PˑPˑOˑW is pleased to present historical and contemporary works by Ann Agee, Sanam Khatibi, Dinh Q. Lê, Robin F. Williams, Martin Wong and David Wojnarowicz.
Ann Agee (b. 1959) investigates craft traditions and industrial production, creating ceramic sculptures and mixed media installations that explore appropriation, mimicry, and reproduction. P.P.O.W will present an installation of over 100 ceramic sculptures from her ongoing series, Hand Warmers 2018-2019. Inspired by 18th Century Italian folk pottery and made from a variety of clays, fired in various kilns, this sculptural installation showcases the range and diversity of ceramic techniques. Agee earned her MFA from Yale University in 1986. She has had installations at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA, and her work has been included in notable ceramics exhibitions, including Dirt on Delight, Institute of Contemporary Art, PA and the Walker Art Center, MN, and Conversations in Clay, Katonah Art Museum, NY. In 2011 she was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and has also been the recipient of The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, among others. Agee lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Sanam Khatibi (b. 1979) works in painting, tapestry, and sculpture, citing a range of art historical references. Her works frequently depict dreamily mythological female protagonists in fantastical landscapes, exposing primal impulses and innate animality. Images of brutality, obedience, and seduction make us consider the dichotomy of triumph and failure, and the thin line between fear and desire, to reveal our contradicting traits and tendencies. Khatibi was born in Tehran, Iran and lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. She is self-taught and has been featured in exhibitions around the world, including group exhibitions in Paris, Florence, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Marseille, Vienna, and Warsaw, among others. Recent institutional shows include Mademoiselle at the Regional Centre of Contemporary Art of Occitan (France), Quel Amour!? at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Marseille (France), and The Biennial of Painting at the Museum of Deinze (Belgium). Her upcoming solo exhibitions include BPS22 in Belgium, as well as exhibitions at rodolphe Janssen in Brussels and P·P·O·W in New York. Her first exhibition at P·P·O·W will open on October 17, 2019.
Dinh Q. Lê (b. 1968) uses photography as both a technology for image making and an apparatus for distributing ideological narratives. The range of techniques he employs expands the category of photography to reveal the failings of individual memory and collective perceptions. P.P.O.W will present works from his 2001 series The Texture of Memory, stark white monochromatic embroideries that are difficult to perceive visually. Created in Vietnam, they depict men and women murdered in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge. A response to symptoms of post-traumatic stress, specifically reports of hysterical blindness among Cambodian refugees, these pieces are meant to be touched in order to “see” the image. Lê has exhibited at the 2013 Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art, PA and documenta 13, Kassel, Germany in 2012. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Carnegie Museum, PA; MoMA PS1, NY; The Museum of Fine Arts, TX; and the Asia Society, NY, among many others. Dinh Q. Lê: True Journey Is Return, a traveling retrospective with a recently published full-color catalog, is currently on view at the San Jose Museum of Art. He is a co-founder of the nonprofit organization Sàn Art. Lê lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Robin F. Williams (b.1984) utilizes a variety of techniques, including oil, airbrush, and the staining of raw canvas, to create lush, deeply textured paintings. Good Sport 2019, depicts a nude, vaguely computer-generated female enthusiastically mugging for the camera, even when shot through the chest with an arrow. Referencing an iconic image of the America actress Farrah Fawcett, this sardonically titled mixed-media painting continues Williams’ investigation of perceived status, internal desires, and a need for self-expression within the framework of pop-cultural femininity. In her review of Williams' 2017 exhibition Your Good Taste is Showing, Roberta Smith of the New York Times wrote: "These painting are timely, but they are also enigmatic, off-putting and out there in rewarding ways.” Robin F. Williams was born in Ohio and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has been included in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally. Williams has been honored as the Josephine Mercy Heathcote Fellow at The MacDowell Colony.
Martin Wong (1946-1999) was active in the San Francisco Bay Area art scene during the 1970s and was involved with the performance art groups The Cockettes and Angels of Light. In 1978 he moved to Manhattan, eventually settling in the Lower East Side, where his attention turned exclusively to painting. Wong set forth to depict urban life on the Lower East Side where he then lived. In Wong’s last major body of work he turned his attention to his own heritage and painted scenes from New York and San Francisco’s Chinatowns. Wong died in San Francisco from an AIDS related illness in 1999. His work can be found in museum collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Bronx Museum of The Arts, and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Wong had a one person show Sweet Oblivion at the New Museum (1998). Wong's retrospective, Human Instamatic, opened at the Bronx Museum of The Arts in November 2015, the Wexner Center in Columbus, Ohio in May of 2016 and traveled to the UC Berkeley Art Museum in 2017.
David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) was among the most incisive and prolific American artists of the 1980s and 90s. In addition to a selection of iconic photographic works, P.P.O.W will present Mortality 1988, a mixed-media painting depicting an elephant trainer standing on the back of an elephant that is crossing a body of water. Painted on sheet music, the central image is surrounded by a vascular network of lines that connects an anatomical heart to sprouting leaves and a single flower. In many of Wojnarowicz’s paintings, you will see the depictions of these red veins and green vines as they create a border in which to discuss our connection with nature. Of his use of natural imagery with the looming threat of humans and the man-made, Wojnarowicz has said “Rather than seeing ourselves as part of the world we have created a sense of removal i.e. ‘this is human, that is nature.’ I like to take that power away from humans in terms of images and transfer them to animals. Let the images of the animals convey fear, aggression, life, emotions. It’s a psychological transfer of power.” David Wojnarowicz’s work has been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The American Center, Paris, France; The Busan Museum of Modern Art, Korea; Centro Galego de Art Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain; The Barbican Art Gallery, London; and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne. His work is in permanent collections of major museums nationally and internationally and his life and work have been the subject of significant scholarly studies. Wojnarowicz has had retrospectives at the galleries of the Illinois State University, curated by Barry Blinderman (1990) and at the New Museum, curated by Dan Cameron (1999). A third retrospective, David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night, co-curated by David Kiehl and David Breslin, opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art in July 2018. The widely acclaimed exhibition has been reviewed in Artforum, The Guardian, The New York Times and The New Yorker, among others. The retrospective will travel to the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid in May 2019 and the Musee d/Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg City in November 2019. A concurrent exhibition of Wojnarowicz’s films and photographs will open at the KW Berlin in February 2019.