal arts education, Lovell utilized his background in fashion and photography, readily accessible internet tutorials, and his tightknit, Atlanta-based community of creatives to drive his burgeoning painting practice. Lovell paints from semi-candid photographs taken during intimate moments with the people in his life. The resulting portraits are strikingly empathic and uniquely personal, revealing the lived experience of both the sitter and artist. Attuned to the inherent struggles of his chosen medium, Lovell uses his paintings as a means of self-discovery and self-articulation while careful not to impose imagined narratives on his subjects. Born in Chicago to Puerto Rican and African American parents, Lovell has been featured in exhibitions at P·P·O·W, New York; The Gallery | Wish, Atlanta, GA; the Hammonds House Museum, Atlanta, GA; Mason Fine Art, Atlanta, GA; and Swim Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. P·P·O·W will present a solo exhibition in April, 2020.
Erin M. Riley (b. 1985) is a fiber artist who renders erotic, personal and psychologically raw imagery in hand-dyed wool tapestries. Her work explores the innate difficulty of womanhood, objectification of the female body, and traumas both large and small that weigh on the search for self-identity. Often autobiographical, Riley’s tapestries explore aspects of personal or family history, as well as local news story and popular media narratives – images that are essential to processing her own experiences and to destigmatizing trauma. Riley received her BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and an MFA from the Tyler School of Art. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions throughout the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Australia. Riley has lectured extensively throughout the country and has had residencies at The MacDowell Colony, NH and the Museum of Art and Design, NY. Used Tape, Riley’s debut exhibition at P·P·O·W took place in May 2018. In her review for the New York Times, Jillian Steinhauer writes, “Ms. Riley successfully intertwines two strands of second-wave feminist art: the reclamation of so-called craft mediums and women’s use of their bodies. Into this she braids the distanced gaze of the still life. If the show has a thesis statement, it might be that for women, pain and pleasure remain perilously intertwined — a lesson that bears repeating in the time of #MeToo.”
Hunter Reynolds (b. 1959) uses photography, performance and installation to address issues of gender, identity, sexuality, mourning, loss, survival, and healing. In his catalog essay for the 1990 exhibition Drag, which was republished in the exhibition guide for From Drag to Dervish at P·P·O·W last year, Gregg Bordowitz speaks to the enduring relevance of Reynolds’ art, remarking that this work “provides the opportunity for viewers to divest interests in the present order of sexuality and it invites us to take some new risks.” Reynolds was an early member of ACT UP and in 1989 co-founded Art Positive, an affinity group of ACT UP. He has presented solo exhibitions at White Columns, New York, NY; Artist Space, New York, NY; Participant Inc., New York, NY; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; and Hales Gallery, London. He has been included in group exhibitions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY; the ICA Boston, Boston, MA; the Hayward Gallery, London, UK; Aldrich Museum of Art, Ridgefield, CT; and DOCUMENTA, Kassel; among others.
Rooted in the California Bay Area counterculture of the 60s and 70s, Judith Linhares (b. 1940) combines modes of abstract expressionism with Bay Area figuration to create uniquely irradiant paintings. Approaching figuration through abstracted forms, Linhares utilizes broad brushstrokes and brilliant fields of color to gradually develop her subjects. Celebrating the female body, collectivity, and communal experience, Linhares grapples with her upbringing, dreams, and memories resulting in paintings that conflate the fantastical and the everyday. Linhares earned her BFA and MFA degrees from California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA. She was included in the influential Bad Painting exhibition at the New Museum, organized by Marcia Tucker. Her work is held in many permanent collections, including the de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Her work is currently on view at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in Contemporary Art: Five Propositions; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Sea Change: Highlights from PAFA’s Collection of 20th-century Art, and Jeffrey Deitch Los Angeles in All of Them Witches, organized by Dan Nadel and Laurie Simmons.
