KOUROS or Collapsing New People
July 18th - August 19th, 2018
Opening Reception: Wednesday, July 18th, 6-8pm
M E N
13 Monroe Street
New York, NY 10002
M E N proudly presents KOUROS or Collapsing New People, a three-person exhibition featuring work by Oliver Jones, Tom Levy, and Eric Mavko that examines the classical figure through a contemporary frame.
Taking its name from the Grecian statuary of the early Archaic Period, the exhibition KOUROS or Collapsing New People assembles three New York based artists whose scope of practice encompasses, to some degree, the use of the figure and an interest in academic and art-historical approaches to visual culture. The tenets of Classical and Neo-classical figuration, including an exploration of myth, beauty and form, in some ways guides each of these artists in their respective creative undertakings.
The Kouros as a sculptural object, a male youth rendered in stone, adhered to the aesthetic qualities of its Egyptian and Sumerian forbears, yet progressed beyond them, heralding the Greco-Roman sculptural concern with capturing observed reality, balance and formal aesthetics that would define the age and influence the Western World thereafter. This sense of honoring the foundational principles of a previous era whilst simultaneously developing beyond it, in accordance to the dictates of one's own creative vision, is an attribute shared amongst the three artists assembled here.
Within the paintings on glass of artist Tom Levy, one of his many bodies of work, can be found figures, shadows, and sculptural artifacts created from direct observation. Taking some inspiration from the objects of antiquity in nearby museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, these works hold reference to constructed space, visual cultural heritage, and sensorial art-making materiality, bridging the areas between his multivalent creative practice.
Mining the myths and legends of yesterday, artist Oliver Jones takes figures rooted in Greco-Roman and Mesopotamian history and reshapes these forms along his own artistic inclinations. The rise and fall of human movements and philosophies converge within Jones' works, which seem to hold both the past and the present simultaneously, told in a variety of sculptural material, formal juxtapositions, and the processes of their own making.
Eric Mavko, an artist who has long featured the figure in his creative enterprise, now foregrounds the core structures underlying all figurative forms in a new contact-print / cyanotype series that highlight the human skeleton, specifically an anatomical drawing tool hanging directly in the artist's studio. Providing the foundational structure for all human systems that develop atop it, the skeleton as subject provides a germane analogy to the foundational relationship of Archaic Greek Sculpture to the whole of Western Art. Handled with intuition and explored along formal lines, Mavko brings a host of photographic, printing and painterly processes to bear upon his newest interventions.
The name Kouros, a general descriptor meaning, simply, "youth" was applied to many of the innovative figurative works of the Greeks from the 6th Century B.C. It is perhaps this "youth" descriptor and attribute that finally aligns the works of these three artists. Though they can claim decades of art-making experience between them, each creator is, in his own way, continually "emerging", in that each regularly challenges and re-configures their own respective practices, redrawing the lines of their inquiry, renewing their output. With one foot firmly planted in an awareness of the legacies and conventions within their various art-making disciplines, each artist, like the left foot of the Kouros itself, steps boldly forward, from tradition toward tomorrow, adapting, developing, collapsing and combining new inspirations along the way.
KOUROS or Collapsing New People is the first in a three part series of concurrent exhibitions reconsidering the male figure as visual subject, revealed in the work of contemporary artists from the New York area and beyond. The series continues with:
BARBERINI or Totes Masc for Samesies, Opening Sunday July 22nd from 3-6pm
at PROTO Gallery, 66 Willow Avenue, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
The exhibition series concludes with:
BATHERS and The Backroom, Opening Friday August 10th from 7-9pm
at Four Eleven Gallery, 411 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657.
KOUROS or Collapsing New People is on view at M E N, 13 Monroe Street, New York, NY 10002 from July 18th - August 19th, 2018 weekends noon-6pm and by appointment. For further information please contact the gallery at [email protected] ar at +1.917.719.1447. All Images subject to copyright.
M E N is a contemporary art gallery located at 13 Monroe Street in the Two Bridges neighborhood of New York City, presenting singular artistic gestures by emerging and mid-career artists in a purposefully small storefront exhibition space. M E N seeks to support exceptional work and the artists that produce it. M E N is Molly Krom + Enrico Gomez + Nick De Pirro.