Frieze Viewing Room
May 8 - May 15, 2020
Press release for exhibition Frieze Viewing Room
Frieze Viewing Room
May 8 – 15, 2020
P·P·O·W is pleased to present new works by Ann Agee, Kyle Dunn, Hilary Harkness, Joe Houston, Sanam Khatibi, Gerald Lovell, Guadalupe Maravilla, Erin M. Riley, and Robin F. Williams, alongside historical works by Anton van Dalen and Martin Wong.
Anton van Dalen (b. 1938) has pursued a lifelong visual investigation informed by the influences of war, religion, migration, nature, and technological evolution. Van Dalen’s Science Fiction series, 1983, depicts human and animal cyborgs embroiled in an intergalactic battle. Juxtaposing hyper-sexualized anatomy with religious and capitalist symbols, van Dalen’s colorful future imports age-old cultural tensions into uncharted new dimensions. Van Dalen 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. His Avenue A Cut-Out Theatre has toured since 1995 both nationally and internationally and has been shown at numerous institutions including The Drawing Center, the Museum of Modern Art, and The New York Historical Society.
Hilary Harkness (b. 1971) explores interpersonal dynamics through a lens that allows power struggles inherent in sex, race and class systems to play out on an uncensored stage. Harkness has recently been engaged in an ongoing series transforming Winslow Homer’s iconic Civil War era painting Prisoners from the Front, 1866 into an alternative narrative about an enduring relationship between Homer’s protagonist, General Barlow, and a fictitious, free Virginia landowner, Arabella Freeman. In Arabella and the General, 2020, Arabella sneaks into Barlow’s tent while he is expecting her brother Charles, who is in his regiment. Harkness holds a BA from University of California, Berkeley and an MFA from Yale University. She has exhibited worldwide, including Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain; American Academy of Arts and Letters; and Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 2014, she co-curated Roy Lichtenstein: Nudes and Interiors at FLAG Art Foundation. In 2017, she received the Henry Clews Award and attended the inaugural Master Residency Program at the Château de La Napoule in France.
Since first exhibiting with P·P·O·W in 1984, Joe Houston (1962) has increasingly distilled potent imagery of commonplace objects and gestures into modestly-scaled paintings that are emblematic of broader environmental and social concerns. His latest body of work focuses on fragmented images of ancient statuary displaying varying degrees of genital mutilation, the result of either accidental damage or intentional iconoclasm. These disfigured historical representations of gods and heroes evoke lasting themes surrounding sexuality, representation, shame and censorship, or “desire and consequences” as the artist puts it. Houston pursued undergraduate studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and earned his MFA from Northwestern University’s Department of Art Theory & Practice. His honors include an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell Colony and the Bemis Foundation. His work is in numerous collections including the Allen Memorial Arts Museum, MIT List Visual Arts Center, RISD Museum, and Yale University Art Gallery.
Sanam Khatibi (b. 1979) works in painting, tapestry, embroidery, sculpture and installation, citing a global range of art historical references. Her works frequently depict dreamily mythological female protagonists in fantastical landscapes, exposing primal impulses and innate animality. Informed by the hunting scenes characteristic of Persian fiber arts and the Medieval and Renaissance traditions of Belgian weaving, tapestry has been a consistent medium for Khatibi’s historically allusive and resolutely multicultural landscapes. There is a Gorgon here who thinks I’m gate crashing, 2020, continues her investigation of brutality, obedience, and seduction, revealing humanity’s inherent embrace of contradiction and forcing a reevaluation of age-old dichotomies of fear and desire, as well as triumph and failure. Khatibi was born in Tehran, Iran and lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. She is self-taught and has been featured in exhibitions around the world, including group exhibitions in Paris, Florence, Los Angeles, Istanbul, Mexico City, New York, Marseille, Vienna, and Warsaw, among others. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at BPS22 in Belgium, as well as Rodolphe Janssen in Brussels and P·P·O·W in New York.
Garnering immediate recognition for his instinctual approach and heavily impastoed canvases, Gerald Lovell (b. 1992) utilizes his background in fashion and photography, readily accessible internet tutorials, and his tight-knit, Atlanta-based community of creatives to drive his burgeoning painting practice. Informed by his deeply rooted commitment to fostering alternative community narratives, Lovell imbues his subjects with the psychical apparatuses of social agency and self-determinative power. Lovell paints from semi-candid photographs taken during intimate moments with the people in his life. Combining thin flat painting with thick daubs of impasto, Lovell creates a fleshy materiality that reifies dualities experienced within one’s own skin. At once referencing European figurative traditions and influenced by artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Kahinde Wiley, and Titus Kaphor, Lovell captures the present moment in order to preserve, honor, and make visible collective experience of African America millennial life. 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 his first solo show with the gallery in 2020.
