FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nicole Miller: The Borrowers
March 19–May 16, 2015
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 19, 6–8PM
Koenig & Clinton is pleased to announce The Borrowers, the gallery’s first exhibition of video works by Los Angeles-based artist Nicole Miller. The Borrowers features three recent single-channel videos played in tandem: David, Ndinda, and Anthony. Their subjects as their namesakes, the works spotlight unique individuals, set against an ambiguous backdrop, whose performances employ representation, appropriation, and theater as tools for reconstituting that which has been lost.
Implementing a method common to the artist’s practice, Miller devised a controlled narrative structure for David, Ndinda, and Anthony within which her subjects were free to extemporize at their discretion. Whether through storytelling, improvisation, or mimicry, these unscripted moments enabled access to authenticity during performance.
In David, a man stands askew in front of a mirror while recounting the story of random violence that resulted in the loss of his left arm. Simultaneously, he gesticulates to generate a false image of his missing appendage in his own reflection — an exercise that relieves the pain of phantom limb. Ndinda introduces a narrator who intersperses dialogue with unprompted eruptions of roaring laughter. An instructor of therapeutic Hasya Yoga (laughing yoga), Ndinda utilizes the same method of performance for the camera that she offers in her classes, triggering a parallel cathartic response in the video’s viewers.
Framed by theatrical spotlights and crimson drapes, Anthony Aquarius takes center stage as a Jimi Hendrix impersonator. For the duration of Anthony, the musician performs “Ain’t Got No/I Got Life”, two songs originally composed for the musical Hair that were combined and made famous by Nina Simone. The singer first lists material items she does not possess (“I ain't got no home/ain't got no shoes”), then follows with attributes of her physical vitality (“Got my liver, got my blood/I've got life”). Haunting the present with vestiges of the past, Anthony offers its audience a borrowed persona, whose body signifies both presence and absence: the image of a lost figure, extolling the power of physicality through song.
Nicole Miller (b. 1982, Tucson) received her M.F.A. from the Roski School of the Arts, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Solo exhibitions of her work include: Artists’ Film International: Nicole Miller, Ballroom Marfa; The Conductor, High Line Channel 22, New York City; Believing is Seeing, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Death of a School, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneve; and The Conductor, LAXART, Los Angeles. Miller has also participated in prominent group exhibitions such as: Made in L.A. biennial, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2012); Dallas Biennale, Dallas Contemporary (2012); and The Bearden Project, Studio Museum in Harlem (2011). Her work is represented in public collections including The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. Miller has been the recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant (2013); the Artadia Award (2013); and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award (2012), among others. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles.
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Ginger Wolfe-Suarez: A Thing Repeated Is Not Always All The Same
March 21 - May 2, 2015
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Opening: Saturday, March 21st, 2015 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
DIANE ROSENSTEIN is pleased to announce Ginger Wolfe-Suarez: A Thing Repeated Is Not Always All The Same, a solo exhibition of sculpture by the Los Angeles-based artist. A Thing Repeated Is Not Always All The Same opens Saturday, March 21st, with a reception for the artist from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. This is Wolfe-Suarez' first exhibition with the gallery.
Ginger Wolfe-Suarez is an installation artist who examines historical concepts of representation, body-object relationship, and methods of production. This exhibition, which has been conceptualized and built over the past four years, is a sculptural installation that evokes a deep sense of the psychology of space. A Thing Repeated Is Not Always All The Same presents distinct series of works designed as an interrelated composition.
There is a perceptual and emotive quality to this work, notably in the Color Fields: hand-dyed yarn that has been dipped in scented oils and then suspended in an elegant geometric form between gallery walls. Wolfe-Suarez began her Color Fields in 2009 as an exploration into mass and volume through the use of linear and planar elements. The scented yarn creates soft barriers which involve an ephemeral movement of air. Her work engages in experiential sensibilities such as the concept of ‘mood'.
The title A Thing Repeated Is Not Always All The Same refers to her series of sculptures which are made of wood, drywall, and framed photocopies. The artist photocopies flower arrangements as a basis for intricately hand-drawn collaged drawings that are framed then mounted onto individual wall segments made of drywall and wood. These drawings form a recurring image in a sculptural installation. The process refers to documentation and the artist's ongoing interest in the relationship between image 'speed', labor and time.
Also on view in this exhibition is a series of lightboxes that offer iterations of a single family photograph. These lightboxes continue Wolfe-Suarez’ deployment of light, shadow, repetition and reflection into the gallery space in an effort to integrate medium and method.