Elijah Burgher (b. 1978) works in painting, drawing and printmaking, exploring themes of language, mysticism, and iconography to investigate sexual identities and the boundaries of the physical self. Whether in detailed figurative drawings or large-scale acrylic paintings on canvas drop cloths, Burgher draws from a variety of supernatural and aesthetic currents to achieve a highly personalized visual language inspired by European ceremonial magic. Burgher received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute, Chicago and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. He has been featured in numerous group exhibitions including For Opacity: Elijah Burgher, Toyin Ojih Odutola, and Nathaniel Mary Quinn at the Drawing Center, 2018; the 2014 Whitney Biennial; and The Temptation of AA Bronson at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, 2013. Burgher’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, Art Review and Artforum, among others. P·P·O·W will present a solo exhibition in March 2020.
Tom Knechtel (b. 1952) constructs complex narratives based on artifice and sexuality in which a cast of human and animal characters take on fluid identities. In her 2016 interview with Knechtel for the Los Angeles Times, Carolina Miranda wrote, “his achingly crafted funny-visceral drawings and paintings take the anxieties of modern life and render them in ways that are surreal yet historical.” Knechtel has had solo exhibitions at Grant Selwyn Fine Art, the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, P·P·O·W, New York, and Rosamund Felsen Gallery. In 2002, he had a 25-year retrospective entitled On Wanting to Grow Horns which opened at the Weatherspoon Art Gallery in North Carolina before traveling to the Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design, The Contemporary Art Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii, and the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, Washington. His work is in the permanent collections of The Berardo Collection, Sintra Museum of Modern Art, Portugal, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Orange County Museum of Art and The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu.
David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) was among the most incisive and prolific American artists of the 1980s and 90s. Channeling a vast accumulation of raw images, sounds, memories and lived experiences, Wojnarowicz became well known for his spray-painted iconographies, blunt semiotics and graphic illustrations that deftly conveyed his cultural critiques. Wojnarowicz’s work has been exhibited at 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. His work is in permanent collections of major museums nationally and internationally and his life and work have been the subject of significant scholarly studies. Wojnarowicz has had retrospectives at the galleries of the Illinois State University, curated by Barry Blinderman (1990) and at the New Museum, curated by Dan Cameron (1999). A third retrospective, David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night, co-curated by David Kiehl and David Breslin, opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art in July 2018. The widely acclaimed exhibition has been reviewed in Artforum, The Guardian, The New York Times and The New Yorker, among others. The retrospective, which traveled to the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid in May 2019, is currently on view at the Musee d/Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg City through February 9, 2020. In April, Morán Morán will present David Wojnarowicz: I is someone else, a one-person exhibition of historical works. On April 30, P·P·O·W will open Dear Jean Pierre, a solo exhibition of historical works and recently discovered romantic correspondence.
In his last major body of work, Martin Wong (1946-1999) turned his attention to his own heritage, painting scenes from New York and San Francisco’s Chinatowns. In addition to depictions of local businesses and annual festivals, this series explores Bruce Lee’s impact on American popular culture, Chinese American self-awareness, along with Wong’s own identity. More explicitly than other Chinatown work, Clones of Bruce Lee, 1992 depicts Lee almost as a saint and plays with ideas of Chinese masculinity and sexuality within American culture. The actor’s iconic image as a heroic fighter propelled the popularity of the martial arts in America and created a lasting symbol of masculinity. Wong was active in the San Francisco Bay Area art scene during the 1970s and was involved with the performance art groups, The Cockettes and Angels of Light. In 1978 he moved to Manhattan, eventually settling in the Lower East Side, where his attention turned exclusively to painting. Wong set forth to depict urban life on the Lower East Side where he then lived. Wong died in San Francisco from an AIDS related illness in 1999. His work can be found in museum collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Bronx Museum of The Arts, and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Wong had a one person show Sweet Oblivion at the New Museum (1998). Wong's retrospective, Human Instamatic, opened at the Bronx Museum of The Arts in November 2015, the Wexner Center in Columbus, Ohio in May of 2016 and traveled to the UC Berkeley Art Museum in 2017.