P·P·O·W is pleased to present historical and contemporary works by Ramiro Gomez, Hew Locke, Carolee Schneemann, Betty Tompkins, David Wojnarowicz, and Martin Wong.
Ramiro Gomez (b. 1986) A painter with a deep interest in depicting the people whose labor often goes unrecognized and underappreciated by society, Gomez creates pristine domestic scenes and landscapes, populated with subjects whose work is essential to creating and maintaining those very spaces. At Art Basel Miami Beach, P·P·O·W will premiere a large-scale mural work depicting children and babysitters at Madison Square Park, which will be the centerpiece of Gomez’s forthcoming exhibition March 2018. Alongside this work, Gomez will enact a performative project extending his contribution to the 2017 Whitney Biennial. Stationed in our booth, Gomez will paint portraits of workers essential to the production of an art fair – those who are in charge of the set-up, clean up, and maintenance. Gomez’s work 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 also been featured in group shows at notable institutions including: the 2017 Whitney Biennial; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Denver Art Museum; Blanton Art Museum, University of Texas at Austin; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; and the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Florida; among others. Domestic Scenes: The Work of Ramiro Gomez, a monographic catalog by Lawrence Weschler, was published by Abrams in 2016. His work is currently on view at the National Portrait Gallery as part of its group exhibition The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers. Gomez lives and works in West Hollywood, California.
Hew Locke (b.1959) explores the languages of colonial and post-colonial power, how different cultures fashion their identities through visual symbols of authority, and how the passage of time alters these representations. P·P·O·W will present a special installation of The Wine Dark Sea, 2016, sculptures of various boats and ships that are suspended to create an eye-level flotilla. Taking its title from Homer’s The Odyssey, Locke’s work invokes historical and contemporary vessels as symbols for hope and prosperity, as well as anguish and suffering. Recalling refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea to escape war, oppression, and poverty, this installation also resonates with viewers for whom migration and displacement are deeper-rooted in their family history. For Those in Peril on the Sea, 2011, an installation customized to the South Florida community, is in the permanent collection of the Pérez Art Museum Miami and will be on view through August 2018. On the Tethys Sea, 2017, a third installation of suspended sculptures, was installed on the ground floor of Palazzo Pisani S. Marina in the inaugural Diaspora Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. Sculptures from the original installation of The Wine Dark Sea were acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017. Hew Locke spent his formative years (1966–80) in Guyana before returning to the UK to complete an MA in sculpture at the Royal College of Art (1994). His work has been included in The Folkestone Triennial in 2011; the 54th and 55th Venice Biennale in 2011 and 2013; Prospect New Orleans Contemporary Art Biennial, New Orleans in 2014; and Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art in 2016. 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; Miami Art Museum, FL; 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. Works from Locke’s Share Certificate series are incorporated into Reversal of Fortune, an installation at The Alfred I DuPont Building, organized by Fringe Projects, in downtown Miami through January 31, 2018.
Carolee Schneemann (b. 1939) activated the female nude with a multidisciplinary practice that has spanned fifty years and includes painting, assemblage, performance, and film. By connecting the kinetic nature of her early paintings and assemblages to her radical performances and films, Schneemann’s work has made a permanent mark on the history of art. P·P·O·W will present a selection of vintage prints from Schneemann’s seminal series Eye Body: 36 Transformative Actions for Camera, 1963, in which she merged her own body with her painting-constructions. Photographed by the Icelandic artist Erró, this series represents the first time Schneemann incorporated her physical body into the form of her work, permeating boundaries between image-maker and image, seeing and seen, eye and body — hence the title. A vintage edition of Eye Body: 36 Transformative Actions for Camera will also be on view at The ICA: Miami in The Everywhere Studio, the debut exhibition in their permanent location. 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, New York; the Tate Modern, London; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and The Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid. Her published books include Cezanne; She Was a Great Painter (1976); Early and Recent Work (1983); More Than Meat Joy: Complete Performance Works and Selected Writings (1979); Correspondence Course (2010) by Kristine Stiles, and Imaging Her Erotics – Essays, Interviews, Projects (2002). Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Paintings, curated by Sabine Breitweiser, is on view at MoMA PS1, New York from October 22, 2017 – March 11, 2018. In April 2017, Schneemann was award the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.
