#2 (BROYARD, CHERBULIEZ, JASEK, LOCKE + BECK, LEDERER, MAMA-NITZBERG, POYOUROW)
5/4/18 – 6/30/18
Grant Wahlquist Gallery is very pleased to announce “#2,” a group exhibition of gallery artists in celebration of its first anniversary. The show will run from May 4 – June 30, 2018. An opening reception will occur on Friday, May 4 from 5 – 8 pm. Please note that the gallery will be closed in observance of Memorial Day on May 25 and 26.
Laura Jasek’s (New York, NY) One and Three Women presents three reclining female nudes borrowed from Guercino, Goltzius, and Titian. Its title a reference to both Joseph Kosuth’s One and Three Chairs and the World Health Organization’s reporting that one in three women experience sexual or physical violence, the painting is exemplary of Jasek’s denuding of the ideologies embedded in classical and neoclassical art and architecture. Relic, a sculpture by Diana Cherbuliez (Vinalhaven, ME), also features a female nude, this time a self-portrait carved in mahogany draped over the cradle of an antique toy phone. Its title amplifies the meanings inherent in its form and materials: if the toy, rotary phones themselves, the experience of waiting by a wall-tethered phone, and the busy signal are now historic, the craft of hand carving and the genuine mahogany used sadly may also be so. All self-portraits are relics, representations of bodies now inevitably altered by time.
Like Jasek’s painting, Joe Mama-Nitzberg’s (Catskill, NY) May Nitzberg in a Polyester Suit borrows from a prior artwork, in this case Robert Mapplethorpe’s Man in Polyester Suit, an icon of the Culture Wars of the 1990s. Mama-Nitzberg’s photograph is simultaneously a humorous, critical reprise of Mapplethorpe’s original as well as, by virtue of it being a portrait of the artist’s mother, a tender appreciation of its status in queer art history. Top Chic, a painting by Karen Lederer (Brooklyn, NY), presents another female torso, here a self-portrait. Though the top of Lederer’s head is out of frame, the cartoonish face on her t-shirt licks its lips as it appears to look at the beverage the artist holds in her hand. Lederer’s combination of wit and formal sophistication is also on display in The Story of a New Name, a self-portrait of the artist wearing a t-shirt bearing the 1970s feminist slogan “The Future Is Female” while reading the titular novel by Elena Ferrante. The figures on the cover of Ferrante’s book seem to gaze back at Lederer, suggesting both the artist’s engrossment in the text as well as her sympathy for the position of its author, whose anonymity was controversially undermined.
Jill Poyourow (Cape Neddick, ME) frequently mixes images from family photographs, vintage encyclopedias, and abstract marks to create paintings that explore the connectedness of seemingly disparate things. In Casals, she combines an image of the famous cellist with a large flower and biomorphic abstract shapes, analogizing the rhythms of classical music, the seasons, and biological processes. Henri Paul Broyard (Brooklyn, NY) also often combines abstract mark marking with representational imagery. The semi-translucent green, yellow, maroon, orange, and blue in his abstract NOL turn opaque in the still life NNPY; in conjunction, the two paintings demonstrate Broyard’s commitment to abstraction and painterly freedom regardless of any particular painting’s genre.
“Capsize” and “Jackstands,” two collaborative photographic series by Jennifer Locke (Los Angeles, CA) and Tad Beck (Vinalhaven, ME), approach a different sort of abstraction. “Capsize” depicts models attempting handstands on top of a capsized rowboat in Penobscot Bay. The initial images were re-photographed through water drops that become structural stand-ins for the inversion of images that occurs within the camera itself. For “Jackstands,” Locke and Beck photographed models regaining equilibrium underwater after being pushed off a boat, then had the models re-enact the initial pose in the studio atop boat storage jack stands. Both series are the result of the artists’ shared interest in the role the camera plays in performance, video, and photography as well as their use of the body as abstract form or sculptural material.
The gallery is located at 30 City Center, Portland, Maine. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm, and by appointment. For more information, visit http://grantwahlquist.com, call 207.245.5732, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One and Three Women, 2016
Acrylic on paper
64 x 45 inches
Antique tin toy phone, mahogany
5 1/2 x 16 x 12 inches