David Hammons at the Munich Gallery

DAVID HAMMONS: FIVE DECADES

March 15 – May 27, 2016 New York

Mnuchin Gallery is proud to announce David Hammons: Five Decades, a career survey of David Hammons (b. 1943, Springfield, IL). Organized with Hammons’ support, this will be the first exhibition of its kind in over twenty years, and will trace the evolution of the artist’s entire oeuvre from the late 1960s to the present day. The exhibition builds on Mnuchin Gallery’s history of collaboration with the artist, following its presentations of new work in 2007 and 2011. On view from March 15 – May 27, 2016, the exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue authored by Dr. Kellie Jones, Associate Professor in Art History and Archaeology and the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University.

One of the most inventive and influential artists of our time, Hammons creates work that addresses the experiences of African American life and the role that race plays in American society. He began his career in Los Angeles in the late 1960s, where he was influenced by the politically charged imagery of the Black Arts Movement, the found-object assemblages of Dada, and the humble materials of Arte Povera. In his breakout body of work, the body prints of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Hammons paired life-sized depictions of his own face and figure— created by coating his skin and hair with margarine, pressing his greased body onto paper, then covering the imprint with pigment powder— with politically charged symbols, such as spades and the American flag.

By the mid-1970s, in part as a rejection of the status quo of the predominantly-white art market, he abandoned the format of two-dimensional, framed works hung flat on a wall, instead devoting his practice entirely to (often ephemeral) sculptural assemblage, installation, and performance. In these works, Hammons recycled found objects specifically associated with urban African American life— chicken bones, cheap liquor bottles, paper bags, and hair swept from the floors of black barber shops— into witty, increasingly abstract creations that subverted expectations for a work of fine art and spoke specifically to an audience traditionally barred from inclusion in the art world.

In the 1980s, after his relocation to New York, Hammons became known for his public sculptures and installations created in the streets, from materials found on the streets. Famous among these is Higher Goals (1986), a group of five, 20-30-foot tall telephone poles topped with basketball hoops and covered in mosaics of discarded beer bottle caps that were commissioned by the Public Art Fund. As in so many of Hammons works, the title and physical object worked together as a verbal and visual pun to generate meaning— in this case, an allusion to the unrealistic dream of basketball providing an escape from urban poverty, and encouragement for black youths to seek loftier goals than athletic prowess. Hammons continued to explore the theme of basketball in works like the Basketball Chandeliers and the Basketball Drawings, examples of which are on view in this exhibition.

Hammons work of the past decade, such as the Kool Aid drawings, the Tarp paintings, and the Mirrors, explore new levels of abstraction and reengage with traditional artistic means, but to unfailingly subversive ends. In the Kool Aids and Tarps, Hammons creates bright, gestural abstractions— a nod to the Modernist canon— whose lushness he then denies us, shrouding his drawings and paintings in old sheets, crumpled plastic tarps, and torn burlap lifted from construction sites. In the Mirrors, Hammons similarly obscures the baroque gilded frames of mirrors that appear straight from one of the Metropolitan’s period rooms with materials from the street, such as dirtied steel plates and torn fabric, wryly uniting two realms of the city that typically exist side by side, but never touching. They also subvert the concept of portraiture, denying the viewer the Renaissance idea of representing his own “mirror image.”

The exhibition will include examples from Hammons’ major series from the past five decades, including early paintings, Body Prints, found-object assemblages such as the Heads, Basketball Drawings, Basketball Chandeliers, Kool-Aids, Tarps, and Mirrors. It will feature works on loan from both museums and private collections.

45 East 78 Street New York NY 10075 T +1.212.861.0020 F +1.212.861.7858 www.mnuchingallery.com

Daughters of Mercury by Janet Bruesselbach

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Daughters of Mercury
by Janet Bruesselbach

November 11-25, 2015
Reception Saturday, Nov 14th 8-10p

babycastles
137 West 14th St, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10011


The exhibition is a selection from Daughters of Mercury, a series of full-length, large-scale oil portraits by Bruesselbach celebrating the beauty of trans women. The series plays with the tropes of the female body in representational painting. The subjects collaborated with the artist and chose how to be seen, through the artist’s inventive cyborg figuration.

