oct 20 – dec 3, 2016
opening reception: thursday, oct 20, 6-8pm
“Descend, so that you may ascend.” – St. Augustine, Confessions “Vast Choirs of upturned faces, line o'er line, Then my blood froze, for every face was mine.” – G.K.Chesterton, The Mirror of Madmen “Pleased to meet you.” – Mick Jagger/Keith Richards, lyrics from Sympathy for the Devil
Mary Carlson’s third exhibition at Elizabeth Harris Gallery, Demons, is a continuation of her 2014 show called Paradise which consisted of sculptures of various saints, Adam and Eve, and flowers made out of glazed porcelain. This exhibition starts with Shame, a figure referencing Massacio’s Expulsion and goes on to depict various demons and figures - many inspired by Giotto’s Scrovegni chapel in Padua, Italy. They range from the human-like demons in the last judgment, where people are swallowed, pushed and pulled in hell, to the figures elsewhere in the chapel - Envy, Judas, and Joachim. Envy is shown with an outreaching arm, a bag of money in the other, and a snake coming out of her mouth which then circles back to her forehead. Judas has a demon at his back whose paw is gently touching his shoulder. Joachim has gone to the desert to decide whether or not he should leave his wife, Anne. He has a dream and decides to stay with his wife and they become the grandparents of Jesus.
The show also includes St. Anthony the Great inspired by Martin Schongauer’s etching of The Temptation of St. Anthony. St. Anthony lived in the desert in partial or complete isolation. He was haunted by illusions of wild beasts, snakes, wolves and scorpions, which would disappear once he verbally confronted them. After Anthony emerged from his isolation legend has it that he appeared serene and in good health. In Carlson’s version the demons are not included but Anthony appears off-balance nevertheless.
Carlson is especially fond of various representations of Saint Margaret of Antioch - from the Western Church’s depiction of her emerging from the body of a demon, to the Eastern Church’s depiction of Margaret going after a demon with a hammer. Here’s the story - Margaret of Antioch lived in the 4th century, and was asked by a Roman
Governor to marry, but she refused. He threw her in a dungeon with a dragon who proceeded to swallow her. She escaped by tickling its innards and emerged intact. She is always depicted standing up; therefore not a victim. St. Margaret is also the patron saint of childbirth, pregnant women, and kidney diseases.
Throughout her career, Carlson has depicted everything from furniture and dishes to US flags, underwater creatures and birds. In this show she uses as a starting point, paintings, frescos and manuscripts of various religious themes. She is a recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Fellowship in 2015. The artist would like to gratefully acknowledge the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation for their support. She has shown her work at the Venice Biennale, Vienna Kunsthalle, Künstlerhaus Bathanien Berlin, the New Museum, ArtOmi, and many galleries in the US.
Mary Carlson was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin and she lives and works in New York City and upstate New York.
october 20 – december 3, 2016
opening reception: thursday, oct 20, 6-8pm
Elizabeth Harris Gallery is pleased to present ¡Lotería!, the gallery’s third solo exhibition of works by Martha Clippinger. Located at 529 W 20th Street, 6th floor, the gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00am-6:00pm. The exhibition will run from October 20- December 3, 2016, with a reception for the artist on Thursday, October 20th.
In ¡Lotería!, Clippinger presents recent painted wood constructions and mixed-media collages where color, geometry, and texture are all constants. The title of the exhibition takes its name from La Lotería, a Mexican game of chance played on a gridded game board. It is reflected in the broadside for the exhibition, which includes an essay by Stephanie Buhmann.
Clippinger embraces a variety of materials and continues to produce works that blur the line between painting and sculpture. After spending the majority of 2014, living and working in Oaxaca, Mexico through the support of a Fulbright grant, Clippinger’s recent works reflect encounters with the textiles, architecture, and light of the region.
As Buhmann notes in her essay for ¡Lotería!:
“Intuitive, experimental, and flexible, Clippinger is an artist who allows herself to make unexpected discoveries and to let her materials guide some of her decision-making process. Nevertheless, it is the grid that serves as stabilizing agent; it is from where Clippinger’s constructed, painted and woven forms grow and against what they lean. The dichotomy of improvisation and structure marks the core of Clippinger’s oeuvre.”
Born in Columbus, Georgia, Martha Clippinger received a BA from Fordham University and an MFA from Mason Gross School of Art, Rutgers University. She has been a fellow at the Sam and Adele Golden Art Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Edward F. Albee Foundation, and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation. Clippinger has received numerous grants and awards, including a 2014 American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Award and a 2013 Fulbright-Garcia Robles research grant completed in Oaxaca, Mexico. Recent exhibitions include: Fleisher-Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; c2c Project Space, San Francisco, CA; Artspace, Raleigh, NC; Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, Minus Space, and others in New York. Her work is included in several public collections including the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS, Capital One Corporate Collection, Richmond, VA, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX. Her work has been featured in The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, and The Huffington Post. She is represented by Elizabeth Harris Gallery and lives and works in Durham, North Carolina.
For further information please contact Miles Manning at 212 463 9666.