P∙P∙O∙W is pleased to exhibit historical and contemporary works by artists Ben Gocker, Anthony Iacono, Anton van Dalen, Aurel Schmidt and Martin Wong.
Ben Gocker (b. 1979) Working with wood scraps from carpenter shop dumpsters, discarded newspapers and found objects from the beach in Coney Island where he lived and worked as a librarian, Gocker has created three new large scale works he describes as arrangements. These sculptural arrangements are not fixed in their current state. Each element is carved and wired individually and can be rearranged, drawing inspiration from children’s puzzle books, online word searches and Heathcliff comics. The works constitute a new approach to narrative and poetic space, establishing a catalog of memories from his two years of living and working in his Coney Island studio apartment. Gocker was born in Rochester, NY and currently lives and works in Tupper Lake, NY. He received an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His work has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions including Wallspace, NY and Bikini Wax Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico. He has also given readings at Simone Subal Gallery, James Fuentes, Regina Rex, Interstate Projects and the New Museum. His works are in private and public collections and has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, The Village Voice and The New Yorker.
Anthony Iacono (b. 1987) Iacono's painted cutout collage technique updates the art historical languages of pop art and representation to further explore the body and its relationship to objects. Quotidian objects are always the foundation for Iacono's works. Fruit, plants and curtains are reconfigured from their original functions to ones of adolescent curiosity and physical pleasure. Performative gestures interact with these objects and transform into furniture and mirror the architecture of a space. Caught in private moments of leisure and play, the subjects are posed in theatrical scenarios and frozen “still life” gestures that are heightened by a high-contrast palette and sharp graphic form. Stillness plays an important role in all of the works, the objects lock truncated body parts into place, arresting any motion from the submissive subjects. Iacono was born in 1987 in Nyack, NY and currently lives and works in Richmond, Virginia. He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York (2010) and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2013) and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA (2007). He received the Robert M. Washburn Award for the Arts; Arts Council of Rockland Scholarship Award (2010). He has been included in group shows and project rooms in various Brooklyn and NY venues since 2009.
Aurel Schmidt (b. 1982) is best known for her intricate drawings that straddle the line between beauty and decay. With her new body of work, Schmidt combines intricate pencil drawing with gestural charcoal, text, rhinestones, metallic ink and body jewelry. Questioning standard conventions of femininity and masculinity, Schmidt often employs bodily references as a feminist commenting on gender dynamics, but also as anatomical specimens for lovingly meticulous study. Her site-specific installation will consists of three 8 x 4 foot panels that are densely layered with gnarled, natural imagery evoking a forest floor stuffed with vaginal flowers, sinewy roots, hostile beasts and venomous insects. Schmidt has exhibited nationally and internationally, with solo exhibitions at Deitch Projects, New York; Peres Projects, Los Angeles and The Fireplace Project, East Hampton; and has organized numerous pop-up exhibitions throughout New York City. Schmidt was included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial and has contributed to group exhibitions Andrea Rosen, New York; Marianne Boesky, New York; Marlborough Chelsea, New York; Saatchi Gallery, London; 247365, New York and Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna. Her work has been featured in published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, Interview, Paper, T Magazine and Forbes Magazine. In 2016 she opened her own gallery entitled “Romeo” to show case drawings by artists. Schmidt was born in British Columbia and currently lives and works in New York City. Her debut solo exhibition with P∙P∙O∙W will be in the fall of 2017.
Anton van Dalen (b. 1927) was born in Amstelveen, Holland and lives in New York City. Van Dalen immigrated to New York in 1972 and has lived in the East Village, documenting the dramatic cultural shifts in the neighborhood through paintings, drawings, prints, stencils, collage works, and performances. Beginning his career as an artist playing the role of passive observer, van Dalen quietly captured the rapidly changing scene in the East Village, depicting the transformation of the people, cars, and storefronts that populated Avenue A. On view is van Dalen’s series Junk Kulture from 2004, drawing influence from the political issues of the time, in particular the presidential campaign between George W Bush and John Kerry which became heated surrounding the “colossal failure of judgement” towards the invasion of Iraq and Bush’s plans for a missile defense system. Through his work, van Dalen at once captured the sadness, tension, and vibrancy of the 70s and 80s, and the politics, commercialization, and nostalgia for a bygone era in the decades that followed. He has been included in group exhibitions at notable institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; New Museum, New York; Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, and the New York Historical Society. He has also been the subject of solo exhibitions at Temple Gallery, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia; University Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Exit Art, New York.
Martin Wong (1946-1999) During the '70s, Wong was active in the San Francisco Bay Area art scene and was involved with the performance art groups The Cockettes and Angels of Light. He enrolled in Humboldt State University in Arcata, California in 1964 to study ceramics. 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, as well as to create intimate portraits of the neighborhood, placing his work in line with the early American Realist painters like Reginald Marsh and George Bellows. Through his visual diary he built a landscape of stacked bricks, crumbling tenements, constellations, closed storefronts and hand signals. His narratives were populated by the neighborhood's denizens including firemen, boxers, the incarcerated, graffiti artists, and families. At The Armory Show P∙P∙O∙W will exhibit a rarely seen series of works on paper that capture his then town of residence, Eureka, California before the rapid onslaught of “Urban Renewal.” It was through this series that Wong became known as “The Human Instamatic” rapidly capturing day to day life like that of an Instamatic camera. Wong published an artist book of the series in 1977 entitled Eureka and in the introduction he states his intentions that “..I’m not the kind of artist that’s really concerned with formalistic type art problems. It’s just that downtown Eureka is sort of like my living room you know and what I’m trying to say is that I really object to the fact that they’re tearing it apart faster than the eye can possibly catch…” Wong's works are charged with a multitude of levels that address the artist's personal, poetic, and social concerns, reflecting a sense of compassion and self-identification within his subjects that still resonates today. Wong’s 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). 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 will open at the UC Berkeley Art Museum in San Francisco, California in the fall of 2017.