Essye Klempner, For The Birds
Thomas Hunter Project Space
930 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY
Through November 23
For the Birds is a presentation of ceramics and works on paper by Essye Klempner, Hunter College’s 2018 Artist-in-Resident.
Last summer, Klempner placed ceramic bird baths with nude figures bathing throughout New York’s private and community gardens. Referencing silent films such as “Ecstasy” with Hedy Lamarr, Klempner relies less on verbal language, and predominantly on the gesture of the actor. Using the minimal visual information provided from grainy film, Klempner completes the figure missing from the still shots. Other figures are acquired from photographs, such as a friend playing chess, or through observation of a lover bathing after a long work week.
Another body of work to be presented is sunprints, a camera-less photographic process by which Anna Atkins helped develop to identify plant life. Klempner considers the making of the work as being closer to the traditions of still life and en plein air painting, as the works are made outdoors with natural sunlight. She draws from the local-scale of material gathered through her walks in the city: fallen leaves from trees, weeds like Queen Anne’s Lace, and keys or coins collected in her pockets. Plexiglass is then used to firmly press the objects for closer contact with the light-sensitive paper, which is also included in the final viewing of the print with scattered mushroom spores.
These entities welcome us to the world growing in microbiomes of the urban condition.
Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery
132 E. 68th Street
New York, NY
October 10 – December 1
Opening Reception: October 10, 7-9pm
Hunter College Art Galleries are pleased to announce Robert Morris: Para-architectural projects at Hunter’s Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery. Robert Morris, who died in November 2018, was an alumnus of Hunter College, and a member of the faculty for over 40 years. Hunter’s exhibition focuses on a series of large-scale drawings made by the artist in 1971, many of which were first shown in Morris’s infamous Tate Gallery exhibition of the same year. The Tate’s catalogue describes that exhibition as “a sequence of structures which, although they resemble in their uncompromised simplicity Morris’ earlier sculptures, invite physical participation of the public.” The interaction that Morris encouraged, however, ultimately resulted in visitor injuries as well as damage to the structures, leading to the closure of the exhibition only four days after it opened. In 2009, in collaboration with the artist, the Tate Modern reconceived the 1971 exhibition: this reinstallation, Bodyspacemotionthings, included newly designed versions of the participatory structures, but none of the drawings.
Hunter East Harlem Gallery
2180 3rd Avenue and 119th Street
New York, NY
November 13 – December 4
GALLERY CUBED (GC) is a portable pop-up, a 4 x 8 foot gallery in a box. The franchise kit includes hidden electrical power, easily replaceable parts, and manageable, stackable, flat-pack, space-saving, interlocking panels that are easy to assemble. Anyone can put together the pieces to make a sturdy, load-bearing exhibition space appear out of thin air. GC’s mission is to empower communities and artists through the transformative power of a sustainable art experience. More art for more people for less money.
Inside of the walls of GALLERY CUBED, Nathan Rayman presents his curatorial project, NEA: Network of Extraordinary Artists. The NEA supports international artists applying for the O-1 US Visa or Green Card by offering them opportunities to fulfill specific requirements—exhibitions, publications, panel participation, etc.—that prove their “extraordinariness” to immigration authorities. Like HEHG’s exhibition, The Extraordinary, the NEA is populated through an open call put out by GALLERY CUBED and selected by a jury of established arts workers.
The NEA will present a series of six solo exhibitions beginning on October 16, 2019 and rotating through March, 2020. The NEA began in 2019 and serves as an inclusive, generative network at a time when the US’s original NEA (the National Endowment for the Arts) is at risk of being dismantled and money is more often channelled through the secondary art market. In this environment of dwindling support and funding for art production, the NEA calls into question the metrics used to obtain the status of an “extraordinary” or “successful” artist. How is this lofty goal made even more difficult for non-residents? How can we re-imagine existing structures so that they might yield a more inclusive dividend of success rather than creating competition, scarcity, and rejection?
New York, NY
Opening Reception: September 18, 6-8pm