Betty Tompkins (b.1945) For the last forty years, Tompkins has created paintings, drawings, and collages that appropriate images of graphic sexuality to explore the tension between representation and experience. P·P·O·W will be debuting a new series of Women Words, a project the artist initiated in 2010, wherein language mined from an international network of email contacts obscure female figures in art historical images. Spanning the Renaissance to the mid-20th Century, this series of mixed-media works on paper subverts Western art historical narratives that, until recently, have lionized only men’s contributions. While much of Tompkins’ early work was under-appreciated by contemporary art critics, her provocative and complex paintings and works on paper have recently had a resurgence in recognition, and offer a timely feminist response to current issues in business, entertainment, and politics. Recent solo exhibitions include Virgins, P·P·O·W, New York (2017); Women Words, Phrases, and Stories, Flag Art Foundation, New York (2016); Sex Works/ Women Words, Phrases and Stories, Gavlak Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2016); Real Ersatz, FUG, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, New York (2015); Paintings & Works on Paper 1972-2013, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, FL (2014); Fuck Paintings, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium (2012); and New Work, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York (2009). Tompkins’s work has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including Black Sheep Feminism: The Art of Sexual Politics, Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, Texas (2016); The Shell (LANDSCAPES, PORTRAITS & SHAPES), Almine Rech Gallery, Paris, France (2014); A Drawing Show, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York (2014); A Chromatic Loss, Bortolami Gallery, New York (2014); Sunset and Pussy, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York (2013); and Elles, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011).
David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) channeled a vast accumulation of raw images, memories, and lived experiences into a powerful visual language 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’s legacy affirms art’s vivifying power in a culture he viewed as alienating and corrosive. P·P·O·W will present a series of “supermarket posters,” which Wojnarowicz created in 1983 for a solo exhibition at Civilian Warfare. For this exhibition, Wojnarowicz painted and printed on found objects as a way of responding to what he called our “pre-invented world.” The artist later explained that he used the supermarket posters as visual markers for a specific time in our culture of moral, mental, and physical consumption. Wojnarowicz’s work 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. His works are 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 in 1990, curated by Barry Blinderman and at the New Museum in 1999 curated by Dan Cameron. A third retrospective, David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night, co-curated by David Kiehl and David Breslin, will open at the Whitney Museum of American Art in Summer 2018.
Martin Wong (1946-1999) moved to Manhattan in 1978, from his native San Francisco, and eventually settled on the Lower East Side. There, his attention turned exclusively to painting the urban life in the surrounding storefronts, tenements, and streets, as well as neighborhood denizens including firemen, boxers, the incarcerated, graffiti artists, and families. P·P·O·W will present Compulsion, 1985, an 11-foot tall acrylic painting that epitomizes Wong’s downtown scenes wherein a night sky filled with constellations is glimpsed through a cavern of red-brick, windowless tenements. A chain-link fence cuts across the lower-third of the canvas revealing a shadowy figure smoking a cigarette with his back turned to the viewer. Atop the canvas, finely articulated gold-edged hand signals transcribe the work’s title, as well as the phrase “suspects life a jigsaw puzzle”. Integrated into the hand signals, in Spanish, is a poet description of the scene below: “Sergio smoked a cigarette while thinking of everything that happened two nights ago.” 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 in 1998. City as Canvas: New York City Graffiti from the Martin Wong Collection opened at the Museum of the City of New York in 2013 and traveled to the Amsterdam Museum in 2016. 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 is on view at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive from September 20 – December 10, 2017.