Group Show: 2007/2008 Season Highlights

Image: Liset Castillo, Departure Point (detail), c-print on dibond, 2003 / ©Liset Castillo

Image: Liset Castillo, Departure Point (detail), c-print on dibond, 2003 / ©Liset Castillo

Press Release / July 17 - August 15, 2008

This group exhibition revisits the socially relevant issues explored by six artists, all of whom have had solo exhibitions at the gallery during 2007-2008 seasons.

Artists exhibited during the fall of 2007 focus on complex social systems: Liset Castillo, Michael Van den Besselaar and Grant Miller are driven by a desire to examine urban structures and their social implications. 

Castillo’s photographs of hybrid spaces incorporate images of architectural landmarks built by her from sand and present a surreal landscape of pure invention. Besselaar’s interest lies in the heritage of modern design and architecture of the first half of the twentieth century, a legacy inhabited by the dream of a better world. These utopian promises – broken today – left behind a residue of Modernist forms and ideas that Besselaar uses as a basis for his small-size paintings. Miller’s semi-abstract paintings of the interior and exterior physical spaces reveal a fascination with internal landscapes of the mind.

Spring 2008’s season-long multidisciplinary program, The Proper Animal, was comprised of three successive solo exhibitions. All three participating artists, Asja Jung, Tamara Kostianovsky and Julian Montague utilize highly original and sometimes disturbing animal iconography which inevitably brings ethical considerations into play. Whether each artist operates in an intuitive, sub-ethical way focusing on form rather than meaning remains an open question. 

Jung’s paintings of humanoid apes in heavily ornate environments present a meeting of human and animal wherein it is hard to establish what is happening. Jung teasingly conspires with the animal to render human authority ridiculous. Kostianovsky’s methodically dissected beef carcasses made out of discarded human clothes are both ethically and aesthetically disturbing. The intense reality of the opened body cannot stop the humans from looking at the killed animal. Investigations into overlooked realms of daily life, continues to be at the heart of Montague's art practice. In his new series of photographs accompanied by banners, Montague pays close attention to the seemingly mundane animals – the spiders that occupy the peripheries of human architectural space.