68projects by GALERIEKORNFELD
presents in cooperation with Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e.V.
two artists from the 68projects residency program
Michael John Kelly & Rachel Eulena Williams
68projects is pleased to present a duo presentation featuring Los Angeles artist Michael John Kelly and New York artist Rachel Eulena Williams. Kelly's large-scale paintings and drawings as well as William's object-like works were all created during their stay in Berlin as part of our residency program. The exhibition provides an insight into the artists' practices and a unique reflection on the influences their stay in Berlin had on their work.
At the invitation of Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e.V., Michael John Kelly spent two months as Berlin Fellow in Berlin. For his stay, Kelly brought more than 40 digital paintings on paper with him, which he successively tore apart over the period of the residency. His art, situated between digital drawing, video art and classical abstract painting, references an entire era of artistic practice. His aim is not so much to translate digital painting back to its analogue counterpart, but instead to connect them, making them experienceable.
Williams also explores the conditions and possibilities of the classical medium of painting. She deconstructs the rectangular canvas, combining ropes and fabrics – often objects she found during her stay in Berlin – to create her own surfaces. The formal boundaries of her works are often blurred, making the exposed creative process an integral part of the work’s narrative. The canvases are constructed with fragments and thus bear witness to their own creation, the rope combinations weaving a visual thread, interpreting open spaces as points of tension or as reassuring blanks. What is revealed to the viewer through this artistic approach is the temporality of the used materials. Her works, which consciously eschew classical definitions of drawing, painting or sculpture, are a deliberate provocation of our viewing habits. It remains open which demands they be responded to. Leaving the viewer to answer these questions, spinning a wide web of associations composed of individual genres.
Thus it is in this process of collecting, arranging and assembling that connects the two artists, a process that always starts over from the beginning. Through their materiality, the works of Michael John Kelly and Rachel Eulena Williams become silent witnesses of their current life and world around them. Beyond their materiality, they capture the emotions of their creators, opening a subjective space that viewers can explore in its abstract form.
Michael John Kelly (1975) studied painting at Brigham Young University in Provo and UCLA in Los Angeles. His works have been shown in numerous exhibitions in the USA. He is represented in renowned collections such as the Susan and Michael Hort Collection, New York, the Gayle and Stanley Hollander Collection, Los Angeles, and the Carole Server and Oliver Frankel Collection, New York.
Rachel Eulena Williams (1991) received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the famous Cooper Union College in New York. She has participated in numerous exhibitions worldwide, including shows in San Francisco, Luxembourg, Toronto, New York and Stockholm. Williams also regularly participates in fellowships around the world.
The podcast of the artist talk, which took place on 17 May 2018 between Michael John Kelly and the art historian and curator Katharina Weinstock, is now available on the 68projects website.
Representatives from 68projects/GALERIE KORNFELD BERLIN are available if you have any questions or would like any further information. We’re also glad to send printable images at your request.