The venue’s consoles will feature games by Anna AnthropyJeanne ThorntonEva Ohnoproblems, and Lydia Neon

preview & support: daughtersofmercury.com

contact: daughtersofmercury@gmail.com

Downtown Comes Uptown: A Gathering of the Tribes at Word Up

Read more from Readings & Workshops Blog

A blog from: The Staff of Poets & Writers

Posted by RW Blogger on 6.08.15

Veronica Santiago Liu is the general coordinator of Word Up Community Bookshop, a collectively managed volunteer-run bookshop and arts space in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. Her writing, comics, photography, and silkscreen prints have been published in Broken Pencil, Quick Fiction, We’ll Never Have Paris, and other journals and zines.

When Word Up Community Bookshop first opened as a temporary “pop-up” shop in June 2011 in the upper Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, the longtime New Yorkers who’d wander into the storefront would take one look at our makeshift space—our donated home furniture only hinting at a retail environment, our scattershot collection of small press books and broadly encompassing events calendar (indeed, the whole ad hoc system created by neighborhood volunteers) —and say, “This feels just like the Lower East Side once did.”

We were frequently compared to a few community art spaces in particular, spaces that made people feel at home while representing a greater artistic community. A Gathering of the Tribes—the longtime gallery/salon and home of Steve Cannon—was one such downtown space. Thus, we were ecstatic to host a crew of esteemed poets from A Gathering of the Tribes on April 25 with support from the Readings & Workshops Program at Poets & Writers. Though many have sorely missed Cannon’s magical living room on East Third Street since the eviction by a new owner in 2014, the creative people who gave the place life are still doing their thing all over the city: creating and sharing adventurous, irreverent, intimate poetry and stories.

The presenting poets were excited to reunite; indeed, coorganizer and Washington Heights-based poetSheila Maldonado marveled that everyone was actually on time for the reading. A mix of uptowners and downtowners representing all the colors of the people of New York City sat in the audience, or peered out from behind bookcases where they shopped, transfixed by the words. Through it all, the evening’s energy was palpable—I mean, really, literally everyone cheered at every welcome and introduction.

The legendary Steve Cannon—who Poonam Srivastava later called a testament of the life of the city—kicked off the night’s tellings, with stories of getting to the event that very evening, and stories about each of the poets present whose work he’d published. Everyone was unsure of when he’d started a poem or had slipped back into a story of now, highly amused all the same.

Reading next was Ron Kolm, poet, bookseller, Unbearables member, and author of Welcome to the Barbecue  (Low-Tech Press, 1990), Rank Cologne (P.O.N. Press, 1991), Divine Comedy (Fly By Night Press, 2013), and Suburban Ambush (Autonomedia, 2014). Sheila Maldonado whose poetry collection one-bedroom solo was published by Fly by Night Press in 2011, read from her book as well as new work.

Poonam Srivastava, whose book is forthcoming this summer from Fly by Night Press, told a not-quite allegory about driving in the city and in the refrain of the evening, asked for just a little more lesbianism, please. After a short intermission, Frank Perez, author of the chapbooksRhythm of Life and The Short Cut, took the mic, followed by Chavisa Woods, the award-winning author ofThe Albino Album (Seven Stories Press, 2013) and Love Does Not Make Me Gentle or Kind(Autonomedia, 2012). Mariposa Fernandez, author of Born Bronxeña: Poems on Identity, Love & Survival (Bronxeña Books, 2001), read next and Melanie Maria Goodreaux warmly closed out the evening with a heartfelt reading!

Photos: (top) Steve Cannon. (bottom) Poonam Srivastava. Photo Credit: Veronica Liu

Support for Readings & Workshops in New York City is provided, in part, by public funds from theNew York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, with additional support from the Louis & Anne Abrons Foundation, the Axe-Houghton, the A.K. Starr Charitable Trust, and Friends of Poets & Writers.

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