Katy Grannan’s solo exhibition at Salon 94 Bowery is set in the parched landscape and the forgotten towns along Highway 99 in California’s Central Valley. The artworks include both large and small-scale color and black & white photographs, film stills, and video installations. The location is also the setting for Grannan’s debut feature film, The Nine, which will premiere in early 2016. Throughout the new works, the artist explores the significance and complexity of the seemingly ordinary, the mundane and the overlooked—anonymous strangers, familiar gestures and interactions—the soundscape and theatre of nowhere.
This is the other side of the American Dream.
The photographs, videos, and the film were made over four years in collaboration with the local community. The Nine, Grannan’s upcoming film is an intimate and unflinching portrait of a ravaged community living on Modesto's South Ninth Street—known as "The Nine”—a barren, forgotten street in California’s Great Central Valley (the setting for The Grapes of Wrath and Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother). The film focuses on Kiki, an effervescent and childlike drifter, whose only means of escape is through her imagination, and whose precarious sense of self worth hinges on the making of the film. The Nine never sensationalizes—rather, it is a quiet elegy to Kiki and others living on the street, each of whom clings to the possibility of an alternate life. Through Kiki’s brave vulnerability, keen observations of lost childhood and the fundamental need for connection, the distance between ourselves and the “the other” is erased.
Grannan’s ability to generate keen empathy between her subjects and the viewer is evident throughout Hundreds of Sparrows, effectively providing visitors a contemporary immersion in a storied setting in American history.
A two-volume publication, The Ninety Nine and The Nine, will accompany the show and will feature photographs included in the exhibition. Also on view will be Grannan’s 2011 series, Boulevard, at 2401 Third Avenue in the South Bronx.
Katy Grannan (b. 1969 in Arlington, MA) lives and works in Berkeley, CA. She received her BA from The University of Pennsylvania and her MFA from Yale University, New Haven, CT. Her work has been featured in exhibitions worldwide and is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA, and many others.
Gagosian London is pleased to announce an exhibition of photographs by Cy Twombly at the Davies Street gallery, to coincide with paintings, sculptures, and works on paper at the new Grosvenor Hill gallery.
From his days as a student at Black Mountain College during the early 1950s until his death in 2011 at the age of 83, Twombly captured his daily life in photographs. He recorded the verdant landscapes of Virginia and the coasts of Italy; close-up details of ancient buildings and sculptures; studio interiors; and still lifes of objects and flowers.
Beginning in the early 1990s, Twombly used specialized copiers to enlarge his Polaroid images on matte paper, resulting in subtle distortions that approximate the timeless qualities of his paintings and sculptures with their historical and literary allusions. Recalling the Pictorialism of photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz, the expressive nature of Twombly's prints transcends the mechanical aspects of the medium.
This exhibition brings together more than twenty photographs of natural subjects—tulips, strawberries, cabbages, lemons—taken in Rome and Gaeta between 1985 and 2008.
Throughout his sixty-year career, Twombly infused the physical and emotional aspects of Abstract Expressionism with a wealth of historic and mythic allusion. At once epic and intimate, his work is steeped with references to poetry and classical mythology. The alternation between the visible and the hidden, between present and past, and the struggle between memory and oblivion are unifying themes in his work.
Cy Twombly (1928–2011) was born in Lexington, Virginia. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1947–49); the Art Students League, New York (1950–51); and Black Mountain College, North Carolina (1951–52). In the mid-1950s, following travels in Europe and Africa, he emerged as a prominent figure among a group of artists working in New York that included Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. Major retrospectives were held at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1979); Kunsthaus Zürich (1987, traveled to Madrid, London, Düsseldorf, and Paris); and Museum of Modern Art, New York (1994, traveled to Houston, Los Angeles, and Berlin). In 1995, the Cy Twombly Gallery opened at The Menil Collection, Houston, exhibiting works produced by Twombly since 1954. The European retrospective “Cy Twombly: Cycles and Seasons” opened at Tate Modern, London in 2008 and traveled to Bilbao and Rome. “Cy Twombly: The Natural World, Selected Works 2000–2007,” Art Institute of Chicago (2009) and “Sensations of the Moment,” MUMOK, Vienna (2009) were important surveys. In 2010, his permanent site-specific painting Ceiling was unveiled in the Salle des Bronzes at the Musée du Louvre. At the same time he was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur by the French government. Twombly died in Italy in 2011.
