Newman Popiashvili Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition of eight artists curated by Michel Auder. As an active visiting artist and professor in several art schools in the US and abroad, Auder has encountered these talented artists in different points of their careers. He has selected the work for the show without trying to unite them under a theme or preconceived idea. It is a recollection of “good work” that he has seen, thus the title of the show – Untitles. The exhibition brings together artists working in all media and styles as well as varying explorations from personal histories to the social critique.
Michael Stickrod represents a convergence of the two perspectives: personal and social. Often taking the form of vacation movies, family photographs, crafted pottery and other “amateur” practices that tend to be relegated to attics and basements, Stickrod’s artworld pedigree, completely flips how these objects are read. Laura Marsh’s work further extends the cultural portrait of our society through combining imagery from advertisements. The artists inserts advertising media into drawings, sculptures, paintings and video, thus augmenting commercial images and stretching the life of everyday materials to manifest characters that bare an objectified gaze. The Korean artist Myeongsoo Kim explores an interest in defining the cowardliness, which may act as a self defense mechanism, accompanied by a cynical perspective of oneself and the surrounding world. The artist’s frustration in dealing with the gap between personal beliefs and the respective responsibilities expose a materiality of its own through his work. Sam Anderson’s figurines refer to imagined and existing cultural narratives. In the exhibition, the sculpture Sylvia is both fragile and combative and the warrior stance adds tension to the work. Caroline May’s photographs focus on the customary re-enactment of stereotypes of masculinity that are commonly embraced by both heterosexual and gay mainstream culture. May utilizes photography as a commentary on the reinvention of identity. The Brooklyn based artist Mariah Robertson composes spontaneously with collaged negatives and other objects on irregularly cut sheets of photo paper. The artist often employs processes from “the age of extinction,” films, chemistries and equipment that are being discontinued. Matt Connors’ paintings also harken back to earlier artistic modes of production and the refreshingly simple abstract canvases are, in fact, formally quite sophisticated. Arild Tveito questions ideas of appropriation and originality versus the facsimile. The foot sculpture featured in the show is cast from an Auguste Rodin sculpture that is on display in Oslo, Norway. The actual sculpture was relegated to a non-focal part of the city due to its questionable authenticity, Tveito, secretly cast the foot of the sculpture and reintroduced an “original” art work into the artistic community.
Newman Popiashvili Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Marcia Hafif. The gallery will be showing historic works – the Black Paintings from 1979-80 that were originally shown at Sonnabend gallery in 1981. Although Hafif has shown extensively in Europe and in the US for the past fifty years, this exhibition offers a rare opportunity for another look at Hafif’s early monochromes thirty years later.
Marcia Hafif published an article in Artforum magazine in 1978 titled “Beginning Again,” a catalyst for gathering artists under the title Radical Painting, which was the name of an exhibition curated by Thomas Krens at Williams College in 1984. The artists who were part of Radical Painting advocated a certain fundamentalism in painting – a stance that found more favor in France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, than in New York. Hafif wrote that “although [her monochromes] may have an undivided surface,” they were “not merely of one color in one undifferentiated plane, each painted exactly like another.” The four paintings in the exhibition are composed of Burnt Umber and Ultramarine Blue pigments. The closer we look, the more dissimilarities we see among them, and a certain imagery appears in each.
Marcia Hafif always underlined the “prime importance” of the hanging of a monochromatic painting – “A monochromatic painting does not hold a tight focus in that its own energy spreads out to areas surrounding it, which is one of the reasons why walls today are white or neutral avoiding the color harmony automatically set up between the painting and a wall color.”
Notwithstanding their history, these paintings offer us a powerful viewing experience.
At the age of eighty, Hafif continues to work between New York City and Laguna Beach, CA. Her most recent show opened in November 2009 at Kunstraum Alexander-Buerkle, Freiburg, Germany and she is scheduled for a show at MAMCO, Geneva in April that coincides with the publication of a catalogue raisonné of her Italian paintings painted in Rome, Italy 1961-69.