BODY OF RESEARCH
SEPTEMBER 10 - OCTOBER 08, 2016
Sloan Projects is pleased to announce Body of Research, a multimedia group exhibition with works by Rose-Lynn Fisher, Adele Mills, Brittany Neimeth, Amanda Vincelli, Ireland Wisdom and Jenifer Yeuroukis. This exhibition will be on view September 10 through October 08, 2016 in the gallery’s annex in building A5. Please join us for a public reception for the artists on Saturday, September 10th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
Body of Research brings together work by six women artists, all of which utilize the body as a site of investigation and revelation. The exhibition consists primarily of photographic prints, augmented by single works in video, charcoal and fabric.
Amanda Vincelli’s Regimen documents the medicinal regimens of 100 women ages 21 to 35 — specifically, the motivations behind their often-changing consumption of or abstention from pharmaceuticals, supplements, vitamins, and recreational drugs. A selection of portraits from this project presents a cross-section of young women stripped of ornamentation, raw, without makeup, without posturing, and each confronting the camera directly and openly. Revealing testimonials in the subjects’ own handwriting compliment and deepen our understanding of how these women navigate issues like reproductive health and body image in a society where there is pervasive pressure to outperform one’s natural disposition. By chronicling the medicinal rituals of these young subjects, the artist examines processes and outcomes of diagnosis and normalizing perceptions of health - asking: what is natural? Who and what can we trust?
A selection from Rose-Lynn Fisher’s The Topography of Tears illustrates her in-depth study of 100 tears photographed through an optical microscope. The project began in a period of personal change for the artist, characterized by loss and copious tears. The random compositions Fisher discovered in her magnified tears evoke an eerily earthly place, as if they are aerial views of emotional terrain. Although the empirical nature of tears is a chemistry of water, proteins, minerals, hormones, antibodies and enzymes, the topography of tears is an ephemeral landscape, as transient as the fingerprint of someone in a dream. The artist writes:
“Tears are the medium of our most primal language in moments as unrelenting as death, as basic as hunger, and as complex as a rite of passage. They are the evidence of our inner life overflowing its boundaries, spilling over into consciousness. Wordless and spontaneous, they release us to the possibility of realignment, reunion, catharsis: shedding tears, shedding old skin. It’s as though each one of our tears carries a microcosm of the collective human experience, like one drop of an ocean.”
In Brittany Neimeth’s Viscerality series, the female body loses its purely figurative quality in favor of a play of forms. The artist uses flesh sculpturally to expand and recede the body while utilizing the tropes of fetish and bondage with ropes and restriction. The smooth, malleable flesh of the zaftig female form is squeezed and molded like soft clay into sensual abstraction, filling the photographic frame unabashedly. The conscious absence of props and narrative elements, the stark backgrounds and the even, clinical lighting, lend these images a direct and genuine quality that distinguishes them from idealized and romanticized images of subordinate women in traditional bondage.
Jenifer Yeuroukis is a multi-media artist who often incorporates her own body into her work. As the artist states “performing my body as a site of struggle that is subjugated to culture, politics and history is my way of wrestling with my own conscious and gleeful participation in this struggle.” In her video Her Zealous Preservation we witness this struggle being played out as she contorts her body to fit into a single drawer in an open refrigerator. Simultaneously discomforting and playful, the work illustrates the artist’s interest in how items of everyday use trigger feelings of physical inadequacy in women’s psyches, as well as the duality of absurd humor and painful effort that exists in the process of maintaining beauty standards and self preservation.
Still Looking by Adele Mills, originated with the artist’s Bloodline Project, a series of portraits exploring the interruption of the mother/child connection at birth. Using video/camera eye tracking technology, the artist recorded the eye movements of volunteers as they looked at portraits of the birth mothers they were searching for but had not yet found. These portraits were rendered using forensic techniques, based upon information provided by the children. The eye-tracking device traced the gaze of the participants when they looked at the “face” of their mothers for the very first time, their gaze often focusing on the eyes of the portrait as if to illicit a much desired response. Still Looking is rendered in Mills' signature technique, combining a print on fabric over a print on paper in a shadow-box format. The effect allows for a deeper level of connection to the movement implied by the traces from the eye-tracking mechanism.
And finally, a drawing of the Venus de Milo, in charcoal and white chalk on toned paper, by Ireland Wisdom. This exquisite rendering of the Hellenistic icon of femininity was created from life while the artist was studying abroad in Europe. With tenderness and gravitas, the artist presents the Venus de Milo in all of her sensuality and grace, her missing arms reminding us of the beauty and mystery of physical imperfection, damage and loss.
REBECA PUGA : NEW PAINTINGS
SEPTEMBER 10 - OCTOBER 15, 2016
Sloan Projects is pleased to announce Rebeca Puga : New Paintings. A recent selection of oil paintings will be on view September 10 through October 15, 2016. Please join us for a public reception for the artist on Saturday, September 10th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
The paintings of Chilean-born artist Rebeca Puga are based on her investigations into how we see and experience the space that surrounds us and how that parallels our consciousness and perception of time. Her canvases possess a dynamic sense of incompletion, where line and shape are continually coming into definition. Puga imbues her work with a high level of gestural energy, constantly reworking her paintings until they vibrate with a sense of expansion and erasure, coming and going, being and unbecoming.
Her specific sensibility is informed, in part, by her experience as an immigrant to California, which at times has made Puga extremely aware of living between two cultures where her Chilean background was encountering a new and intense American world. In the 1990s, for example, Puga was highly influenced by how human beings are constructed by language, how we are constantly translating, reading and decoding while going about our daily lives. The work from this period reflects this experience and materialized in the form of paintings based on writing and drawing - work that positioned itself on the fine edge of readability. Drawing as well as writing allowed Puga's work to capture elements and configurations which are constantly in flux. They also situated the work in this crossing between cultures, between expressing and exercising silence.
The focus of Puga's later work, became close observation of the environment, where she zoomed in on issues related to space and the human need to feel oriented. She had a particular interest in our desire to clearly identify and name places, which sometimes are merely psychological spaces.
"Following this line of thought I looked at real things in the world: the floor in our bedroom, a view from a small window, a piece of fabric, and a hoop. The paintings are not literal, there is a translation involved and memories are incorporated adding a layer of fragmentation and displacement to the work. They could look abstract but they are so by virtue of allegiance, not by a decision, because its source was not abstraction in itself but our environment."
In her recent paintings, Puga's interest in the translation of the observed environment continues. Elements of handwriting are reawakened as colorful lines looping through soft color fields, while vessel-like structures appear as elements in a landscape of interlocking shapes. Hints of Los Angeles emerge as broken horizon lines and loose architectural forms like compositional scaffolding that falls in and out of perspective. In the epic, Home and Away, the artist orients the viewer with a blackened sky, a burst of yellow sun and the suggestion of a field, then disrupts this sense of balance with a web of vibrant forms alluding to a basketball hoop, a dish, a lamp perhaps, a fence on the edge of a void, a glimpse of urban sprawl floating in non-space. In other works, like Ice Pink, the artist draws inspiration from an ice hockey rink. Her memory of the cold emanating from the surface of the ice is conveyed with an intense pink hue and colorful lines winding upward to the top of the canvas suggest the transformation of ice into water vapor.
Picking up on cues from artists like Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly, Amy Sillman, and Roberto Matta, the artist creates compositions where figuration, abstraction and fantastical three dimensional space commingle. Boundaries dissolve and form functions much like memories that slip in and out of focus.