SolwayJones presents Hands, a group exhibition of photography, drawing, prints, sculpture and video featuring work by John Coplans, Suzy Lake, Bruce Nauman, Dane Picard, Alan Rath, June Wayne and Hannah Wilke. Hands opens December 6th with a reception for the artists 6 – 9 pm and will be on view through January 3rd, 2009.
Hands will include Double Hands, Front, and Hand, Spread Fingers, two self-portrait photographs from the 1980s by the late British photographer, poet, critic, and curator, John Coplans. In the artist’s own words, “I try to regard the body and mind as inseparable, a single field of human experience that encompasses the perceptual, the intellectual, and the pains and pleasures of memory”. Detroit-born and Toronto based photographer and performance artist Suzy Lake began exhibiting in the early seventies in Montreal. Working with the issues of identity, transformation and stereotype, Lake’s photographic series from 1999, She No Longer Stares Blankly, uses fragmented images taken from a performance work of the activity and focus of sweeping. Bruce Nauman’s Untitled etchings from 1994 use hands and fingers to communicate (sign) languages of space, touch and interconnectedness. Dane Picard’s digital videos of hand accumulations, Heard of Horses or Cheetah Hands run silently across the flat screen’s open landscape. Two sculptures from 1989 and 1991 by Oakland based sculptor Alan Rath explore the artist’s use of communicative gestures and humor by combining serial CRT monitors with computer-generated videos of spinning or wavering hands or digits counting with the works Wave and 4 O’clock.
June Wayne called by Jorge de Sousa as “the incontestable pioneer of contemporary lithography” was born in Chicago in 1918. After living in New York City and working in the garment industry, she moved to Los Angeles in 1941. June Wayne founded Tamarind press in 1960. Since her first solo show at age seventeen, her curiosity about physical and biological sciences, from the genetic code to earthquakes, tsunamis and workings of the cosmos, has been a constant. Although known for her multiple talents (visual arts, writing and public speaking) it is her vast body of lithographs that have been the source of her widest critical recognition. The exhibition will concentrate on her important color lithographs known as The Visa Series. “The Visa Series relates closely to one of her central concerns, the identity of the individual within a world of cosmic, social, and genetic randomness.” The works in Wayne’s Visa Series are not only a form of self-portrait but as we can see from their variations, also a form of passport to other realms: a different galaxy, a tidal wave, and a concentration camp. They, like all her art, extend her alchemy from the material to the spiritual.” - Robert P. Conway, from the June Wayne Catalogue Raisonné
“The Visa idea is based on the fact that a fingerprint is unique to each of us, and therefore makes it easier to hunt us down. The fingerprint imprisons us a priori as far as the state is concerned. I thought that if you made the image very large, it would loom up like a planet or a mirage against the sky. They derive from my own fingerprints, but I changed them because I didn’t want anyone to be able to catch me. I was frightened by the Hitler era“.
- June Wayne
In 1974, Hannah Wilke created her first video, Gestures, a self-portrait work showing multiple gestural movements made by a series of facial expressions as the artist pulls and rubs her face with her hands. Gestures, like that of her sculpture made from chewing gum, latex or kneaded erasers, presents actions by the artist pressing her cheeks upward, pulling them out and slapping herself like a slab of clay. Other works to be included in Hands will be drawings from the Intra-Venus Series from the early 1990s.