Adds Donna is pleased to present Leeza Meksin and Yevgeniya Baras in a two-person exhibition titled “Hide.”
Skin as material and metaphor links the practices of Leeza Meksin and Yevgeniya Baras. The two met in New York in 2009. After exchanging studio visits, a playful dialog formed around issues of gender, materiality, and humor. Their shared concerns in worked surfaces, pattern, and texture, along with their immigrant histories, created a lively forum for development and conversation. Together for Hide, they will present works that explore the depths of superficiality.
In Yevgeniya Baras’s paintings, surface is treated with witch-like fixation. Holes are punctured, and then stitched back together. Marks are violently scratched through the paint like flesh wounds. And various foreign materials such as sticks, yarn, and bits of wood are unceremoniously stuck into the façade, like facial piercings. For Baras, the physicality of these gestures imbues her paintings with all the strength of feeling and tragic beauty of the body itself.
Leeza Meksin’s sculptures and installations often involve draping, wrapping, and stretching objects with flamboyant fabrics, thus evoking the glitz and galmour of theater costuming. Like Baras, she has a distinct fascination with exteriors, though hers perhaps is more attuned to gaudy embellishment rather than corporeal transfiguration. Her use of culturally charged materials, particularly spandex, also lends a pronounced bodily humor to her already elaborate lexicon.
Yevgeniya Baras was born in Samara, Russia, immigrating to the United States in 1993. She received a BA in Psychology and Fine Arts and MA in Education from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003, and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. She has exhibited nationally, including Store Front Gallery in New York, Grizzly Grizzly in Philadelphia, Suzanne Hilberry Gallery in Detroit, and Western Exhibitions in Chicago. In 2010, she co-founded Regina Rex Gallery in Brooklyn. And as a result from the Blue Print Fellowship, she will be curating a four- person traveling exhibition to New York, Los Angeles, Berlin and Jerusalem later this year. Yevgeniya currently lives and works in New York.
Leeza Meksin was born in Moscow, Russia and immigrated to the United States in 1989. She received a BA in Comparative Literature and MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago in 2000, a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005, and an MFA from Yale School of Art in 2007. She has shown extensively in the U.S., including exhibitions at Regina Rex in New York, Cosign Projects in St. Louis, The Abington Art Center in Philadelphia, and The Glass Curtain Gallery at Columbia College in Chicago. Leeza currently lives and works in New York.