Gallery Brooklyn is pleased to present Lightness, Being, curated by Trong G. Nguyen. Red Hook’s newest space inaugurates with a group exhibition that includes the work of Miami collective TM Sisters (Monica and Tasha López de Victoria) and three New York-based artists – Judith Braun, Jon Elliott, and Rebecca Reeve.
Lightness, Being excerpts its title from the Milan Kundera novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984), a philosophical meditation on the ’68 Prague Spring. Though not venturing down those depths of connection, Lightness, Being focuses on the “little illuminations”–literally and metaphorically–that qualify one aspect of art and art-making.
The works in Lightness, Being begin at one semblance of romantic idealism–the personal, “inner chapel” one might say–to broader contexts of an enlightenment that has been quietly stirred by such collective uprisings of the soul. From 1968 to the Velvet Revolution, and now the second decade’s primaveras, such ideas are not to be the hoarded territories of geopolitics, but rather the manifest destiny of ‘creative design’ and evolution.
Dismantling the walls of time, tense, and consciousness, the TM Sisters have developed an exuberant, “tropical-topical’ brand of multi-media work that court viewers with the inherent movement of telepathy, hypnosis, light tricks, and the seriousness of play. Their collages reflect reflection in an eternal, youthful summer of love.
Various modes of revelation also take turn in Judith Braun‘s shaped “windows” collaged from direct xeroxes of flowers. Braun creates symmetry from these natural forms by cutting up and arranging them into panes on a black background that recall church windows. The spiritual is countered by the mechanized draftsman whose carbon toner faithfully copies any object placed on its glass bed.
Rebecca Reeve‘s photographs employ an equally direct approach to discovery. In one body of work, the artist uses flashlights to detect her subject matter while navigating through a darkened warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yards. Objects are allowed to surprise while meaning and life’s vestiges are searched for in the comfort of shadows.
Navigation and narration seem to also flow freely from Jon Elliott’s The Approach, a gigantic painting consisting of 303 individual acrylic panels of varying scales. An indeterminate pattern emerges from the whole, while each painting reveals a feeling of incipience that could be likened to plein air painting in the dark.
Trong Gia Nguyen is a Brooklyn-based artist and curator who has organized numerous exhibitions, including Room without a View(Freies Museum Berlin), ROY G BIV (Waterhouse and Dodd NY), Never Late Than Better (EFA Project Space, NY), By Invitation Only(Kinz, Tillou, + Feigen, NY), The Guy Debord Show (New General Catalog, NY), and Who? Me? (Zabriskie Gallery, NY).
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