About The Artist:
Ginger Wolfe-Suarez (USA, b. 1980) received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2002) and an MFA from the University of California, Berkeley (2009), where she received the Eisner Award. At the core of her practice is a renegotiation of memory, exchange, and production. Using a poetic association and transformation of ready-made materials, her work includes performance, sculpture, writing, and installation. Wolfe-Suarez's work has been included in exhibitions at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), San Francisco, CA and Artist Curated Projects, Los Angeles, CA. She recently had an exhibition (with Primitivo Suarez) at the The Luckman Gallery at California State University, Los Angeles (2015). Wolfe-Suarez taught art and critical theory in the graduate program at San Francisco Art Institute; was a co-founder of Critique Program & Press, which she ran with artists Primitivo Suarez and Robert Olsen. She was recently awarded a residency at SOMA, Mexico City, Mexico. Ginger Wolfe-Suarez lives and works in Los Angeles.
A Thing Repeated Is Not Always All The Same is on view through May 2nd, 2015.
Pékin Fine Arts is pleased to host “Sun, Water and Wind”, the gallery’s 1st solo exhibit of artist Aniwar Mamet. Aniwar’s oil on canvas and mixed media paintings were most recently seen in the 1st Xinjiang International Art Biennale (2014) in Urumqi; and, at Pékin Fine Arts Beijing gallery’s group exhibition “Why Paint?” (April – June 2013). His wool felt tapestry works were included in the international group exhibit “Decorum: Carpets and Tapestries By Artists” (Apr 26 – Jul 13, 2014) jointly organized by the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the Shanghai Power Station of Art. The current exhibit, “Sun, Water and Wind”, presents the artist’s most recent exploration of traditional Uyghur (Xinjiang) tapestry making techniques adapted to his designs.
Aniwar’s reinterpretations of Uyghur wool felt tapestries, just completed in cooperation with local Xinjiang craftsman, will premiere at Pékin Fine Arts, together with Aniwar’s short documentary film. The film records a painstaking rolled-felt production process in a remote Uyghur village, as the artist introduces his fastidious taste for minimalist abstraction to local craftsmen, by arranging strips of color bands, one-by-one, across the soaked, pressed and rolled sheep’s wool felt. The film captures - without directly addressing - the stark divide between Xinjiang city-dwellers and rural villagers. What is also plainly evident is the uncertain future of traditional handcrafts and skilled craftsmen, (here, paying tribute to the unique skills of Uyghur wool felt rolling and color - dying artisans), against market demand for mass-produced, machine-made goods.
Aniwar, a Uyghur-rooted, Beijing-based abstractionist of long-standing (since the late 1990’s), has built a career on quietly challenging prevailing social-realist norms. His fidelity to abstraction, long pre-dating the art world’s fashionable embrace of the neo-pop, op art abstraction of today, remains at the core of his determined artistic strategy. In recent years, the artist has experimented with adapting traditional Uyghur felt making to his vision of contemporary abstraction. Whether on felt or on canvas, the artist’s abstract works are consistently minimalist, comprised of bright contrasting color bands, rejecting more popular narrative, folkloric motifs, while retaining the vivid Central Asian colors used in traditional Xinjiang carpet and textile design. Aniwar’s colors – taken from his Uyghur heritage – embrace the brighter hues first imported to China by Uyghur carpet makers over 1000 years ago via the Silk Road, and differ radically from colors preferred by the Han of Eastern China. Even today, the more vivid Central Asian color palette remains far removed from Beijing’s preferred greys, and Imperial reds and yellows.
Today, the artist’s painterly choices are extended to his felt tapestries: Aniwar’s compositions are decidedly the product of his minimalist aesthetic, while his fidelity to a Uyghur color palette remains traditional. The colors chosen are never arbitrary and instead reflect a fidelity to his heritage. His felt tapestry making color choices may also stem from local limitations, reflecting limited access to dyes in these remote and economically challenged Xinjiang villages. The foreground or main body of each felt tapestry for instance is either off white or dark brown, remaining un-dyed, and true to the original lamb’s wool colors. Only the bands of color are dyed. On a practical level, the mash-up of contemporary design and traditional Uyghur colors makes the work a bit more familiar to local craftsman, does not radically inflate production costs, and is likely providing a simpler means of gaining their initial cooperation. Despite the modern film shoot, the world of the craftsman seems almost medieval, relying on skills and basic tools little changed over the centuries.
The artist’s experiments conducted in this remote Xinjiang village, marrying contemporary abstraction and age-old wool felt craftsmanship, is admirably idiosyncratic and typical of Aniwar’s singular vision. Aniwar consistently challenges so-called prevailing wisdom, deftly sidestepping artificial boundaries created by market demands. Unmoved by popular trends, Aniwar’s is a personal quest, a never-ending lifetime pursuit exploring the language of abstraction and cultural heritage. His unwavering determination to go his own way is Aniwar’s greatest strength – and may one day be among his greatest contributions to the Chinese contemporary art scene.
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