Present Perfect Continuous features artists who have migrated to New York City from elsewhere, who create works that interweave memories of experiences past with the realities of their urban present. In doing so, the artists recount and rearrange moments in time to create personal, historical narratives expressed through drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, and collage.
The exhibition is a play on the English language's present perfect continuous tense, which individuals use to indicate that something started in the past and has continued until the present. The tense thus symbolizes a state of history‐laden suspense, a virtual standing on the cliff's edge, waiting to see what will transpire in the moments to come.
To many of the featured artists, the process of creating their work is as important as the final product. Through this process they recall memories, contemplate the past, and navigate new environments. By manipulating reminiscences, along with elements of their immediate environment-including the materials used in the works-the artists construct new realities and methods for situating themselves in the present.
Largely eschewing figurative works in favor of more abstract pieces, the artists use pattern and replication to map the flow of thought, movement, and development. By invoking microscopic forms, written and photographic documentation, and references to natural and urban worlds, they create narratives that are at once personal and physical, rooted in history, and yet altogether novel.
Free Williamsburg review by Lisa Baldini:
"NURTUREArt has been a bastion for up-and-coming curators and artists since 1997. It's current group show Present Perfect Continuous marks the strong curatorial debut of Denise Wong. Taking its cue from the grammatical tense present perfect continuous, the show's premise revolves around two ideas: migration and memory. Here, the audience sees artists from diverse backgrounds congregating together in New York; in so doing, this migration of sorts provides the backbone for each work's narrative.
On a purely aesthetic level, the works are quite gripping. Many of the pieces touch upon the new psychedelic movement that has been prevailing for the past several years, pairing a colorful palette with painstakingly crafted abstraction..."