Dust Specks on the Sea opens November 18 at SFAI

Dust Specks on the Sea
Contemporary Sculpture from the French Caribbean & Haiti

SFAI – Walter and McBean Galleries
On View: November 18, 2021 – February 19, 2022
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 18th, 2021, 4 – 7pm

 

Exhibiting artists:
Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Raphaël Barontini, Sylvia Berté, Julie Bessard, Hervé Beuze, Jean-François Boclé, Alex Burke, Vladimir Cybil Charlier, Gaëlle Choisne, Ronald Cyrille, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Kenny Dunkan, Edouard Duval-Carrié, Adler Guerrier, Jean-Marc Hunt, Nathalie Leroy-Fiévée, Audry Liseron-Monfils, Louisa Marajo, Ricardo Ozier-Lafontaine, Jérémie Paul, Marielle Plaisir, Michelle Lisa Polissaint & Najja Moon, Tabita Rezaire, Yoan Sorin, Jude Papaloko Thegenus, Kira Tippenhauer

San Francisco Art Institute and Hunter East Harlem Gallery are pleased to present the exhibition, Dust Specks on the Sea: Contemporary Sculpture from the French Caribbean & Haiti opening on November 18 at San Francisco Art Institute’s Walter and McBean Galleries.

Dust Specks on the Sea focuses on sculptural works by over a dozen contemporary artists from Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, and Haiti and addresses the various positionings of the postcolonial condition in this region. The exhibition’s title—Dust Specks on the Sea—is derived from a quote by former French President Charles de Gaulle, describing his view of the French Caribbean islands from an airplane in 1964. De Gaulle’s description speaks to the almost otherworldly mystery of an aerial view of the Caribbean archipelago, while at the same time calling into question a deep-seated hierarchical perspective stemming from France’s history as a powerful colonizing force in the Caribbean. In 1902 the eruption of the volcano Mount Pelée on the island of Martinique, destroyed the town of Saint-Pierre, killing approximately 30,000 people in a matter of minutes. Poignant photographic images of the “worst volcanic disaster of the early 20th century” show the volcano’s dusty plume looming above the sparkling waters of the Caribbean; these visual documents allude to the complex and loaded sentiments of de Gaulle’s quote—the duality of perspective. The French Caribbean cannot be defined solely by its beauty nor by its historical trauma; through this exhibition, we aim to contribute to a contemporary, multi-layered understanding of this region.

The exhibition was generated by Hunter East Harlem Gallery at Hunter College in NYC, an institution dedicated to creating projects that build on the complicated circumstances of being a human in today’s world and bolstering the voices of creative people and thinkers. Through presenting a sculpture-based exhibition in a distinctive way—in many cases, the artworks will physically interact with one another, we hope to build a visual dialogue about how artwork can be one of the most powerful tools for personal and political expression. 

ZABAR VISITING ARTIST LECTURE David Lamelas

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Flex Space / 205 Hudson

7:00pm – 9:00pm

David Lamelas (b. 1946) first studied art at the Academia de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina and began to exhibit his work in the lively gallery scene there in 1963. Making sculptural installations that explored minimal forms, the materials of industry and mass media, and pop, Lamelas was at the center of the experimental avant-gardism encouraged by the critic and curator Jorge Romero Brest at the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella during much of the 1960s. After winning the prize for sculpture at the 1967 São Paulo Biennial, Lamelas traveled to Europe to represent Argentina in the 1968 Venice Biennial. Having won a scholarship from the British government to study art in London, Lamelas moved to London the same year, where he attended Saint Martin’s School of Art. In 1969 and 1970, Lamelas was invited to participate in groundbreaking exhibitions of conceptual art organized by Anny De Decker for Prospect and by Michel Claura and Seth Siegelaub in Paris. In 1969, Lamelas began to use film to explore relationships of time and space and themes of narrative and character development. A trip in 1974 to Los Angeles inspired Lamelas to investigate glamour, dramatic narrative, television, and to make works that highlighted the proximity of reality and fiction. In 1976, Lamelas moved to Los Angeles and during the mid- and late-1970s his work took the form of video and television projects investigating how stereotype and myth fashion reality in the United States. Collaborations with Hildegarde Duane during this period produced interrogations of gender and racial and ethnic stereotypes and videos that brought to light the entertainment quality of the news. Film and digital video have continued to be a focus of Lamelas’s work, along with his consistent engagement with sculptural projects. In 1997, after Lamelas and other progenitors of conceptualism appeared in the exhibition 1965–1975: Reconsidering the Object of Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, he was the subject of the retrospective, David Lamelas: A New Refutation of Time at the Kunstinstituut Melly (formerly known as the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art). In 2006, David Lamelas, Extranjero, Foreigner, Étranger, Ausländer took place at the Museo Tamayo and Malba (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires); and in 2017 and 2018, respectively, he was the subject of one-person shows at Malba and the University Art Museum, California State University (supported by the Getty Foundation), and at the Broad Museum of Michigan State University in 2018. He continues to make work that questions boundaries and disrupts art historians’ attempts to map conventional categories onto his unclassifiable and provocative practice.

