Pia Camil’s work is associated to the Mexican urban landscape, the aesthetic language of modernism and its relationship to retail and advertising. Recently she has engaged in public participation to activate the work and engage with the politics of consumerism. Xiuquilla / Blue Milk Weed, 2017 is a hand-sewn cotton leporello book produced from reclaimed fabric found in a small Mexico City shop. Each book in the series is a unique variant with flanges that fall in different ways depending on how it is installed.
Astronauts orbiting the Earth have been to known to experience what’s been called “The Overview Effect”—a cognitive shift toward hyper-awareness of the fragility and beauty of our planet. E.V. Day’s Moss Ball - A Meditation on the Overview Effect is from a larger body of work commenced during the year she spent in Italy as a Rome Prize Fellow in Visual Arts at The American Academy in Rome. Artworks in the series mine resonances between the neuropsychology of space travelers, Italian-Renaissance annunciation paintings, the sculpted golden rays (raggio) from Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s masterpiece The Ecstasy of St. Teresa, and the radio-wave telemetry of Sputnik-1.
Sarah Lucas's sculptures and photographs engage the legacy of Surrealism by cleverly transforming found objects and everyday materials like cigarettes, fruits, and vegetables into absurd and confrontational tableaux that address subjects like death, sex, gender, and religion. The human body and anthropomorphic forms recur throughout Lucas's works, often appearing erotic, humorous, or fragmented. Lucas's works take on ambiguity and paradox and defy stereotypical representations of gender with distinct irreverence and wit. Eating a Banana (Revisited) (1990-2017), produced for the New Museum, NY, returns to an early self -portrait, never printed, that shared a contact sheet with her first self-portrait, the now-iconic Eating a Banana (1990).
Wangechi Mutu’s work involves developing and expanding a personal myth-making which combines her childhood experiences and memories from Kenya as well as her own journey through various cultures and experiences. Chocolate Nguva, 2016 is based on the tradition of coastal East African Nguva or water women. These mythical beings wander restless and vicious and are told in stories to have pulled men from their boats, drowning them in the water. Their fictions stand in stark contrast to the Hans Christian Anderson/Disney versions that perpetuates contemporary Western society and it is this difference that Mutu wishes to draw attention.
Ebony Patterson’s multilayered work employs the opulence of its hand-embellished surface to seduce the viewer into confronting social realties. Indeed, a powerful message exists beneath the ornate web of threading and rhinestones that makes up the work’s large-scale tapestry, a call to action partially obscured, but no less clear: “See Me”. With this, Patterson commands the viewer to look past the façade – of the work’s rich formal characteristics, of the fabricated fantasies increasingly traded in our consumer and social media-centric culture – and to acknowledge the realities of those not touched by the glitter and gold. Patterson’s aesthetic pulls the viewer in and forces them to bear witness to the violence and social injustices imposed upon those deemed invisible. The paradoxical means the artist uses to convey this message only emphasizes its urgency and weight.
Alyson Shotz’s Crushed Cubes, 2018 are welded steel or riveted copper cubes that are crushed in a local scrap yard metal crusher. The combination of the force of the hydraulic crushing with the materiality of each object yields shapes that are random, chaotic and unplanned. This is very much related to her other work like Topographic Iterations or Laws of Motion, wherein crumpling or dropping the material leads to the final shape as opposed to the artist “composing” it. Shotz is interested in using the raw materials of the earth and seeing what happens when they are subjected to gravity and other forces.