The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Gallery is pleased to present the group show Turbulence, on view at the gallery’s NoHo space from November 15, 2018 – January 31, 2019. The exhibition features work by nine contemporary artists Jeffrey Bishop, Sydney Cash, Lisa Corinne Davis, Fred Gutzeit, Gwenaël Kerlidou, Ellen Kozak and Scott D. Miller, John Mendelsohn, and Anthony Wigglesworth.
Turbulence brings to mind states of change, instability and fervent movement, sometimes even moments of political or social unrest. It can inspire emotions ranging from fear and confusion to wonder and awe, as one comes face to face with powers that are beyond an individual’s control.
The artists presented in this exhibition explore visual and conceptual uncertainties to express the turbulent nature of existence within a world that is in constant flux. In some of the works, turbulence is manifested as unsettling and disorienting movement – pulsing and oscillating according to a set of conditions determined by the artist to immerse the viewer in powerful visual experiences that continually reshape in relation to the one’s perspective. Other works embrace turbulent incongruities in a manner that seems to celebrate the act of perception and individual experience.
The exhibition includes a number of paintings, as well as optically kinetic sculpture and video installation. Many of the artists investigate visual effects through a manipulation of material, color and form, creating dynamic works of de-stabilizing movement and spatial illusion. Also included are works that explore present-day themes of identity and psychological and philosophical uncertainties – questioning pre-supposed boundaries and the certitude of pre-established systems.
Included in the show are Jeffrey Bishop’s works on paper and collages in which elements with black and white rippled patterns reminiscent of characteristics present in optical art merge with fluid, bulbous forms. In his works, Bishop incorporates a diversity of seemingly incongruous practices to produce abstract works infused with an unsettling, yet fervent energy through a collision of forms, colors and textures.
Light plays a key role in the sculptures and installations by Sydney Cash. Integrating glass and mirrors, the artist manipulates light as a physical material, transforming it into complex images composed of reflections, refractions and shadows. His optically kinetic sculptures, also included in the exhibition, reveal patterns in relation to the viewer's movement, thus making each projected experience unique to the individual. In his works, Cash investigates philosophical and psychological questions, such as the relationship between the work and the viewer and the work and its environment, while challenging the boundaries between image and object.
Likewise investigating the relationship between work and viewer are paintings by Lisa Corinne Davis exploring themes of racial, social and psychological identity. In her paintings, which incorporate abstract forms and grids reminiscent of multilayered maps filled with non-linear organic forms, spills and gestures, the artist creates a tension which challenges one to question the role of “objective” information and “subjective” personal interpretation.
In his Nature into Abstraction paintings, Fred Gutzeit examines nature beyond its physical beauty by merging ideas of science and art to compose “visual music”. Gutzeit reinvisions the landscape by transforming its natural elements into abstract graphic patterns, drawing parallels between the sound waves of music and the light waves of painting to create pulsating vibrations and turbulent optical sensations.
Gwenaël Kerlidou challenges the conventions of painting by exploring the ways in in which abstraction can be employed to project diverse narratives without pre-established boundaries. In his Opus Incertum series, he breaks away from the rectangular canvas by creating paintings with multiple shaped stretchers. He then spray paints the wall around the canvases, thus incorporating it into the work as a binding agent between its separate parts.
The exhibition also includes the collaborative video installation riverthatflowsbothways by Ellen Kozak and Scott D. Miller which unites Kozak’s intimately observed still images and video of the Hudson and Garonne Rivers in a series of gradually shifting passages together with Miller’s string ensemble composed specifically for the installation. Fusing ephemeral luminosity with tidal motifs and natural phenomena with man-made disturbance, riverthatflowsbothways creates an immersive contemplative space that lengthens one’s sense of time and evokes feelings of wonderment and comfort but also conjures presentiments of destabilizing undercurrents.
John Mendelsohn explores visual movement through color and pattern in his Turbulence series of paintings which reflect various stages of change, creating a sense of unsettled agitation. According to Mendelsohn, the diverse ways the materials are treated in each step of his process present constant “instability and dissolution” with “absence and presence in continual dialogue”.
Reflecting the turbulent conflict found within creation and destruction, paintings by Dublin-based artist Anthony Wigglesworth seek to capture the ethereal through an exploration of texture, movement and effects of spatial illusion. Interested in exploring the properties of paint as an artistic device, Wigglesworth’s practice involves a process of constructing and destructing patterns through a process of layering and manipulating the paint with a variety of tools.
The works in Turbulence all reveal a truth about the human need to make sense out of chaos and find a balance amidst conflicting forces. By embracing the uneasy duality of turbulence, a space for dialogue is opened in which an interpretation of current realities can be built within a broader context.
Turbulence will be on view at The Sylvia Wald & Po Kim Gallery, 417 Lafayette Street, 4th Floor, New York 10003, from November 15th, 2018 through January 31st, 2019. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, November 29th, 2018 from 6pm to 8pm. Turbulence has been produced in collaboration with the Donghwa Cultural Foundation.
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