more info

 

FALL 2021 THESIS EXHIBITIONS

This fall the Hunter College MFA Program in Studio Art will be presenting four Thesis Exhibitions featuring the work of twenty-one artists. The exhibitions will take place in the 205 Hudson Gallery from 10am – 6pm on the dates of each exhibition. Vaccination is mandatory for all visitors, and you must show proof of vaccination upon entry to the gallery.

Thesis Part I
October 29 – November 8
Danielle Roberts, Opal Ong, Ana Villagomez, Jeremy Lawson, Victor Perez

Thesis Part II
November 14 – 23
Lily Randall, Chris Berntsen, Miguel Martinez, Sofia Collins, Lauren Clark, Carrie Rudd

Thesis Part III
December 2 – 12
Camille Breslin, Whitney Harris, Brian Madonna, Mercedes Llanos, Anna Sofie Jespersen, Xiong Wei

Thesis Part IV
December 17 – January 3
Dante Cannatella, Sydney Shavers, Areum Yang, Jake Reed, Nicholas Norris

more info

 

 

Life as Activity: David Lamelas

Life as Activity: David Lamelas

Curated by Harper Montgomery, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art with Sarah Watson, Chief Curator, and Re’al Christian, Lazarus Graduate Curatorial Fellow, and with MA and MFA students enrolled in the curatorial practicum seminar: The Transgressive Itineraries of Conceptualism.

Hunter College Art Galleries
Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery
132 East 68th Street, New York, NY

November 3 – December 18, 2021
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11-5 pm

The Hunter College Art Galleries are pleased to present Life as Activity: David Lamelas, an exhibition marking the artist’s first solo show in New York in more than a decade. For over half a century, Lamelas (born 1946, Buenos Aires) has made work that pushes the boundaries of contemporary art by defying conventions of artistic media. Although he is globally recognized as a ground-breaking figure of conceptual art, his explorations with the spatial qualities of film and the signifiers of identity have not been adequately investigated. Life as Activity focuses on Lamelas’s experimentation with film and his examination of identity and narrative fiction in light of his ongoing insistence that his artistic practice has always, in one way or another, been grounded in his sense of himself as a sculptor.

The exhibition brings together sculpture, film, and photography made across many decades and locations to center this aspect of Lamelas’s artistic practice. These works include two key sculptural installations he made in Buenos Aires in 1966 and 1967, Situación de cuatro placas de aluminio (Four Changeable Plaques), a moveable configuration of aluminum sheets, and Limit of a Projection, a spotlight in a dark room; a series of ten photographs shot in London that pose as film stills for a non-existent movie, The Violent Tapes of 1975; and two films, The Desert People, a pseudo-documentary about a road trip to a Native American reservation which was shot in Los Angeles in 1974 and The Invention of Dr. Morel, a film based on the Argentine writer Adolfo Bioy Casares’s novel The Invention of Morel (1940), which was filmed in Potsdam, Germany in 2000. Both films will be screened on an ongoing basis at set times, which will be available on the Leubsdorf Gallery website: leubsdorfgallery.org. Showcasing the ways in which Lamelas makes us aware of how the stories we tell ourselves are shaped by encounters with space and time, all of these works invite us to participate in scenarios in which container, contained, observer, and observed become blurred.

