Tuesday, 10 November 2009

GIRL MEETS GIRL NORWAY

GIRL MEETS GIRL NORWAY



‘Girl Meets Girl’ presents more than twenty international artists who have arrived at distinctive languages which they employ with a freshness and panache which reads as spontaneity. They don’t worry about boundaries: between life and fiction, between sexes and sexualities, between conscious and subconscious, between first person and mediated, between representation and abstraction. The world is all grist to their technical confidence and freedom of wills.

Naturally, that freshness of approach can apply to pretty much any area of art and life. Just so, the artists have been loosely grouped as addressing portraiture, sex, the interface between the human and the natural, how the world can form the basis for abstraction, and other aspects of everyday life. All the artists happen to be female or non-binary. That can be taken as an opportunity to rectify the historic and indeed still current position whereby male artists have been more frequently shown in galleries and more highly valued in the market. The curators do see the composition of the show as a chance to demonstrate that, whatever the reasons might be for the under-representation of women, it is nothing to do with lack of quality. Yet this a show which moves beyond making a point of that to provide an opportunity to generate connections and conversations across their many lively practices.

The five topic areas, then, reflect female perspectives. ‘Woman Portrays Woman’ features radical depictions through which women create their own self-sufficient world, reflect on bodily experience or counteract the historical expectations of female roles. 
Caroline Walker focuses on women within psychologically charged public spaces. Helena Parada Kim muses on the factors behind personal identity in an internationalised world. 
Katherine Bradford's characters dive into mysterious journeys. Vivian Greven finds personal intimacy in a combination of classical, pop and digital registers.  Rosa Loy has a folkloric vision for strengthening the role of women in society.  Yu Jinyoung reveals the emptiness of her character's lives by making them transparent.

‘Woman and Sex’ is similarly assertive and uninhibited. Sarah Slappey combines lush fantasy with dark self-horror. Corinne von Lebusa’s characters tease the voyeuristic viewer. Rosie Gibbens’ films display a brazen and pointed conjunction of sex and humour. Aurora Reinhard cuts through classical myth and popular culture to present herself as a counter to one-dimensional views of women.

‘Woman Meets Nature’ examines how human can identify with the natural and animal and the metaphorical potential that creates. Rose Wylie stretches her distinctive worldview into a snake ten canvasses long. Won Kyung Lee merges vegetable, animal and human attributes. Katherine Bernhardt's pictographic animals take flight through electric colours and humming shapes. Annie Morris's work  courses with life across several media. Wanda Koop investigates, she says, 'the contemporary understanding of Landscape, in particular as a vehicle for addressing cultural encroachment upon and destruction of the so called natural world'.

‘Woman Abstracting’ presents artists who move away from naturalism yet retain telling connections to the real world from which they are abstracting. Camilla Løw plays games with constructivist and Bauhaus sources. 
Ina Gerken gives a fresh context to Abstract Expressionist language. Cornelia Baltes makes us wonder how far her abstraction has really gone. Martine Poppe openly conceals emotion behind form. Jenny Brosinski's deconstructions of painterly language constitute a 
a fleeting encounter with 'what if ?'  

And ‘Woman in the World’ sees personal meet political and private meet public across a wide cross-section of life concerns. Urara Tsuchiya’s uninhibited ceramics challenge us to decide where our boundaries are between public and private. Emma Cousin's women act out the comedy of how the body works. 
 Caroline Wells Chandler queers art history to turn the straight, masculine tradition of painting into ambiguously-gendered figures made with the ‘women’s craft’ of crochet. Johanna Reich considers how the ‘real’ and the ‘virtual’ influence each other - and our view of women. 

Consistent with the artists’ general unwillingness to be constrained by boundaries, there is plenty of crossover. That makes sense: when girl meets girl, they speak to each other through the many ideas in play. 



WOMAN PORTRAYS WOMAN


Caroline Walker
Home Visit, 2016 - oil on board, 165 x 240 cm

Twinkle Toes, 2017 - oil on board, 55 x 45 cm
Lisa, 2018 - oil on board, 55 x 45 cm


Caroline Walker's sumptuous paintings focus on women within psychologically charged public spaces and as hidden labour: they are active subjects yet our view is complicated by a potentially voyeuristic gaze. Walker developed this body of work through elaborately staged scenes using models - as in Home Visit, from a series set in a Palm Springs hotel and a private home. For Twinkle Toes Walker worked with a former Miss America pageant contestant, seen here trying on clothes in her walk in wardrobe. The mirror and window frame recurring in this series - suggesting, says Caroline, 'the woman’s containment within the house, but also a hyper-awareness of self-image and the impossibility of managing that'. Lisa represents a switch in method: photographs of the actual daily business of London nail bars informed a series of paintings capturing the atmosphere of these almost exclusively female spaces.







Caroline Walker (1982 Dunfermline, UK) currently lives and works in London, where she completed her MA at the Royal College of Art in 2009. Her solo exhibitions in 2020 are at Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham; Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh and GEM, Kunstmuseum den Haag, Netherlands. Past solo shows have been at GRIMM, Amsterdam (2019) and New York (2018),  Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2018), Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles (2018) and Space K, Gwacheon, Korea (2017). Recent group shows include at Victoria Miro Gallery, London and the Whitechapel Gallery, London.


Helena Parada Kim 




Anna K.E., 2011 - oil on linen, 180 x 115 cm





'Lina Franko', 2019/20 - oil on linen 185 x 250 cm (in progress)




Iwajla Klinke, 2014 - oil on linen, 170 x 130 cm


As a Spanish-Korean brought up in Germany, Helena Parada Kim refuses to identify with a single nationality, consistent with her interest in shifting identity. Taking her cue from elegant, feminine figures dressed in the traditional Korean costumes in her mother´s photography albums, she concentrates on portraits. Initially, Parada Kim used the Korean material directly, as echoed in the recent Three Women, which shows the artist herself with her mother and aunt, against a Korean screen painting. Helena has gone on to portray the typically shifting and mixed worlds of her artist friends.  In Anna K.E. she paints the German-Georgian into a version of Zurbarán's St Margaret of Antiochia, in which the saint boldly faces off the threat - perhaps of male aggression - symbolised by the dragon. Lina Franko shows another artist friend, together with her poodle, in a studio - her little cosmos - she has just learned she will have to give up. Iwajla Klinke is posed in front of an empty shop in Berlin: both the style and her androgynous appearance echo portraits, by such Neue Sachlichkeit painters as Christian Schad or Lotte Laserstein, of the new type of woman emerging in the Weimar Republic.



Helena Parada Kim (1982, Cologne, Germany), lives and works in Berlin). She studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (2002-09), and has had solo shows at  Choi&Lager Gallery, Cologne (2016),  Galerie Tristan Lorenz, Frankfurt  (2015),  Galerie Bugdahn und Kaimer, Düsseldorf (2010) and Kunstverein Recklinghausen, Recklinghausen, Germany (2009)


Katherine Bradford



Somersault, 2018 - Acrylic on canvas, 182.9 × 139.7 cm



Tub Under Planet, 2018 - Acrylic on canvas, 203.2 × 172.7 cm



Trophies, 2018 - Acrylic on canvas, 203.2 × 172.7 cm

Katherine Bradford’s elusively anonymous figures are engaged in off-kilter sporting activities: what looks like assisted acrobatics, night-boat racing and a multi-cup award ceremony for the faceless. All use a recent palette of moody pinks and blues, in which the shadowless light and floating lack of perspective are more enchanted than real. Bradford is 78, but retains a positively girlish freshness in her application of paint, which seems pretty relaxed about whether the intent of a particular mark is figurative or abstract. And though one can read psychological possibilities into her characters and their curious interactions, my sense is that the paint, rather than its narrative, is what matters most to her. Bradford favours acrylic. The fluorescent colours and watery textures suit her dreamy washes, the undercurrents of which in her words – ‘serve as a metaphor for whatever we’re floating on, and jumping into, and travelling through’. Freud read water as the subconscious, and that air of mysterious inner journeying remains when Bradford’s characters reach dry land or high air.


Katherine Bradford (1942, New York) lives and works in New York. She studied at the State University of New York, Purchase, NY (MFA) and Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania (BA). Her recent solo and two person exhibitions include at Campoli Presti, London and Paris (2019); Galerie Haverkampf, Berlin (2016 and 2018); CANADA, New York (2016 and 2018); Adams and Ollman, Portland, Oreogon (2014, 2016 and 2018) and Anat Egbi, Los Angeles (2018); Galerie Haverkampf, Berlin, Germany, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas, Galleria Monica De Cardenas, Milan, Italy and Sperone Westwater, New York (2017) and Fred Giampietro Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut (2015) 
Vivian Greven


        
              Grazia I, 2017 - oil on canvas, 43 x 33 cm

                  Grazia II, 2017 - oil on canvas, 43 x 33 cm

                     Aer I, 2018 - oil on canvas, 120 x 80 cm

Vivian Greven characterises her theme as 'painted love', which she filters  through ancient Graeco-Roman statues and pastel colours, bringing a classical calm to her androgynous figures. Yet they also suggest pop art and how the idealisation of the human body found throughout art history culminates in our current digital world. That valuation of beauty, says Greven 'is connected to the idea of holiness and holiness in turn is connected to the universe, where death and life are lovers'. The results are ethereal, yet more bodily and alive then the cold stone they reference - just as the translucency of marble has historically made it the favoured stone for sculpting the nude. As Victor Hugo put it: 'In a woman the flesh must be like marble; in a statue the marble must be like flesh'. Indeed, Vivian sees her painted surfaces as skin-like membranes,  allowing her to 'concentrate on its direct surficial appearance but also on the volume of the body, which moves underneath'. The effect is more intimate than erotic as these three paintings draw us into their glimpsed interactions.  



Vivian Greven (1985, Bonn, Germany) lives and works in Düsseldorf. She studied art at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (2006-15) and English and American Studies at the Bergische Universität, Wuppertal (2007-13). Her solo shows include at Kadel Willborn, Düsseldorf (2019) and Galerie Thomas Fuchs, Stuttgart (2014, 2016 and 2019); Aurel Scheibler, Berlin (2017 and 2018) and Setareh Gallery, Düsseldorf (2017). She has appeared in various international group shows, and is also participating in the exhibition project 'NOW! Painting in Germany Today', that shows works from young German artists in four museums across Germany. She is the current recipient of the Marianne Defet Painting Scholarship in Nuremberg.  



Rosa Loy


Ruf, 2004 - Casein on canvas, 100x130cm


Sensual Intelligence, 2010 - Casein on canvas, 130 x 170 cm


Conjecture, 2013 -Casein on canvas, 170x130cm

Rosa Loy’s dreamily allegorical images have the atmosphere of an alternative world, some of which may be down to them featuring many women but no men. Loy sees that as part of a vision for strengthening the role of women in society.  Her pictures echo myths and fairy tales as they search for a new mode of living which feeds on traditional female knowledge and its associated mysteries. Rosa's style has a renaissance vibe enhanced by her choice of  casein paint, a medium derived from milk which has been used for murals since Ancient Egypt but which has become rare with the advent of acrylic. Yet Loy's scenarios are decidedly modern in their humour: consider the fashionable twist on Rumpelstiltskin in 'Ruf', a touch of the Chiristmas sleigh with bin bags in 'Conjecture', and the operation of clothing in 'Sensual Intelligence'.
                                 
    


Rosa Loy (1958 Zwichau, Germany) lives in Leipzig. She studied horticulture 1976-1985 at Humboldt University Berlin, and painting 1985-1993 at the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig. In 2020 she has solo exhibitions at Lyles & King, New York; and Galerie Noah, Augsburg; Museum Bensheim, Bensheim, and Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig (all in Germany). Past solo shows include at Der Tag, Gutshaus Steglitz, Berlin in 2019 and ACMCM Centre d'Art Contemporain, Perpignan (France) in 2019, Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles in 2018 and Bilder Bergen, Drents Museum, Assen (The Netherlands) in 2017.


Yu Jinyoung



the LIFE #3, 2017 - Poly vinyl chloride, Fibre-reinforced plastic, 160 (H) x 42 (W) x 20 (D) cm



Me & Myself #2, 2012 - 2015 - Poly vinyl chloride, Fibre-reinforced plastic, Acrylic Panel - various dimensions, maximum height 156 cm 

  

   the LIFE #8, 2018 - Poly vinyl chloride, Fibre-reinforced                 plastic, 156 (H) x 57 (W) x 45 (D) cm

The figures in Yu Jinyoung installations stand motionless, personalised by  colourful, bold faces and accessories which contrast greatly with the weightless transparency of their bodies. No wonder their  conspicuous faces are mask-like. Their  expressions seem mournful, and a close look reveals physical injuries. These figures are merely trying to maintain flawless facades in the awkward circumstance that, due to their pellucid bodies, they are forced to present their empty inner lives - enigmatically distanced and isolated. The artist's play with the contrast between transparency and solidness, violence and technical perfection may make us wish to free them from their constrained surroundings. Yu Jinyoung sees 'The Life' as criticising the way in which Korea's rapid economic growth, in the context of traditional hierarchies, has accords financial success and political influence to a small minority only.

Yu Jinyoung (1977, Korea) lives and works in Seoul, where she graduated from Sungshin Women's University with a BFA (2001) and MFA (2005) in sculpture. She has had solo exhibitions at 
Choi & Lager Gallery, Cologne, Germany (2013 and 2018); UNION Gallery, London (2013); Kimi Art Gallery, Seoul and Ami & Kanoko Gallery, Osaka, Japan (2007) and appeared widely in group shows across Europe and Asia. 




WOMAN AND SEX


Sarah Slappey


Log Touch, 2018 - Oil on panel, 20 x 20 inches



Log, 2018 - Oil on panel, 20 x 20 inches


Squeeze, 2018 - Oil on panel, 20 x 20 inches

Is that really just a log being touched? Sarah Slappey merges vegetable and bodily in these dark, swampy, beautifully horrible paintings, suggesting a jungle of limbs lit, as she puts it, to create 'the feeling of stumbling upon something with a flashlight'. Alison Karasyk has described them as 'combining lush fantasy with self-horror' to yield  'a form of figure painting that moves from the inside out, wherein distortion is power and the abject flows of female body fluids are agents of exuberant representation'.  Sarah says that she is  interested in 'how a painting can make a viewer feel something peculiar, like a sliminess or a tingle up one’s spine', but that if she paints a full figure that operates too like a portrait, which leads to a sense of removal between the viewer and painted figure, 'and the tingle disappears. Disfigured limbs decrease this distance for me; the phantom limb in a painting can be attached to nothing, something unknown, or even a viewer'. 




Sarah Slappey (1984, Columbia, South Carolina) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She took a BA in Studio Art at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC (2006) and an MFA in Painting at Hunter College, New York, NY(2016) and was awarded the Hunter College Kossak Travel Grant in 2015. She has had solo shows at Crush Curatorial (2018) and Sargent's Daughters (2020) in New York, and her group shows include at Maria Bernheim Gallery, Zurich, Carl Kostyal Gallery, London, and Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York in 2019 and at  George Gallery, Brooklyn, Saatchi Gallery, London and KH7 Artspace, Aarhus, Denmark in 2018.





Corrine von Lebusa


Bedtime Story, 2017 - Mixed media on cardboard, 50x40cm



Lonely Fiancee, 2019 Mixed media on cardboard, 40 x 30 cm


      

Whoever comes in is inside #14, 2018 - 
Mixed media on cardboard, 40 x 30 cm


'What a pleasure
 it is', says Rosa Loy of her Leipzig sister-in-art, to see an obviously figural, i.e. real, world presented in such an unreal way. It is up to us to project our own being onto this unreality. Here the artist offers us a creative sphere in which philosophy, artificiality, reality, femininity and science are able to create something new through chemical union'.  Corrine von Lebusa conjures characters we seem to have stumbled on unawares, but so charming is her use of watercolour, oil paints, crayons, various inks and diverse varnishes,  it is hard to feel troubled by out potentially inappropriate presence, even though they don't always seem happy. A more recent series shows  women in striped leotards tumbling and stretching together. They seem more aware of - and playing up to - the viewer as they peer cheekily between their own legs. These jesting characters seem, like the paintings, to be teasing us but just beyond our ability to pin down quite what it's about. 


  
Portrait by Carina Linge


Corrine von Lebusa ( 1978, Herzberg, Germany) lives and works in Leipzig. She studied fashion and graphic design at Burg Giebichenstein, Halle (Germany) to 1998, and painting 2001-08 at the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig, taking her diploma with Prof. Neo Rauch. She has had solo shows at Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig (2015 and 2018), Galerie Levy, Hamburg (2017), Ostdeutscher Sparkassenverband, Berlin (2016). Her group shows include 'Sex U.L.', Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Leipzig (2020)and 'The Leipzig Connection, Croatian Association of Artists, Zagreb (2019).


Rosie Gibbens

 

 Still from SeDUCKtion, 2019
 
Still from Professional Body, 2018
 

Stills from Domestic Bliss, 2017

Rosie Gibbens is a performer (often with absurd body parts) and film maker who displays a brazen and pointed conjunction of sex and humour. SeDUCKtion documents her pondside attempt to attract some ducks using a speculum with lipstick as a beak, washing-up gloves as webbed feet, and a repetitive dance. The register is complicated by the voice-over: a child reads extracts from genuine online discussions comparing the sexiness of Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse. Professional Body sees her getting intimate with an office chair, which might act as a parody of the workplace romance, while both Brush and Domestic Bliss make ingeniously inappropriate use of everyday items, lampooning the ubiquity of the sexual. The overall effect is an entertaining reductio ad absurdum of the very possibility of constraining women within defined roles.


Rosie Gibbens in her 'Blinds' performance, photograph by Manuel Vason

Rosie Gibbens (1993, UK) lives and works in London. She graduated with an MA in Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art (2018) and a BA in Performance Design and Practice at Central Saint Martins (2015). Her recent participations include at Tate Modern; Salon Acme no.8, Mexico; Black Box, Farnham, UK; König Galerie, Berlin; Elephant West, Bow Arts and the Chalton Gallery in London; Latrobe Regional Gallery in Australia; Lake West, South Korea and the No Nation Performance Festival Screening in Bogota and Chicago.

Aurora Reinhard 


Martyr (self-portrait), 2019, Porcelain plaster, 55 x 15 x 15 cm


High Rider, 2020, bronze, 24 carat gold plate, 24 x 12,5 x 4 cm 




Artist & Curator, 2017, 3d resin color print, 17 x 17 x 14 cm, ed. 2/3


Aurora Reinhard works conceptually with photographs, sculptures and videos dealing with themes of gender and sexuality, moving between documentary and surreal approaches. Recurrent themes have included an almost systematic and frequently provocative critique of one-dimensional identities and stereotyped images of women. When working on her pieces she has made a habit of putting herself on the line, and of looking for answers both in front of the camera and behind it: here she plays St Sebastian, assertively channelling the artist and woman as martyr, and  and enters a power play with a curator - appearing to be dominated when we know she's in control. In that context, the golden legs-come-nutcracker-come scissors of High Rider  might also read as a self-portrait of sorts - of a woman who cuts through classical myth and popular culture alike as she crushes our preconceptions. 



Helsinki and Berlin based Aurora Reinhard (1975, Helsinki) studied photography and media art 1995-2003 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. In 2020 she has solo exhibition at Aine Art Museum in Tornio Finland and she is participating in the Iconic Works exhibition at the National Museum of Sweden and at the National Gallery of Finland. In 2019 she was nominated for the Ars Fennica prize which is one of the biggest art prizes in Scandinavia, in connection with the nomination she exhibited at Amos Rex Museum in Helsinki and Sven Harrys Art Museum in Stockholm. Past solo shows include at Muyun Art & Culture Foundation Bejing in 2019, Zetterberg Gallery Helsinki in 2018 & 2017, Kunstverein Ruhr, Essen in 2018, Salon Dahlman Berlin in 2018.


WOMAN AND NATURE

Rose Wylie




'Snake', 2018, as installed at David Zwirner, London 



Rose Wylie's lively visual lexicon draws from multiple sources to arrive at wittily observed meditations on the nature of visual representation. She says of her extraordinary ten panel snake  that, given the chance to fill a whole room with one painting, she thought 'a distinct and singular, long-running-form' would 'cover the ground, and at the same time hold itself together as a coherent and connected work... and the snake often has a strong geometric marking: (see my distanced bunches of 3 clear dots).  I didn’t want a robust or baroque snake, or a rococo fiddle-about….nor a hollywood or pop  item, more something that might find itself on a flag or ancient manuscript, something recognisable but not realistic either... It referenced Chinese kites for me, so keep the colour light and stick an outline along it to make it show up from a distance as that would be its only complete image...  Anyway, for depth of meaning in an apparently simplified ‘look',  the snake is stacked with symbolic interpretation…including the nice contrasts of ‘healing', ‘perpetuation’, ‘ poison' and ’sin'... There are no props to distract... there is  only the restraint of the somewhat metaphysical, well-spaced lettering, which makes a  long-parallelism with the word S N A K E, mapping the image and  holding up the bottom. The snake floats on bare  canvas, long and friendly, and not oppressive'.







Rose Wylie (1934 Hythe, Kent, UK) studied at Folkestone and Dover School of Art, Kent, and the Royal College of Art, London, from which she graduated in 1981. Her first solo exhibition took place in 1985 at the Trinity Arts Centre in Kent. Her recent solo shows include several round the world with the Choi-Lager  and David Zwirner galleries and solo presentations at the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, Philadelphia and Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, England (2012); Tate Britain, London and Haugar Vestfold Kunstmuseum, Tønsberg, Norway (2013); Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg, Germany (2014); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2015), Space K, Seoul, Chapter, Cardiff and Turner Contemporary, Margate (2016); Serpentine Gallery, London (2017); Plymouth Arts Centre,England and Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga (2018).


Lee Won-Kyoung 








Lee Won-Kyoung, like Rose Wylie, presents animal life on a scale which could be threatening yet makes for an enchantingly friendly presence. That's  born out of a further paradox, as she employs hard, cold metal wires using a warm, soft knitting technique. And then hangs the hollow creatures to fly through the space, whether or not the animal represented is aerial.  Her sculptures are, of course, artefacts, but the resulting cellular components are plant-like, emphasising the natural continuity between plant, animal and - through us as viewers - human realms. By overlapping these different or opposite attributes in one work, Lee Won Kyoung asks her audience how they can coexist, respect and live with different attributes in this infinitely diverse world.



Lee Won Kyoung (1975, Cheonan, Korea) studied painting at Hannam University in Daejeon from 1995 to 2001, and formative arts at Dankook University in Yongin from 2010 to 2015. She has held numerous solo exhibitions in Seoul and Daejeon from 2001 onwards, including Daejeon Museum of Art, Lee Ung-no Art Museum, and Gwangju Museum of Art. In 2016, she was selected as the Artist of the Year by ThinkArtKorea and had an individual exhibition. In 2019, she participated in the 'Lee Ung-no Paris Residence Program' in Paris, France and won the 'Ha Jung-woong Young Artist Award' in Gwangju, Korea.


Katherine Bernhardt





Untitled, 2018 - Acrylic on paper, 45.7 x 60.7 cm



Untitled, 2018 - Acrylic on paper, 45.7 x 60.7 cm


Untitled, 2018 - Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 182.9 × 152.4 cm

Katherine Bernhardt’s pictographic paintings operate at the sloppy end of spontaneity, employing acrylic and spray paint to depict everyday items and wildlife with sufficient vim to make them more riffs on signification than analyses of what is signified – excuses for painting electric colours and humming shapes, rather than subjects as such. Using a language she arrived at via the influences of fashion and Moroccan rugs, Bernhardt embraces the world’s stream of images, and her frequent locations of Brooklyn and Puerto Rico, with enough often-tropical warmth to make them her own. Here she shows a toucan, a butterfly and either a pair of owls or Darth Vader – the artful imprecision of her outlines and semi-accidental pooling of paint makes it hard to be too sure what’s what. Either way, the paintings cohere around the liberating potential of flight - given Vader’s ability to levitate, something he has the self-confidence not to employ too frequently.




                           


Katherine Bernhardt (1975, St. Louis, Missouri, United States ) lives and works in New York. She received her BFA in 1998 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her MFA in 2000 at the School of Visual Arts, New York. Her many solo exhibitions have recently included at NANZUKA, Tokyo and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels (2019); Art OMI, New York and Mario Testino Museum, Lima, Peru (2018); CANADA, New York and , Karma, Amagansett, NY (2017); Lever House, New York, Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas and USA Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis, Missouri (2016) and Carl Freedman Gallery, London (2015).

Annie Morris 
(works to be included not yet finalised)





Ultramarine Blue Pigment Flower Head, 2018 - Pigment on steel with concrete base




Untitled, 2019 - Oil, pigment, acrylic and coloured pencil on paper, 100 × 250 cm




                Stack 9, 2018 



Annie Morris’s work courses with life. That’s obvious enough in the fertile spontaneity of her repertoire of natural forms in drawings, paintstick works and – paradoxically, given the painstaking process involved - tapestries. And that exuberance is blown up big time in her flower-headed cut-outs. Can the same be said of her best-known stream of work, the ‘stacks’ of boulder-like forms balanced improbably on top of each other in cheerful colours? Yes, and yet they originate from a dark place: Morris began the series a dozen years ago when she and her husband suffered a stillbirth. Their component shape references the womb, and they were a way of asserting optimism at a difficult time - which proved pleasingly well founded as the couple are now parents. The stacks are essentially paintings: palettes in which the particularity of colour and texture and their interaction is Annie’s core concern, right down to sourcing two sizes of sand grains, as well as pigments and binders from around the world. 



Annie Morris (b. 1978 in London) studied at St. Martins College of Art and Design (2002-2003) going on to École des Beaux Arts in Paris under Giuseppe Penonne (1998-2002) before completing her studies at Slade School of Art (2002-2004). Morris’ works are held in various collections across the world and her recent exhibitions include: Timothy Taylor, New York (2019), Venice Biennale (2019), ProjectB Gallery, Milan (2018), Winston Wachter Fine Art, Seattle (2018), Victoria Miro, London (2018) and Galerie Isa (2018).


Wanda Koop   (works to be included not yet finalised)



 

Dreamline River, 2018 - acrylic on canvas, 213 x 274 cm




Standing Withstanding Pipeline, 2018 - acrylic on canvas, 213 x 274 cm
Beauty is troubling in Wanda Koop's large, layered paintings. She works in series, and these two are part of what the ardent community activist calls 'an investigation into the contemporary understanding of Landscape, in particular as a vehicle for addressing cultural encroachment upon and destruction of the so called natural world'.  The 'Dreamline'  series features dual flame-like drips which the viewer looks at, through and around. They are actually precisely painted, not dripped on, and 'because they represent a tear' says Wanda, 'I put two on every painting' - yielding a compelling formal device which is also a lament for the planet and how our actions impact on it.  The marks which act comparably in formal terms in 'Standing Withstanding Pipeline' evoke, more directly, the effect of the oil industry and the Dakota pipeline protests in particular. They make for an irruption of abstraction into the landscape which might parallel human intervention, as well as hinting that the sunset colours may represent pollution as much as natural beauty. 



 Wanda Koop (1951, Vancouver) studied at the University of Manitoba School of Art and lives and works in Winnipeg, Canada. Her recent solo exhibitions include at Division Gallery, Toronto; Dallas Museum of Art, Texas (2019) Franklin Parrasch Gallery; New York, Division Gallery, Montreal; Arsenal Contemporary, New York (2018), Night Gallery, Los Angeles (2017), Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Canadian Embassy, Washington (2016).  She is the Founder / Honorary Chair of Art City (Inner-city visual arts youth centre) in Winnipeg and is a Member of the Order of Canada (C.M.). 



WOMEN ABSTRACTING

Camilla Løw


 Spring Rain, 2013


VII, 2008 - Concrete, wood, paint. 150 x 30 x 30cm

              

                  Eye, 2015 - Perspex, cord, 40 x 40 x 1 cm

The building blocks of Camilla Løw’s language will be familiar from classic constructivist and Bauhaus sources and the way that has fed into architecture with utopian aspirations. Hence the sharp geometry, primary colours, formal simplicity and frequent use of concrete. That may sound rather worthy and controlled, but the works turn out to be jauntily expressive in their interactions with each other and their environments. Løw also envisages them as relative to human presence: 'Sometimes it is about losing the form into space, then gathering the shape and form together again through the movement and positioning of the viewer'. That experience will be altered if  the work dangles and turns, like the red Eye looking back at us, or if it can incorporate flowers, as in Spring Rain grouping. All of which seems to put us on a stage to play our roles alongside Camilla's sculptural actors.


 


Camilla Løw lives and works in Oslo. She attended Asker Kunstfagskole (1996-98) and Glasgow School of Art (1998-2001, BA (Hons) Fine Art, Sculpture). Her solo shows include at Isca, Oslo (2020), Belmacz, London (2014 and 2019), Fullersta Gård, Huddinge, Sweden (2018), Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo (2016), Elastic Gallery, Stockholm (2015) and the National Museum for Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo (2012).


Ina Gerken 



 Untitled (Confetti), 2019 -  Acrylic and Japanese paper on canvas, 150 x 120 cm 


   Untitled (Mask Off), 2019 - Acrylic on canvas, 150 x 120 cm 


'The sublime harmony contained in expression', says her Finish gallery, Makassini Contemporary, 'is wordlessly articulated in Ina Gerken’s light, ethereal art, through both line and colour. The line searches and fumbles, but does not lose control'. Often, as in Untitled (Confetti), the painting ground is given structure by the Japanese paper fixed to its surface. That adds to the ambiguity of space, an effect which Untitled (Mask Off) achieves differently through straight acrylic on canvas. The paintings’ idiosyncratic colour theory produces a rich chromaticism that, when combined with Gerken’s meticulously handiworked grounds and laconically articulated, ambivalent gesture painting, provides a novel setting for effects akin to Hoffman's push and pull. 





Ina Gerken (1987 Speyer, Germany) lives and works in Düsseldorf. She studied fine art at Kunsthochschule Mainz (2007-13)and painting at Düsseldorf’s Art Academy (2014-2016). Her recent solo shows have been at The Cabin, Los Angeles (2019) Achenbach Hagemeier, Berlin and Dusseldorf and Makasiini Contemporary, Turku, Finland (2018); NAM project, Milan (2017) and Gallery Golestani, Düsseldorf (2015). She is also participating in the exhibition project NOW! Painting in Germany Today, that shows works from young German artists in four museums across Germany.


Cornelia Baltes


Eroh (2019) Acrylic on canvas 190 x 140 cm


J.D. (2017) Acrylic on canvas 190 x 142 x 3 cm 



Ell (2018) - Acrylic and routed black MDF 70 x 56 cm


Cornelia Baltes states that the general source of her work ‘is the observation of daily life. I point out small things that touch me and create work that combines simplicity with a sense of humour.’ Just so, she extracts the essence of such encounters to test how far she can push her clean graphic sensibility and suggestively elusive titles towards abstraction while drawing us in to their possible figurative subjects. Are ‘Eroh’ and ‘J.D.’ the names of creaturely characters? Or even ‘Ell’, come to that, given the eyes in what could be a face as well as the pointing at the end of an ell (which is the old unit of measurement defined by the length of the forearm and hand)? These playful works, according to Galleri Nicolai Wallner, offer a visual conundrum which ‘constantly shifts between recognition and obscurity’.   