Selected recent exhibitions include “Cy Twombly: Sculpture,” Museum of Modern Art, New York (2011); “Cy Twombly Photographs 1951–2010,” Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2011); “Cy Twombly: Sculptures,” Philadelphia Museum of Art (2013); “Cy Twombly: Paradise,” Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2014); “Cy Twombly: Treatise on the Veil,” The Morgan Library & Museum, New York (2014); and “Cy Twombly: Paradise,” on view at Ca' Pesaro, Venice through September 22, 2015.
For further inquiries please contact the gallery at email@example.com or at +44.207.493.3020. All images are subject to copyright. Gallery approval must be granted prior to reproduction.
Amy Feldman’s latest work in Moon Decorum embodies a world that is both restrained form and wild pathos. Her pristine pearlescent surfaces are a substrate upon which she showcases gesture. This is mark making in two forms.
Moon Decorum, the painting from which the exhibition takes its title, has both of these forms occurring at once. On the one hand, there are fluid gibbous forms that explode outward and highlight escaping drips akin to the effulgent white drips in the black and white paintings of Willem de Kooning. On the other hand, her marks evidence a reduced seriality, manifesting as a footnote of expression or an acknowledgment of the ironic symbol of gesture—much as in a work by Jasper Johns. Therein resides what could be called a lunar friction in Feldman’s paintings, between two divergent cultural interpretations of lunar activity: the moon demonstrates precision and regularity in its rotation, yet epitomizes our primal fears of its transformative power (as in the cultural myth of the werewolf). The darkness of these paintings is analogous to the cold vacuum of space and also to the palpable electricity of fear in the night air: Heideggerian, both angst and furcht, that is feeling that is abstract and concrete.
It is noteworthy that Feldman titled her exhibition in consideration of the moon with its multiple connotations. We take the scientific and poetic resonance of the moon—its tidal sway, its white and grey modulated surface—as commonplace. We are accustomed to thinking of a stark division between the science of astronomy and the art of painting: the planetary bodies as opposed to the Romantic achievement for instance in the rückenfigurs, who sit with their backs to the viewer gazing at a bright hovering orb in the sky and populate the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich.
The ancients had no such divisions. Plato reasoned the moon revolved with mathematical precision in a musically harmonious motion while at the same time he understood it as being an apparatus of divine retribution where the gods could play out their wrath on humans below. It is this duality that Feldman strikes in her most recent work.
A painting such as Swollen Omen alludes to the aforementioned primal anxieties and also recalls the body. The cavities and protrusions of her bulbous shapes simulate viscera. Is it her body? Is it an abbreviation of her movement with the brush across the surface? Is it a thigh or a knee? Feldman’s lines are reminiscent but indiscernible, and their allusiveness hardly matters. What does deserve consideration is how these forms activate reminiscence. Feldman creates a biomorphic shorthand that reminds us of a body suspended between the scientific and the poetic: between the anatomic and the lustful. It is on that line that her rippling forms can activate humor and also serious thought. When Feldman approaches her surfaces, she is this instrument on the milky porcelain finish of her surfaces. You can sense her wildness in a field of restraint: always grey paint upon an always immaculate light ground.
Feldman’s greys fluctuate between lighter and darker values, often reading as pewters, slates or concretes. Her greys are tethered to her mark making. I think of their subtlety as akin to clouds casting shadows over the landscape. Forms racing on a surface, but intangible and completely abstract. Similarly, her greys mirror movement, like a shade following a figure. At times faint and at other times dusky, they intimate the trace of her painterly act.
Pronounced shifts in her oeuvre are evidenced in her mark making. Her cartoon-like stroke shows the influence of Futurism, of Pop namely Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. But with the Feldmans in this exhibition, I think of a time in art that is so rarely considered, such as in the work of Nicholas Krushkenick, who painted after the heyday of Abstract Expressionism in a style best described as abstract Pop. Unlike Krushkenick, Feldman restricts her palette showing her digestion of all of these iconic painters, but also her improvisation in the current moment. Aren’t we in such an era of hyper-commodification, but also of hyper-regionalism, and locavorism? We consume images, products, ideas at a clip, but are almost wistful for a slower time. Feldman’s synthesis of an immediate serial form and her judiciously subdued palette manages to locate a contemporary abstraction that navigates beyond irony to a place of sincerity and sharp wit.
(Text by Andrianna Campbell)