 

On occasion of the exhibition, a publication has been produced that includes texts on Lamelas by Professor Harper Montgomery and students in Hunter’s graduate programs in Art History and Studio Art. Essays focus on twelve works by Lamelas and include previously unpublished materials from the artist’s papers. Published in collaboration with Hirmer Verlag, the book is distributed by the University of Chicago Press and available for purchase here.

Both the book and the exhibition have been developed in close collaboration with David Lamelas, who worked with students via Zoom on both projects during the course of the pandemic, from spring of 2020 through the fall of 2021.

Life as Activity: David Lamelas results from an Artist Seminar Initiative grant awarded by the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA), which advances scholarship and public engagement with art from Latin America. It was organized under the auspices of ISLAA’s Artist Seminar Initiative, an educational and curatorial program that fosters intimate exchanges between students and living Latin American and Latinx artists.

Additional support for Life as Activity: David Lamelas is made possible by Joan Lazarus, Gagosian Gallery and the James Howell Foundation in support of the Advanced Certificate in Curatorial Studies, and by the galleries’ sustaining supporters the David Bershad Family Foundation, the Susan V. Bershad Charitable Fund, Inc., Carol and Arthur Goldberg, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, and the Leubsdorf Fund.

 

David Lamelas first studied art at the Academia de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina and began to exhibit his work in the lively gallery scene there in 1963. Making sculptural installations that explored minimal forms, the materials of industry and mass media, and pop, Lamelas was at the center of the experimental avant-gardism encouraged by the critic and curator Jorge Romero Brest at the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella during much of the 1960s. After winning the prize for sculpture at the 1967 São Paulo Biennial, Lamelas traveled to Europe to represent Argentina in the 1968 Venice Biennial. Having won a scholarship from the British government to study art in London, Lamelas moved to London the same year, where he attended Saint Martin’s School of Art. In 1969 and 1970, Lamelas was invited to participate in groundbreaking exhibitions of conceptual art organized by Anny De Decker for Prospect and by Michel Claura and Seth Siegelaub in Paris. In 1969, Lamelas began to use film to explore relationships of time and space and themes of narrative and character development. A trip in 1974 to Los Angeles inspired Lamelas to investigate glamour, dramatic narrative, television, and to make works that highlighted the proximity of reality and fiction. In 1976, Lamelas moved to Los Angeles and during the mid- and late-1970s his work took the form of video and television projects investigating how stereotype and myth fashion reality in the United States. Collaborations with Hildegarde Duane during this period produced interrogations of gender and racial and ethnic stereotypes and videos that brought to light the entertainment quality of the news. Film and digital video have continued to be a focus of Lamelas’s work, along with his consistent engagement with sculptural projects. In 1997, after Lamelas and other progenitors of conceptualism appeared in the exhibition 1965–1975: Reconsidering the Object of Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, he was the subject of the retrospective, David Lamelas: A New Refutation of Time at the Kunstinstituut Melly (formerly known as the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art). In 2006, David Lamelas, Extranjero, Foreigner, Étranger, Ausländer took place at the Museo Tamayo and Malba (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires); and in 2017 and 2018, respectively, he was the subject of one-person shows at Malba and the University Art Museum, California State University (supported by the Getty Foundation), and at the Broad Museum of Michigan State University in 2018. He continues to make work that questions boundaries and disrupts art historians’ attempts to map conventional categories onto his unclassifiable and provocative practice.

Curating and Conserving New Media Work, October 20

Curating and Conserving New Media Work
A discussion with Sara Tucker and Timothy Murray
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
12–1:15 pm on Zoom

RSVP

This event is organized in concert with the exhibition Constance DeJong: A survey exhibition of the artist’s work (August 24–October 9, 2021), which includes the collaborative multimedia project Fantastic Prayers, created by DeJong, the artist Tony Oursler, and the composer Stephen Vitiello. In 1995, Fantastic Prayers was developed as an interactive website, becoming the first of Dia’s Artist Web Projects and in 2000, it was realized as a CD-ROM. Using Fantastic Prayers as our entry point, the discussion will reflect on how CD-ROM became a popular medium for artists in the late 1990s/early 2000s and how conservators and curators are bringing this now obsolete medium back to life for means of research and exhibition.

This event is co-hosted by Sarah Watson, Chief Curator of Hunter College Art Galleries, and Sigourney Schultz, Lazarus Graduate Curatorial Fellow.

