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Allegra LaViola Gallery is pleased to present “Pornucopia”\, a group exhibition featuring painting\, works on paper\, video\, sculpture and installation pieces.

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The exhibition takes the ide a of plenty as its starting point. Once a notion so incredible it was given as a gift by the Gods\, the idea of abundance is now an every day experien ce. Supermarkets are filled with brightly colored packaged foods that never rot and barely dressed women are used to sell everything from toilet paper to toothbrushes. In this world of excess\, what do we use to fill the void ?

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In Ryan Alexiev’s The Wizard of O’s we are introduced to a shockingly bright landscape of breakfast cereal. Refer encing the poppy induced journey that Dorothy and her friends undertook\, A lexiev builds a city out of neon dust\; just as the Wizard in the story tur ned out to be just a little man behind a curtain\, so too the fantastical s cenery here is only air with additive colors. Our sweet tooth is indulged a gain by Josh Atlas\, whose “Donut Spa” is blackly humorous: the usua l image of a svelte woman surrounded by celery is replaced by the revolting overabundance of sugary donuts\, so many that the man in question is engul fed by the tide of dessert.

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Junk food makes an appeara nce in the work of Paul Brainard\, whose paintings and drawings comb ine the advertiser’s artful positioning with an onslaught of provocative im ages. Like navigating a video game or super highway\, information is thrown at us from every angle\, asking us to pause and indulge before being repla ced by another equally captivating vision. Advertising also makes an appear ance in Duncan Hannah’s cheeky collages\, though what is on offer is not a straightforward as it seems. Similarly\, the kaleidoscope world of < b>Kara Maria\, where aging naked women guzzle gasoline\, is couched in the static world of TV and advertising. Images once used to be alluring are transformed into horrifying combinations\, no longer seducing\, just frigh tening. Tom Sanford does not shy away from transforming the ignoble into the stately\, either. An unappealing trio of celebrity women are named The Three Graces\, and the simple beer can and rolled bill are changed fro m mere tools of indulgence to monumental icons. The celebration of beauty a nd elegance comes up empty when what is venerated is hollow.

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Taking a more delicate approach\, Catherine Howe presents ric hly constructed still lives that vibrate with veiled energy. From deep with in the fecund arrangements\, small ghosts manifest and then disappear as ou r gaze shifts. There are no preservatives here: the bounty is real\, but ro tting. The classical also informs the work of Alison Blickle\, Sarah Kur z and Panni Malekzadeh\, whose beautiful women frolic indoors an d out. Though the characters seem complicit in their seductive gestures\, t heir cinematic allure is all for an audience of no one. Like the airbrushed women who wink from the pages of pornography magazines in solitary splendo r\, these figures are performing for the viewer alone.

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The more graphic sexual content of pornography is embraced by Stephen I rwin\, whose works are the classic embodiment of “know it when you see it” pornography. Even with the choice bits missing there is no question wha t is going on here. Ion Birch’s cartoon romps seem innocent from afa r\, but viewed for more than a second leave no doubt as to what is going on . Amanda Church and Daniel Lyons also thrust the explicit at us\, leaving little doubt as to how we approach and commodity the bodies pr esented as objects. And if it is action we are after Will Kurtz\, Lyle S tarr and Prudence Whittlesey do not shy away from delivering the goods.

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As we give ourselves permission to satisfy eve ry desire or craving with a quick fix\, we must ask what we give up in the process. Trading the real cornucopia for the plastic version doesn’t preser ve us forever\, it merely staves off the inevitable. But we certainly will have a good time getting there.

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DTEND:20110319 DTSTAMP:20140711T004256 DTSTART:20110204 GEO:40.7139931;-73.9892639 LOCATION:Sargent's Daughters\,179 East Broadway \nNew York\, NY 10002 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Pornucopia\, Ryan Alexiev\, Josh Atlas\, Ion Birch\, Alison Blickle \, Paul Brainard\, Amanda Church\, Duncan Hannah\, Catherine Howe\, STEPHEN IRWIN\, Will Kurtz\, Sarah Kurz\, Daniel Jack Lyons\, Panni Malek\, Kara M aria\, Tom Sanford\, Lyle Starr\, Prudence Whittlesey UID:141967 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20110204T210000 DTSTAMP:20140711T004256 DTSTART:20110204T180000 GEO:40.7139931;-73.9892639 LOCATION:Sargent's Daughters\,179 East Broadway \nNew York\, NY 10002 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Pornucopia\, Ryan Alexiev\, Josh Atlas\, Ion Birch\, Alison Blickle \, Paul Brainard\, Amanda Church\, Duncan Hannah\, Catherine Howe\, STEPHEN IRWIN\, Will Kurtz\, Sarah Kurz\, Daniel Jack Lyons\, Panni Malek\, Kara M aria\, Tom Sanford\, Lyle Starr\, Prudence Whittlesey UID:141968 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR