LOST IN THE WORLD
July 6-23, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, July 7th, 6-8 pm
Tunji Adeniyi Jones
Mauricio Cortes Ortega
"I'm up in the woods
I'm down on my mind
I'm building a still
To slow down time"
I'm lost in the world
I'm down on my line
I'm new in the city
And I'm down for the night"
At this very moment, our current president has been sitting in office for 160 days, 22 hours, 34 minutes and 58 seconds.
This fact is so key to our current state of mind that I feel like it's important to look at this particular group of artists who are foreigners, immigrants, temporary visitors and "born in the USA Americans".
"You're my devil, you're my angel
Your my heaven, you're my hell
You're my now, you're my forever
You're my freedom, you're my jail
You're my lies, you're my truth
You're my war, you're my truce
You're my questions, you're my proof"
We are really busy thinking about our fluid identities, our histories repeating themselves, our future with technology, our fears, our hopes. our dreams.......our progress and our very real setbacks.
"He's a walkin' contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction,
Takin' ev'ry wrong direction on his lonely way back home."
We are lost in the world...a world that continues to contradict itself, a world that gives and takes, a world that stays the same as much as it changes.
"Fuck up what you can in the name of
Piggy Wallace, Dickless Nixon, and Spiro Agnew
Leave brother Cleaver and Brother Malcolm alone please
After all is said and done build a new route to China if they'll have you
Who will survive in America?
Who will survive in America?
Who will survive in America?
Who will survive in America?"
-texts excerpted from Kris Kristopherson's "The Pilgrim", Bon Iver's "Woods", Kanye West's "Lost in the World" and Gil Scott-Heron's "Comment #1 "
“My work addresses the ancient history of West Africa, and its associated mythology. The characters and objects that exist from that era inspire me. I am interested in the venerable traditions, philosophies and aesthetics that still permeate African culture today. I believe that it is necessary to highlight the rich colour and substance of these ancient West African kingdoms that both dwarfed and pre dated the Greek and Roman empires.
I consider the body to be a site of cultural expression and symbolism, and I am interested in exploring the expansive histories surrounding figuration. Subsequently my paintings focus on gestures of physical expression. The subjects, whom are often brightly coloured and androgynous, hold elaborate and suggestive poses. I allow this body language to be the primary vehicle for my narrative. Through this I hope to address the body in a manner that is unique and progressive.”
- Tunji Adeniyi-Jones
Tunji Adeniyi-Jones is a New Haven based artist. He received his BFA in Fine Art from Oxford University and his MFA in Painting/printmaking from The Yale School of Art. Born in England to Nigerian immigrants Tunji has spent a great deal of time between London and Lagos. This cultural duplicity is at the core of his work and practice. Through painting, sculpture, printmaking, and collage, Tunji attempts to articulate the contemporary aesthetic of the African diaspora, through the lens of European history. His work seeks to seduce and entertain the viewer, through injections of colour and charisma.
“At its crux, I consider the act of making as a process of attempting to reconcile contemporary issues that are enshrined in a system influenced by the relics of modernism and the 20th century. While making direct references to the western canon of art history, I also combine an otherworldly, science fiction aesthetic into my drawings, paintings and sculptures. This juxtaposing dialogue of high and low aesthetics in art is how I begin to contemplate the image of the gendered female body as becoming an object within our contemporary society as well as our post-human future. Accordingly, the processes of painting and drawing approach this widespread subject in different ways. I approach the act of painting with a drawing hand, often sketching out the plan for a painting ahead of time and then filling in the areas with a wrist action-orientated movement. Other ways of painting include stripping away, re-applying paint and sanding a surface until it achieves an almost sculptural space with a softened reference to a form or figure. These modes of making show the myriad ways I choose to apply paint and tell the narrative of the bodily expectations of the ever-evolving human form. More over, I believe that painting and drawing are not mediums that should be experienced alone. My practice is about how the usage of space and the placement of objects can better enhance the presence of a painting or drawing. I will often place paintings in a room in conjunction with found or handmade objects. This process is intuitive and is constructed on-site, much like I am creating a painting and putting different parts together. Regardless of subject matter, I try to create small universes, or environments, with the works I make. Ultimately, my paintings, drawings and crafted objects are vignettes into a continuum of narratives that overlap, contradict, and weave in and out of each other that ultimately allow for a better way of coming to terms with the kind of world we create for ourselves. I speak to my own unique experiences as being a woman of privilege in this day and age, while also facing gendered oppression in the Canadian art world. The work that I make is meant to gaze into an alternative landscape where there is the essence of hope that there might be some form of equality in every intersection of life.”
-Claire Scherzinger, 2016
Claire Scherzinger is a visual artist and writer with a BFA in drawing and painting and creative writing from OCAD University. In the span of her short career as an emerging artist she has shown her work across Canada at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, the Varley Museum in Markham and has upcoming projects at the Forest City Artist Run Centre in London, Ontario, Eastern Edge Gallery in St. John’s, Newfoundland and at Mulherin, Toronto. She has had her poetry published internationally and is also a winner of the RBC funded 17th National Painting Prize. She lives and works in Toronto.
“I make abstract paintings that represent an investigation of fragmented memory through a wide variety of adopted and invented painting languages and an exhaustive exploration of technique and material. I am interested in painting as a means of recording time, action and thought. The paintings serve as a meditative thinking space both while being made and in their final form. I am interested in how we can hold onto, reveal and record memories of the past in order to understand the present and imagine our future. I work exclusively in a black and white palette , making works that nod to various means of documentation such as photocopies, old textbooks and photographs. My paintings explore balancing presence against absence, confusion against clarity, spontaneity against calculation and try to collect what they can while also demonstrating (and accepting) loss.
Most recently, I have been working through the above themes and ideas (particularly memory, collection and loss) with watercolours. The soft, ghostly marks and hazy liquid transparencies in contrast against a rigid painted armature further explore my interest in presence and absence, collection and loss. In these works the paint drips and stains immediately but can also be washed away and lost.
I have been researching how painting and drawing is used as a therapeutic activity for those suffering from cognitive disorders or diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. My water-colour works in particular borrow from one such popular activity my father engages in, the colouring book. These works begin as a rigid, straight edged and measured framework. I then fill each and every section with varying speed and application in an almost meditative state. They borrow from popularly administered drawings exercises and pattern recognition memory tests for their compositions. These paintings act as and resemble windows, gates, armatures or fences. They are symbols for something attempting to protect and preserve while also allowing things to slip through. Change, movement and loss all exist alongside retention.”
- Jason Deary
Jason Deary is a visual artist with an MFA from OCAD University and a BFA from the University of Windsor. He was a work study candidate at the Banff Centre and has had multiple exhibitions across Canada: FIELD Contemporary in Vancouver, Avalanche Institute of Contemporary Art in Calgary, Forest City Gallery in London and is currently represented by Mulherin, Toronto where he had his latest commercial solo show, Roll Call. Deary was a recent recipient of grants from Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council. His work can be seen in upcoming shows in Cambridge and New York City.
“My paintings start in other images. While the sources vary from found photographs to the anonymous sprawl of the internet to other painters’ paintings, the subject is the mutability of images. These paintings add to the stream of reproductions, versions, recreations, and interpretations by appropriating and transforming images, creating another layer to a history of representation I can’t see head-on (think: a knife cutting itself), but desire to deconstruct. Lately, I am drawn to this crystalline nature. As aggregates for ideas---how easily images are degraded, changed, rendered meaningless, and/or forced into new meanings.
Formally, the medium of paint (and its particular decisions, accidents, and discoveries) is a language I am devoted to articulating. Painting is thinking; a painting is a record of thinking."
- Anthony Cudahy
Anthony Cudahy is a painter living and working in Brooklyn, NY. He received his BFA in 2011 from Pratt Institute, and co-curates a publishing project named Slow Youth. His work has appeared in shows across the United States and the UK. In 2016, he exhibited a body of paintings entitled NARSOLIPS at Cooler Gallery in Brooklyn and has recently shown at Farewell Books (Austin, TX) and Mumbo’s Outfit (Manhattan, NY). He has been in group shows at Harpy Gallery, ATHICA, Hap Gallery, Deli Gallery, the Nancy Margolis Gallery, Vox Populi, and the Knockdown Center. His work has also been featured and reviewed in publications including Mossless, the Paris Review, Hello Mr., Marco Polo Quarterly, and Cakeboy. He is a former resident of the Artha Project.
For my work I collect objects, images and words in hopes of repositioning them with a new kind of familiarity. There is friction in that transition and it is in that energetic moment where I hope new meaning is produced. My recent painting work derives from looking at sarape textiles, a Mexican aboriginal craft that underwent many hybridizations. The painting surface is a result of many layers and sections of stripes; demarcations for a landscape, a floor, a wall, or a passage. A sensation of veiling transpires and moments of intersection between the woven paint serve as a point of placement for a figure— seemingly invisible but present nevertheless. Saltillo sarapes we’re woven on European horizontal frame looms, most of these looms were quite narrow, accommodating textiles of about 2 feet in width. As a result, the majority of sarapes we’re woven into separate strips and seamed together. The skills required to duplicate the intricate patterns on each panel so that the design of the two halves, when joined, matched and appeared as a unified whole is phenomenal. By coalescing imagery that at first glance appear contrary new relationships between diverse ideas and sentiments may emerge. The native Nahuatl name for these sarapes: acocemalotic-tilmatli roughly translates to “rainbow mantle.” I am interested in the idea of seamless fractures— visual metaphors for our complex identities as immigrants from far and near.
Mauricio Cortes is an artist and teacher. Born in northern Mexico, Cortes moved to the United States in the 1990’s. Mauricio is interested in re-contextualizing materials and imagery from stateside nationalism and Mexican folklore in order to explore the complexity of immigration and identity. Mauricio received his B.F.A. from The Cooper Union and his M.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University School of Art in 2016. He took part of a new initiative called Juncturea collaboration between the Yale Law school and the School of Art. Under the tutelage of James J. Silk, director of the Schell Center for International Human Rights Cortes together with artist Laura Genes were the recipients of the Schell Center for international Human Rights Travel fellowship Yale Law School (2015), together they traveled along the US-MX border visiting cultural institutions on both sides. Mauricio Cortes currently lives and works in New York City.
Mark DeLong (b. 1978, New Brunswick, Canada) is a self-taught artist working in a range of media including sculpture, drawing, painting, and sequential art. His work has been displayed at Colette, Paris, France; Abel Neue Kunst Gallery, Berlin, Germany; Perugi Art Contemporenea, Padova, Italy; Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, COOPER COLE, Toronto, Monte Clark, Vancouver, Canada; ACME, Los Angeles; Spencer-Brownstone Gallery, Ed. Varie, Little Cakes, New York; Halsey McKay, East Hampton, USA. DeLong currently lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.
spooky was a hobo
adrift in time
with the fame of decay
and neckties of silk - Romas Astrauskas, 2017
Romas Astrauskas, an MFA graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York, is a Toronto based artist and writer. He has exhibited extensively throughout the city participating in numerous group and solo shows within the commercial gallery circuit and has also had work displayed in several museum surveys including appearances at the Power-Plant (Toronto), The Plug-In Institute (Winnipeg) and the Art and Culture Centre of Hollywood. Examples of work from his eclectic and varied output can be found in several numerous private and corporate collections.