Nathan Bernstein Gallery is pleased to present Reflection, a group show featuring the work of Lynda Benglis, Sanford Biggers, James Lee Byars, Tony Feher, Douglas Gordon, Jacob Kassay, Roy Lichtenstein, Nancy Lorenz, Donald Moffett, Anne Peabody, Louise Nevelson, Shinique Smith, Marc Swanson, Andy Warhol, and Rob Wynne.
While the term reflection speaks to the decorative and opulent quality of works created in precious metal materials, it also signifies contemplation and introspection. Reflection is rooted in memories of past experiences.
Artworks created in metallic mediums have tremendous presence. The choice of the artist to use metallic imagery is quite deliberate; initially seducing viewers with their sexy or in some cases flashy kitsch appeal, all of the works also invite a narrative or subsequent readings that are much more demanding than their initial dazzling aesthetic effects. Executed in a variety of mediums including freestanding sculpture, paintings, and wall reliefs, the selected works in this exhibition enter into a dialogue that explores the notion of reflection as simple glittering beauty versus reflection as remembrance.
Manipulation of silver paint leads to pleats reminiscent of ancient Greek drapery in the case of Lynda Benglis' knot works and to the illusion of a woven tapestry made of silver in Donald Moffett's piece. These elegant and sensual wall works play with texture and three-dimensionality. Nancy Lorenz's sumptuous and bulbous golden abstract forms contrasted with plain wood evoke the Japanese sensibilities of her time spent in Japan as a teen. Jacob Kassay manipulates paint by electroplating the canvas. What emerges are desirable mirror-like forms with smoky burned edges that hover between monochromatic painting and funhouse mirrors that distort and intrigue the viewer. The visual style of James Lee Byars is minimal bordering on ephemeral. Using simple yet symbolic geometric forms, his gold circle drawings with black markings act as meditative focal points for the viewer.
At first glance Sanford Biggers's drawings seem to simply be the lawn jockeys so familiar to American suburbanites. However, the artist actually references the changing history of the figure over time. By using chrome for the sculpture the drawings are studies for, the melting imagery becomes high art that challenges the viewer to ponder is this representative of the evolution or dissolution of man. Anne Peabody's imagery in lustrous silver leaf is based upon a true narrative of her personal experience and memory, however, she hopes that viewers will bring their own stories to the works forming an intimate connection with the art. "Untitled (Sitting Buck)" by Marc Swanson deals with issues of sexual identity. Swanson beddazles male-identified objects familiar to him from his childhood, in this case a symbol of hunting, with crystals often associated with the gay culture he learned to embrace.
Tony Feher's work is all about recognizing the beauty in everyday things. By using cardboard boxes and glitter he makes the mundane extraordinary. The hanging sculpture by Louise Nevelson also gives grandeur to the discarded and banal through the use of monochromatic color. She eliminates the individuality of each object to create a unified whole in gold. Mirrored wall text by Rob Wynne gives a monumental feel to phrases he hears or comes across in everyday life. He plays visually with the familiar and what becomes important to him is the composition and shape of the work, not the literal meaning of the words. Shinique Smith's work is rooted in the street culture she grew up in yet is very much a part of the world of high art. She blends clothing, found objects, and paint into assemblages that force the viewer to deal with issues of excess and the easiness of disposal in our society.
Highly desirable not only for their glamorous diamond dust sparkle but also for their use of iconic imagery, Andy Warhol's portraits from the 1970s aid in the careful crafting of larger than life personas such as the artist Georgia O'Keeffe. Douglas Gordon's homage to his predecessor Warhol is obvious in his 2008 work, "1 piece multi Marilyn." Clearly the power of an icon such as Marilyn Monroe still exists, however, Gordon has burned the floating image and adds a mirror inviting the viewer to become part of the art work thus getting his/her own fifteen minutes of fame.
A color catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
For additional information contact: Nicole Berry at 212.288.8970 or email@example.com
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