Spanning painting, sculpture, collage, and installation, Kamrooz Aram's work investigates the complex relationship between Western modernism and classical non-Western art. By highlighting their formal connections, he reveals the typically downplayed role that non-Western art and design have played in the development of modernism and its drive toward abstraction. Challenging the traditionally Euro-centric narrative established by art history, Aram's work sets forth to disrupt this perceived hierarchy by merging and equalizing Western and non-Western forms.
Nina Chanel Abney's paintings are visually frenetic, reflecting the fast-paced energy of life today. Her imagery refers to such diverse subjects as pop culture, world events, and art history in compositions with flattened, simplified forms. Abney's works commonly incorporate snippets of text, disembodied figures and silhouettes, and geometric abstract shapes. Themes that relate to American society, including celebrity culture, race, sexuality, and police brutality, are broached in her paintings.
Katherine Bradford is known for her vibrant palette and eccentric compositions. Often built up over months and sometimes years, Bradford’s paintings are textured, semi-transparent coats of acrylic paint, with hints of pentimenti exposed in the finished surface. Her recent works revisit several of her favored motifs, such as ships and swimmers—traditional and enduring subjects seen throughout art history. Bradford’s canvases, however, are more ominous, and often improbable in comparison to the relative calm of James McNeill Whistler’s paintings or Paul Cézanne’s portraits of bathers.
Katherine Bernhardt’s vibrant and youthful paintings hover between abstraction and figuration. Recently, she has been working on paintings in which she juxtaposes everyday objects, such as those in Windex cigarettes basketball, 2016, that float flatly atop lushly painted, solid grounds of color. Her subjects abound in popular and consumer culture and are depicted in a simplified, flat, gestural style that approaches a cartoonish quality.
Stanley Whitney investigates the intricate possibilities of color and form in the realm of abstract painting. Since the mid-1970s, Whitney has been known for his multicolored, irregular grids on square canvases. Taking the essentialist grid of minimalism as his cue, his configurations are loose, uneven geometric lattices comprised of vibrant stacked color blocks that vary in hue, shape, and the handling of the paint. Whitney also utilizes color as subject, and his paintings often refer to literature, music, places, and other artists, connections that are bolstered in his titles.
Since the beginning of her career in the mid-1980s, Lorna Simpson has become known for her conceptual photographs and videos that question the nature of representation, and challenge historical and preconceived views of racial and sexual identity. Rooted in her longstanding interest in photography and photographic collage, Simpson’s recent paintings incorporate found imagery, often taken from AP photographs and vintage magazines, which the artist overpaints and divides across several panels.
Demand's photographs merge truthful documentation and unsettling artifice - two polarities raised by photography since its inception. For more than two decades, Demand has built intricate, life-size, three-dimensional models made wholly out of colored construction paper and cardboard that faithfully replicate specific architectural spaces and natural settings. He photographs the ephemeral structure and destroys it once the image is made.
Glenn Kaino’s work carefully balances formal and conceptual concerns as the artist combines an often unexpected hybrid of materials in order to best communicate an idea, history, or system that might be less effective with traditional art media. For his FOCUS exhibition, Kaino has created a new body of work with the overarching themes of time and space colonization. The presentation includes pin drawings, an animatronic installation that responds to viewers, and a frozen sculptural portrait of the moon.
Mexico City–based artist Mario García Torres creates cinematic narratives that explore obscure histories and personalities associated with conceptual art of the 1960s and 1970s. He presents his projects in a variety of media, including video, installation, photography, and sculpture, and he often uses antiquated technology, such as 16-mm film and slide projections, to parallel the era he is revisiting. For each work, García Torres researches evidence and myths related to relatively unknown events from the larger, more well-known moments of that specific period in art history.