Between December 10th and January 30th, JanKossen Contemporary is pleased to present “Utopia”, a group exhibition featuring new drawings by Sheila Giolitti, Mari Ito, Wardha Shabbir, Lia Porto, Minjung Kim, Jacqueline Cavallaro and introducing Jane Ward.
The pure definition of Utopia is the idea of an alternate reality and world. Utopia can be an escape, a paradise or an unobtainable dream where the world operates in complete harmony. Without the use of representative visuals and words, these artists share their ability to transform their canvas into another realm.
Italian artist Sheila Giolitti is fascinated with interconnectedness and consciousness-- and their relationship to science, life, and art. Studies suggest that human consciousness can play a role effect on the outcome of physical experiments. Giolitti’s work consists of oil, acrylic, pen and resin – with decisions on when and how to apply them happening at random. Each experience, even the ones stripped away and covered, leave a mark. The boundaries of her work both unite and separate.
Buenos Aires based painter Lia Porto creates work that “goes beyond the limits of words.” Porto considers her work to be a translation and development of a non-verbal and non-intellectual language. Every detail of her work corresponds with information that she describes as “being weaved through the image”. The completed painting, or as she puts it - final reading – is ambiguous, open and organic. Visually, her work takes elements from nature that are re-interpreted by Porto creating a “natural fiction”.
Koren artist Minjung Kim demonstrates traditional Korean calligraphic art and mid-20th century abstract expressionism. Kim’s meticulous work explores the poetry of line and the potential of material as ubiquitous as paper. While the tone of her work is contemplative and whimsical, it challenges the viewer to consider our relationships, and to reflect on man’s place in nature. Kim guides onlookers to focus on marks and material rather than representation. For Kim, meaning derives from process.
Japanese artist Mari Ito invites us to examine our origins of desire, and to reflect on our most irrational and personal impulses. Ito's delicately formed creations come to life as they unfold into themselves, permanently striving to make their way towards awareness in their ongoing search for the root of desire. Ito currently lives in Barcelona, Spain.
Wardha Shabir currently lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan, as a professional miniature painter and freelance artist. Wardha draws inspiration for her work from her surroundings. Her aesthetic pictography and intense imagery captivates the viewer through its decorative surface. Much like the World which is beautiful, her work masks animal instincts and the violent nature of humans. Her work is inspired by eclectic sources of personal experiences, where (cunning) rules and obligations dictate her life. As definitive ‘last words’ and she feels, she no longer exists and needs her art to express her very existence.
Jackie Cavallaro is an artist working predominantly with paper. She creates narratives by referencing historic art imagery. She colors, layers and cuts paper to create enigmatic narratives. In 2008 she began collaborating with artist and poet Tamryn Bennett whose words are weaved through the images to add layers to the work. Together, they reference fine art, zoological, botanical, architectural and decorative images- and pay homage to a lineage both artistic, cultural and human. Cavallaro currently lives and works in Australia.
Jane Ward is a classically trained printmaker. Her meticulously constructed works employ the artists' own digital photographs repeatedly broken down and collaged, creating images of imaginary, fragmentary, and transient land and cityscapes. Fragments of ink are dissolved by hand, leaving traces of earlier forms and injecting the passage of time via the serene colors of Ward's landscape photographs and the minuscule details that feature foliage, high rise buildings, and flecks of the city. Ward currently lives and works in London, United Kingdom.
Utopia runs through February 6th, 2016.