Image caption: The Place Where Lost Things Go (detail), image from Fantastic Prayers (1995/2000).

 

Lina Puerta: Migration, Nature, and the Feminine opens October 13

Lina Puerta: Migration, Nature, and the Feminine
Curated by Klaudia Ofwona Draber with associate curator Sofia Ramirez of KODA

Organized by KODA and Hunter East Harlem Gallery

October 13, 2021 – January 2022

Lina Puerta: Migration, Nature, and the Feminine is a survey exhibition of the artist’s work spanning the last eighteen years and created mostly during her time as an East Harlem resident. The artworks in the exhibition showcase Puerta’s use of imagery rooted in her Colombian upbringing and Latinx experience. Examining the relationship between nature and the human-made, and engaging themes of xenophobia, hyper-consumerism, food justice, and ancestral knowledge, Puerta creates mixed-media sculptures, installations, collages, handmade-paper paintings and wall hangings by combining a wide range of materials: from artificial plants, paper pulp, to found personal and recycled objects. The use of body adornments such as sequins, fabric, lace, and jewelry reference the body, and conjure emotions of joy and celebration.

Puerta’s sculptures contain anatomical and botanical elements. These delicate hybrids are rich compositions rendered in a complex layering of materials and techniques. Otherworldly landscapes, referencing the interior of the body, are contained in suitcases, and bell jars, or become their own ecosystems. Her artworks play out as simultaneously mysterious, spiritual, and magical. Vulvas, breasts, and uteri forms evoke psychological states grounded in pre-Columbian fertility deities, and are presented arrested of taboos or hypersexualization.

Puerta’s most recent works on paper and fabric emerge from her process of connecting to the knowledge of Indigenous peoples. The artworks are inspired by patterns created through weaving practices of Kamëntsá and Inga communities of Colombia related to food and cultivated nature passed down across generations of women. Puerta’s use of colonial traditions like quilting and embroidery pay tribute to the women who practiced this craft as an escape from social isolation and as a way to seek mutual aid. By integrating these two aspects of her Mestiza ancestry, Puerta seeks to uplift undervalued knowledge and recuperate alternative ways of living that propose a more sustainable and biodiverse future.

Puerta (born in NJ and raised in Colombia) lives and works in New York City and exhibiting her survey show at Hunter East Harlem Gallery—in the heart of El Barrio—is significant to Puerta as she resided in the community for over 15 years.

Lina Puerta: Migration, Nature, and the Feminine is curated by Klaudia Ofwona Draber with associate curator Sofia Ramirez. The exhibition is organized by KODA and Arden Sherman at Hunter East Harlem Gallery. Support for this exhibition is provided by KODA and Hunter College Department of Art and Art History.

 

PATTY CHANG: ZABAR VISITING ARTIST LECTURE

 

PATTY CHANG: ZABAR VISITING ARTIST LECTURE

Lecture
Wednesday, October 13, at 7pm

The artist Patty Chang will be giving an in-person lecture at 205 Hudson on Wednesday, October 13, at 7pm. The seating capacity is limited due COVID restrictions, and all attendees must show proof of vaccination. The lecture will also be happening on Zoom for remote audiences (link to TBA).

Patty Chang is a Los Angeles based artist and educator who uses performance, video, installation and narrative forms when considering identity, gender, transnationalism, colonial legacies, the environment, large-scale infrastructural projects and impacted subjectivities. Her museum exhibition and book The Wandering Lake investigates the landscapes impacted by large scale human-engineered water projects such as the Soviet mission to irrigate the waters from the Aral Sea, as well as the longest aqueduct in the world, the North to South Water Diversion Project in China. Her most recent multichannel video project Milk Debt combines the act of lactation with people’s unspoken fears. Her work has been exhibited nationwide and internationally at such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; New Museum, New York; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; BAK, Basis voor actuele Kunst, Utrecht; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, England; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Times Museum in Guangzhou, China; and Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. She has received a United States Artist Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant, a Creative Capital Fellowship, a Guna S. Mundheim Fellowship in the Visual Arts at the American Academy in Berlin, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and an Anonymous Was a Woman Grant. She teaches at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA.

photo by David Kelley