Cornelia Baltes (1978, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. She graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art, London in 2011. Her solo exhibitions include at Frutta; Glasgow Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff; and Bolte Lang, Zurich (2018), Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen (2017) and Limoncello, London (2013 and 2016) and the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, UK (2013) . Among many group shows, her work is currently on view in the "Jetzt! Junge Malerei in Deutschland" at Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany, until 17 May 2020.



Martine Poppe


Hit the spot, 200 x 120 cm, oil on polyester restoration fabric and textiles, 2020




Quick kiss, 32 x 30 x 30 cm, photographic print on Canson Premium Photosatin RC and epoxy, 2019



Spectacular figure
200 x 120 cm, oil on polyester restoration fabric and textiles, 2020 

The ‘real’ substance of a painting is conventionally considered to be on the surface of the canvas. Yet the partially concealed space behind has become a crucial part of Martine Poppe's process, which combines painting, photography, textile and sculpture in order to explore frameworks of identity, gender and social context. Behind, she says, she can be 'violent, intimate, vulnerable and lost', even as the canvas and painting on top make it apparent that she is reluctant to expose such feelings. Poppe has previously placed her photographic sources behind the canvas, but here the space is filled with haphazardly draped fabrics, stained with paint. That contrasts with both the controlled stripes and rhythmically feathered brushstrokes which characterise the front of the canvases, exploiting the particular properties of restoration fabric as a ground, and also with the images screwed-up into sculptural form - a further act of open concealment, leading us to wonder how image relates to title.


Martine Poppe (1988, Oslo) lives and works in London and Oslo. She trained 2007 - 2011 BA Hons in Fine Art, Slade School of Fine Art, University College London and 2011 - 2013 MFA in Fine Art, Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Her solo and two person exhibitions include Kristin Hjellegjerde, Berlin (2018 and 2020) and London (2016 and 2019) ,  Artmonte Carlo with  VI, VII (2019), Trafo Kunsthall, Asker, Norway (2018), Venet-Haus Galerie, Neu Ulm, Germany (2017), UNTITLED San Francisco with Kristin Hjellegjerde/Narrative Projects, San Francisco (2016) and Trafo Kunsthall, Asker, Norway (2015).

Jenny Brosinski


I be movin on, 2020 - Oil, oil stick, olive oil, spray paint, charcoal and fabric on canvas in oak frame 200 x 152 cm




Was it obvious to everybody else, 2020 - Oil, oil stick, olive oil, charcoal on canvas, oak framed 200 x 152 cm




They called me weak 2020 - Oil, olive oil, charcoal in oak frame 200 x 160 cm 

Jenny Brosinski describes painting as a fleeting encounter with what if, suggesting an abstracted testing-out of the world's possibilities. That leads to 'a kind of neo-expressionist-minimalism' in which Cy Twombly, Michel Majerus and Michael Krebber are evident influences. She creates and then deconstructs and reconfigures, seeking new possibilities from original arrangements of irregular lines, abstract marks, scraps of text, ambiguous shapes and also, sometimes, famous cartoons. Brosinski restricts the gestures and maximises the exposure of raw ground to generate an air of provisionality. Her aim, she says, is to embody ‘deconstruction’ through compositions that deliberately reveal traces of use, whereby the nature of their materiality is brought to the foreground. These three paintings show how the face-off operates between a spontaneuosly ad hoc appearance and the mindful balance which lies beneath.


Jenny Brosinski (1984, Celle, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. She studied at the   Weissensee Academy of Art Berlin, 2006–2010. Her solo exhibitions include at the   Choi & Lager Gallery, Seoul  (2019); Nevven Gallery, Göteborg, Denmark; POP68, Cologne, and  Zweisieben, Karlsruhe,  Germany (2018);   Galleria Annarumma, Naples and Galerie Schacher – Raum für Kunst, Stuttgart, Germany (2017) and Geukens & De Vil Knokke, Antwerp, Belgiam (2016).  

WOMAN IN THE WORLD

Urara Tsuchiya


sauna, 2019


hot tub, 2019


going down on a tree, 2019

Urara Tsuchiya spent Frieze London 2019 in bed, treating Union Pacific's booth as a hotel room in which she was surrounded by such eccentric ceramics as underwear and bottles of booze as well as her well-known strand of sex acts and animals - or both -  not infrequently hidden within innocuous looking bowls. That's all typical of how she ignores the usual distinctions between public and private, in film and sculpture as well as ceramic, and challenges us to decide what our boundaries might be. Is panda coupling cute or embarrasing? How sensible is sex in a sauna?  Can trees feel pleasure? Might a ceramic hot tub actually make sense? Her installation Warm Drizzle gives us a chance to assess such conundrums at scale. 

