Cristin Tierney Gallery is pleased to present an online exhibition of new and recent works on paper by Melanie Baker. The exhibition opens Monday, July 15th, and continues through Friday, August 16th. It will be visible exclusively on the gallery’s Artsy page.
A varied cast of characters emerges from Melanie Baker’s grisaille surfaces suffused with charcoal dust. Politicians and public figures stand at podiums or ornately decorated reliefs. Ancient statuary and architecture molder. Smoke plumes billow upward from unseen smokestacks. The common denominator in these ostensibly disparate subjects is power: power to build and shape nations; power to build on or pollute landscapes; power to corrupt or destroy. Each image directly or indirectly portrays those who possess class, taste, wealth, land, and more.
Power, however, can be easily lost—a truth underscored by Baker’s use of loose materials applied in feathery, barely-there marks: graphite, pigment, and pastel. Juxtaposing the crumbling stonework of past civilizations with contemporary politicians and pollution in America, Baker’s works on paper hint at the future path we may take. Large swaths of flat, enveloping black are dark and ominous; the limited palette also evokes the black-and-white reproductions of times past.
This online exhibition coincides with the gallery’s presentation of Janet Biggs’ new videos, which document current research on space exploration and the colonization of the Red Planet. The two artists’ works diverge in significant ways: Baker combines concerns for the environment and the political with a historic perspective, while Biggs focuses on cutting-edge science and the people that live and work in some of the most extreme environments on earth. Both artists, however, illuminate how abuse of power and exploitation of resources can destroy people, communities, and even nations (Biggs’ work also features footage of Yemeni refugees and Ethiopian migrants, both fleeing food shortages and conflict—and the move to go to Mars is propelled in part by Earth’s dwindling resources). Presented contemporaneously, the two exhibitions offer complementary narratives about the past, present, and possible future of human civilizations.
For more information please contact Candace Moeller at +1.212.594.0550 or [email protected].