New York, NY - 10001
WALLACE BERMAN, CAMERON, CANDIDA HÖFER, MIKA ROTTENBERG, BRIE RUAIS, PETER SCHUYFF, XAVIERA SIMMONS
Wallace Berman (1926–1976) was born in Staten Island, New York, and moved to Los Angeles as a child. He enrolled at Chouinard Art Institute, but did not finish studies; instead he became entrenched in the city’s jazz and Beat scenes. He showed his assemblage sculptures at the Ferus Gallery with Cameron in 1957, but the exhibition was closed prematurely by the L.A. Police Department’s vice squad. Disheartened, Berman moved his family to the Bay Area, where he established the makeshift Semina Gallery and continued his loose-leaf magazine Semina, before returning to L.A. in 1961. In 1964, Berman began to make Verifax collages, embarking on a path that he would follow for over a decade, until his death in Topanga Canyon in 1976.
Artist, performer, poet, and occult practitioner, Cameron (Marjorie Cameron Parsons Kimmel) (1922-1995) is one of the most fascinating underground figures of mid century California. She was married to Jack Parsons, the famed occultist and rocket scientist and was deeply involved with the LA beat culture. A maverick follower of the esoteric mysticism of Aleister Crowley and his philosophical group, the O.T.O. (Ordo Ternpli Orientis), Cameron was also an accomplished painter, draughtsman, and mentor to younger artists and poets such as Wallace Berman and George Herms.
Cameron's works demonstrate refined draughtsmanship, formal command, and fantastic imaginative powers. Portraying a fanciful and even wistful lyricism, her sensitive drawings and paintings delineate a magical realm of metamorphosis and protean transformation.
Spanning across the fields of photography, performance, video, sound, sculpture and installation, Xaviera Simmons (b. 1974, New York, NY) investigates experience, memory, abstraction, present, and future histories — specifically addressing the notion of landscape-as-cyclical.
Commissioned by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Around the Y is a part of the series “Thundersnow Road.” Travelling across North Carolina, from coast to mountain, Simmons photographed in both rural and urban environments that reinterpret the cultural and physical landscape. Simmons inserted herself into the settings as anonymous subjects, traveling musicians that appear in the landscape, excavated from the history of the location. Her fictional characters conjure the lore of the landscape and blur the lines of the imaginative and the real to explore the significance of place, music and storytelling in the South.
Born in Eberswalde, Germany in 1944, Candida Höfer attended the Kunstacademie Düsseldorf from 1973 to 1982, studying under the photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher.
Known for her meticulously composed, large-scale color images of architectural interiors, Höfer’s oeuvre explores the structure, presentation, and influence of space. Höfer has focused her lens on cultural and institutional buildings such as libraries, hotels, museums, concert halls, and palaces. Whilst devoid of people, the images allow us to consider the role of their missing inhabitants. She had her first US solo show at Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery in 1990.
Obliquely exploring themes of the body, labor, and systems of production, Mika Rottenberg’s (b. 1976) drawings echo the crude yet fantastic construction of her acclaimed video installations, yet refer specifically to drawing and its possibilities. The artist's body serves as markmaking tool, creating painterly, expressive graphic elements — anchoring and disrupting the microcosmic tableaux. Expressive yet systematic, the drawings start with a vocabulary of marks which the artist continually deploys and reworks.
Brie Ruais’ (b. 1982, Orange County, CA) process is guided by choreographed actions, full-body gestures, and specified environments. The pieces begin with a mass of clay equal to her bodyweight and are then formed by exhaustive bursts of spreading, pushing, kicking, and scraping.
The artist’s gesture is most legible in the “From Center” works. Her body’s efforts, responding to the resistance posed by the material, are expressed through the imprints of knuckled fists, palm heals, knees, and feet on the work’s surface. The flow of ridges and ruts are records of the process as it unfolded.
Peter Schuyff (b. 1958) is a Dutch-born painter who, in 1967 moved with his family to Vancouver, Canada. Fascinated with the radical views of the art world in the 60s and 70s and especially with such famous figures as Andy Warhol and Willem de Kooning, Schuyff moved to New York City and became part of an expanding art movement.
Revolving around the geometric abstraction of the Neo-Geo movement, Schuyff’s works are illusionist and at the same time they suggest enigmatic stories, depicting complex, swirling geometric patterns, warped around irregular planes on both found and fresh canvases. Images now ubiquitous in the field of computer graphics, these patterns showcase the delicate nature of his technique, the luminescent quality of their surface built up through the application of numerous thin layers of paint.