P·P·O·W is pleased to present historical and contemporary works by Ramiro Gomez, Hew Locke, Hunter Reynolds, Erin M. Riley, Carolee Schneemann, Betty Tompkins, Robin F. Williams, and David Wojnarowicz. We are also participating in the Kabinett program with a monographic installation of paintings and drawings by Ellen Cantor.
Ramiro Gomez (b.1986) creates domestic scenes and landscapes populated by subjects whose labor goes unrecognized and underappreciated. We will present a mixed-media painting entitled Fragmentation (One night I saw a man picking through the trash/Forbes 400), 2018. Painted from memory, the titular figure is depicted reaching for a five-dollar bill that was discarded along with periodicals celebrating art and industry, specifically Forbes and Artforum. He is painted on cardboard, a vernacular material for Gomez symbolizing the necessity of that which is often overlooked. Gomez has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the University of Michigan, Institute for the Humanities and the West Hollywood Public Library, as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. His work has been featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, with Rafa Esparza, and included in group exhibitions at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; The National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.; the Denver Art Museum, CO; Blanton Art Museum, TX; and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA. Domestic Scenes: The Work of Ramiro Gomez, a monograph by Lawrence Weschler, was published by Abrams in 2016. Gomez lives and works in West Hollywood, California. During Art Basel week, Gomez will be interviewed by Jerry Portwood, Editorial Director of Rolling Stone, on Thursday, December 6.
Hew Locke (b.1959) explores the language of nationalism and how cultures fashion identities through representations of authority. Drawings from his recent series Song of the South, 2018, depict black minstrel history on real confederate share certificates. Another work, Columbus, Central Park, 2018, is a photograph embellished with representations of pre-columbian culture, America’s colonial economy and artifacts displayed in encyclopedic museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art near where this statue stands, in Central Park. This work is from a series called Impossible Proposals, where Locke envisions opportunities for present day citizens to express their relationship to public sculptures of foundational American figures. Locke was primarily raised in Guyana and returned to the UK to complete an MA in sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 1994. His work has been included in the 54th and 55th Venice Biennale in 2011 and 2013 and Prospect New Orleans Contemporary Art Biennial, New Orleans in 2014. In 2010, Locke's work, Sikandar, was shortlisted for the Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square, London. His work is represented in many collections including the Government Art Collection, UK; Tate Gallery, UK; the Brooklyn Museum, NY; Perez Art Museum Miami, FL; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, MO; the RISD Museum, RI; the British Museum, London, UK; and the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK. In March 2019, the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, England will present a comprehensive survey exhibition. In 2020, a new permanent public artwork by Locke will be installed at King Edward Memorial Park in London.
Hunter Reynolds (b.1959) uses photography, performance, and installation to address identity, sexuality, illness and survival. Mourning Dress, 1997 is a haunting commemoration of the AIDS epidemic and the emerging possibly of long-term survival. Constructed from photographs of memorial bouquets, this spectral sculpture proposes a queer aesthetic for mourning costumes and rituals. This dress is from the collection of Reynolds' ongoing performative alter ego Patina du Prey, a persona adopted to celebrate queer communities, protest authoritarianism and cope with life and death. Reynolds was an early member of ACT UP and co-founded Art Positive, an affinity group of ACT UP that fought homophobia and censorship in the arts. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions at White Columns, NY; Artist Space, NY; Participant Inc., NY; ICA Boston, MA; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; and dOCUMENTA, Kassel, Germany. In 2017, Reynolds was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Love Light, a solo exhibition of historical and recent works, was present at Hales Gallery in July. His work was recently on view at the Hayward Gallery, London in Drag: Self-portraits and Body Politics. Reynolds will be featured in forthcoming exhibitions at the Hayword Gallery, London, UK (2019); the McNay Art Museum, TX (2019) and Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich (2019).
Carolee Schneemann (b.1939) is a multidisciplinary artist who has worked in painting, photography, performance, film, and installation in a career spanning six decades. Her 1963 painted construction Maximus at Gloucester is a large assemblage inspired by the poet Charles Olson’s influential 1940s volume The Maximus Poems. Created from objects collected during a fateful trip to the poet’s New Jersey residence, this important assemblage marks a shift in the artist’s practice from her training as a landscape painter to the iconic action installations for which she is best known. Maximus at Gloucester is pictured in Schneemann’s seminal photographic series Eye Body: 36 Transformative Actions for Camera, wherein she activated her constructions with her nude body, shifting the course of Postmodern and feminist art. Schneemann’s work has been exhibited worldwide at institutions including the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Tate Modern, London; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid. The comprehensive retrospective Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Paintings recently traveled from Museum der Moderne, Salzburg (2015), to the Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2017) and MoMA PS1, NY (2018). Her work is currently on view in Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done at the Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Betty Tompkins (b.1945) creates paintings and works on paper in response to pornographic and art historical representations of gender and sexuality. The Only Way, 2018, combines her signature anatomical airbrush paintings with an enduring cliché from her ongoing series of Women Words: “The only way you will make it in the art world is on your back”. This simple juxtaposition of text and image poses acerbic and disturbing questions about representations of women’s bodies and their experiences within a patriarchal culture. Tompkins lives and works in New York, NY, and Wayne County, PA. Recent solo exhibitions include rodolphe janssen, Belgium; Ribordy Contemporary, Switzerland; Kunstraum Innsbrook, Austria; P·P·O·W, NY; GAVLAK, FL and CA; and Flag Art Foundation, NY. Tompkins’s work has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including The Shell (LANDSCAPES, PORTRAITS & SHAPES), Almine Rech Gallery, France; A Drawing Show, Matthew Marks Gallery, NY; CORPUS, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland; A Chromatic Loss, Bortolami Gallery, NY; Sunset and Pussy, Marianne Boesky Gallery, NY; and Elles, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011). Will She Ever Shut Up?, Tompkins' second solo exhibition at P·P·O·W, will be on view until December 22.
Robin F. Williams (b.1984) utilizes a variety of techniques, including oil, airbrush, and the staining of raw canvas, to create lush, deeply textured paintings. Teenage Witch, 2018, depicts a nude, vaguely computer-generated female enthusiastically presenting her black cat, a symbol that historically correlates female sexuality with mysticism and social deviance. Referencing a popular 1970s photograph of Cher, this work continues Williams’ investigation of perceived status, internal desires, and a need for self-expression within the frame work of pop-cultural femininity. In her review of Williams' 2017 exhibition Your Good Taste is Showing, Roberta Smith of the New York Times wrote: "These painting are timely, but they are also enigmatic, off-putting and out there in rewarding ways.” Robin F. Williams was born in Ohio and lives and works in Brooklyn. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has been included in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally. Williams has been honored as the Josephine Mercy Heathcote Fellow at The MacDowell Colony. Williams and P·P·O·W co-founder Wendy Olsoff will be participating in Art Basel’s Conversations program on Saturday, December 8.
David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) was among the most incisive and prolific American artists of the 1980s and 90s. Alongside a selection of his iconic photographic works, we will present a rarely seen mixed-media painting from 1985-87, Untitled, from his History Painting series. Constructed on a background of his chilling text Between C + D, 1985, this mixed-media painting poses complex social critiques and features hallmark symbols including torn maps, shooting targets, Greco-Roman sculpture, and a depiction of men having sex. 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 will travel to the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid in May 2019 and the Musee d/Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg City in November 2019. A concurrent exhibition of Wojnarowicz’s films and photographs will open at the KW Berlin in February 2019.