Urara Tsuchiya (1979, Tokyo) lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland. She did an MFA at Glasgow School of Art and studied fine Art at Goldsmiths University, London. Previous exhibitions includes a solo presentation at Frieze, London (2019), Glasgow International (2018), Trade Gallery (2017) and Union Pacific, London (2016). Her upcoming exhibitions include at Ada Projects in Rome and  Glasgow International


Emma Cousin 



Stone Cold Stunner, 2019 oil on canvas, 190 x 170 x 3.5 cm


 

Keeping Knix, 2019 - oil on canvas, 190 x 170 cm



Swan dive, 2019 - oil on linen, 170 x 190 cm

Emma Cousin's women act out what she calls 'the comedy of how the body works' through groupings which might fail. The implicit danger is evident in Stone Cold Stunner which takes the name of a wrestling move, where one contestant puts the other in a headlock to throw them to the floor. It seemed, says Cousin, 'an intimate and vaguely threatening gesture that was exciting to explore in these interlocking figures'. In Keeping Knix three wise old women explore the proverb ‘hear no evil, speak no evil’ by obstructing each other’s senses. They form the shape of a rooftop weather vane as if, says Cousin, 'they are waiting for the wind to change'. And Swan Dive sees a character throw herself into a commitment of some sort with uncertain consequences. Like Cousin's characters, viewers are left in a stimulating but challenging state of suspense.




Emma Cousin (1986, Yorkshire, UK) studied at the Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford University 2004-2007.Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford University BA Hons.2004-2007 and Skowhegan School of Painting, 2018. She has had solo shows at Milton Keynes Art Centre (2019); Edel Assanti Gallery, London and Lewisham Arthouse (both 2018); and Dolph projects (2017) and was part of the Jerwood 'Survey' show which toured Britain in 2018-19.


 Caroline Wells Chandler
 Doobie in Outer Space, 2018 - hand crocheted assorted fibres,
61 x 56 cm



Blue Wave, 2018 - Hand crocheted assorted fibres, 244 x 503 cm
                   
School Bois, 2019 - Hand crocheted assorted fibres, 206 x 152 cm

Here 'Girl Meets Girl' extends to 'Girl Meets Gender-queer/non-binary Boi', viz Caroline Wells Chandler, who identifies himself in those terms. He describes his work as tackling themes of ‘community, belonging, the spiritual, and in-betweenness’. Chandler queers art history as he turns the straight, masculine tradition of painting into ambiguously-gendered figures made with the ‘women’s craft’ of crochet. Neon-bright figures cavort across the walls with a lack of concern for whether they are male or female, what race they are, or even whether they are human. A frontal zip shape might be penile or vaginal, for instance; skin and hair can be any colour; and cartoons, robots and computer game graphics are all in play. And the process of crochet, literally involves the twisting and crossing of lines - appropriate for the glee with which Chandler sets about scrambling the expectations of the hetero-normative gaze. It may be, as he says, that ‘to be happily, proudly, and freely queer is a radical triumph’ – which is to say we haven’t yet reached a new normal – but the sense is that we’ve got far enough to celebrate.





Caroline Wells Chandler (1985, Norfolk, Virginia) lives and works in New York. He studied at Yale University School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut (MFA 2011), Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas (BFA 2007), Rhode Island School of Design (2004) and Universidad de Guadalajara (20013). Recent solo and two person shows include at Galerie Eric Mouchet, Paris (2020), MOCA Tucson, Arixzona ; MRS., Maspeth, New York and Union Gallery, London (2019); Left Field, San Luis Obispo, California and Crush Curatorial, New York (2018); Andrew Rafacz, Chicago; Wythe Hotel, Brooklyn, New York; Monique Meloche, Chicago; Rosenwald Wolf Gallery, Philadelphia and Fred Giampietro, New Haven Connecticut (2017).


Johanna Reich




Still from Ethics of Coding, 2019



Installation view from Resurface, 2016


Installation view from  Crawler, 2020

Given that we live in two worlds – the ‘real’ and the ‘virtual’ – how do they influence each other? Has the ‘real’ become an imitation of the virtual? And what are the effects of the way power plays out online? Johanna Reich’s multi-media investigations probe such questions from many angles. Ethics of Coding produces a dozen ink drawings by enacting the censorship implied by Facebook's banning of famous nudes from art history: a critique of the influence of the algorithmic procedures used online which also points to the passive role assigned to women in the art cannon –‘to-be-looked-at-ness’, in Laura Mulvey’s termResurface corrects that by identifying – and creating films of images emerging and Wikipedia entries for - 400 female artists who were famous during their time yet have disappeared from view, so using the Internet as a democratic tool to rewrite history. And Crawler is a self-driving robot performance taken from a searchbot’s collection of the commonest phrases in the most-discussed topics online, projected for real onto the audience and architecture.

                        


Johanna Reich (1977, Minden, Germany) lives and works in Cologne, Germany.  She studied at the  Academy of Fine Arts Muenster,  Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne.  Her works have been shown in many exhibitions and film festivals, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (2007), Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2009), Kunsthaus Hamburg (2010), Cobra Museum Amstelveen (2011), Palais de Tokyo Paris (2014), Istanbul Modern (2016), Q12 im Museums Quartier Wien, Vienna (2017), and Gislaved Konsthall, Sweden (2017). Her prizes include the Nam June Paik Award (2006), the Konrad von Soest Award (2011) and the LVR Culture Award (2017).



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About Me

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Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom
I was in my leisure time Editor at Large of Art World magazine (which ran 2007-09) and now write freelance for such as Art Monthly, Frieze, Photomonitor, Elephant and Border Crossings. I have curated 20 shows during 2013-17 with more on the way. Going back a bit my main writing background is poetry. My day job is public sector financial management.

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