Ann Agee (b. 1959) investigates domesticity, material culture and personal history to create ceramic sculptures and mixed media installations that deploy appropriation, mimicry and serial reproduction. After encountering a folk pottery salt cellar in the form of a Madonna and Child at the Palazzo Davanzati in Florence, Agee has since produced myriad versions of this classical motif and similarly outfitted them for domestic utility. Each is “manufactured” in different clays, glazes, and slips, but all feature an uncharacteristic element: a female child. Agee’s motivation for this subtle subversion is to produce new objects and images where girls are afforded the same reverence and potential that Western culture has long reserved for boys. Ann Agee lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She has presented installations at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA. Her work has been included in notable group exhibitions, including Bad Girls at the New Museum, NY; Dirt on Delight at the Institute of Contemporary Art, PA and the Walker Art Center, MN; and Conversations in Clay at the Katonah Art Museum, NY. Agee has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, 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 The Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY;The Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; The RISD Art Museum, RI; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; The Henry Art Museum in Seattle, WA; and The Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI, among others.
Drawing upon various artistic traditions such as bas-relief sculpture and trompe l'oeil, Kyle Dunn (b. 1990) reveals the vibrancy of the masculine emotional landscape often repressed in visual popular culture. Imbuing his sculptural paintings with liquid eroticism and cinematic drama, Dunn’s bowed, bent, and arching figures, set in deceptive architectural spaces, ache with delicate and sensual desire. In Dirt God, 2020, Dunn expands his psychologically charged architectural spaces to the outdoors. Sprawled in muddy repose, this muscular yet graceful figure slumbers along rolling track marks, surrounded by foliage and clear pools of water. Bridging that gap between internal and external spaces, Dunn utilizes the water’s reflective clarity to provide his “dirt god” with a mirrored embrace, almost transporting him to the arms of lover. Dunn lives and works in Queens, NY and received a BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). His work has been included in exhibitions at 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 Into Open Air, Dunn’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, in 2020.
Combining histories of pre-colonial Central America, personal mythology, and collaborative rituals, Guadalupe Maravilla (b. 1976) traces the multi-layered narrative of displacement in performance, drawing, and mixed-media objects. Maravilla’s ongoing drawing series Tripa Chuca begins by digitally reconstructing elements of a 16th century manuscript describing indigenous customs, crossing routes, and landmarks of indigenous Central American communities. The manuscripts are then cut and collaged with elements of Maravilla’s personal mythology and iconography, including totemic symbols painted onto tortillas. Tripa Chuca, which translates to “Dirty Guts,” is a Salvedorian game Maravilla played along his journey to the United States. Maravilla lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Richmond, Virginia, where he is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts, and his MFA from Hunter College in New York. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 2019. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; among others.
Erin M. Riley (b. 1985) is a fiber artist who renders erotic 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. Affair, The, 2020, a large-scale new work completed in self-isolation, is influenced by the pulpy television show The Affair, which chronicled the lasting implications of traumatic sexual relationships. A self-portrait that reveals intimate tattoos but, notably, not the artist’s face, Affair, The is Riley’s latest effort to process the roots and ramifications of her mediated sexual practice. 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. 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.”
Robin F. Williams (b. 1984) juxtaposes a variety of techniques, including oil, airbrush, poured paint, and staining of raw canvas to create deeply textured and complexly constructed paintings. Known for her large-scale paintings of stylized, sentient, yet ambiguously generated female figures, Williams’ pastel works began as the compositional road map to her complexly constructed paintings. However, they have since transcended this original purpose to become the emotional core of her practice. In Ghost at War (Study), 2020, Williams transforms her signature “zombie nude” into a female phantom, her eyes and genitalia described similarly as simple red slits haloed by the ephemeral body of the apparition. Based on a Newport cigarette ads, Ghost at War (Study) fuses early modernism, popculture, and the staged informality of advertising to challenge systemic conventions of representation of women. In the wake of COVID-19, Ghost at War (Study) also personifies feelings powerlessness and futility in face of what at times seem like age old struggles. Williams was born in Ohio and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Recent exhibitions include With Pleasure at Various Small Fires, Los Angeles, as well as numerous group exhibitions nationally and internationally including Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York; Flag Art Foundation, New York; and Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York. P·P·O·W will present Williams’ fourth solo exhibition with the gallery in 2021.
After having painted New York’s Lower East Side throughout the 1980s, Martin Wong (1946 – 1999) concentrated on the roots of his identity as a third generation Chinese-American in his final body of work, the Chinatown paintings. Depicting architectural facades, festivals, interior scenes, and figures from popular culture, Wong described this series as a lifelong pursuit for the technical ability to represent his identity. First exhibited in Chinatown USA at P·P·O·W in 1993, Saturday Night, 1992, is one of several portrayals of Chinese-American homosexuality, works that reveal the intimacy and depth of personal inquiry which suffused the series. Saturday Night was exhibited the following year, in his hometown of San Francisco, in the Art Institute’s Martin Wong: The Chinatown Paintings, and was also included in his first retrospective Sweet Oblivion: The Urban Landscapes of Martin Wong, at the New Museum, New York, in 1998, the year before his death from AIDS-related complications. Wong was active in the performance art groups The Cockettes and Angels of Light before moving to New York in 1978. He exhibited for two decades at notable downtown galleries including EXIT ART, Semaphore and P·P·O·W, among others. His work is represented in the collections of 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; among others. Human Instamatic, a comprehensive retrospective, opened at the Bronx Museum of The Arts, New York, in 2015, and traveled to the Wexner Center in Columbus, Ohio in 2016 and UC Berkeley Art Museum in 2017.