A pair of group exhibitions featuring the work of emerging artists will go on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the first half of 2016. These shows both examine off-kilter and stagey approaches to representation as a means of exploring pressing social issues. The first exhibition, Flatlands, highlights recent paintings that provoke a sense of reality as illusion or subjective construction. It will run from January 14 through April 17, 2016, in the John R. Eckel Jr. Foundation Gallery on the first floor, which is free to the public. The second show, Mirror Cells, on view from May 13 to August 21, 2016, will present a single, surreal landscape of sculptures and installations in the eighth-floor Robert J. Hurst Galleries with works that allude to both an otherworldly environment and societal concerns.
“Since its founding, the Whitney has been a pioneering advocate of young artists and a vital testing ground for new tendencies in art,” said Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator. “In our downtown home, we’re committed to reenergizing this important strand of our program, which we recently relaunched with the first American solo shows of Jared Madere and Rachel Rose, as well as our New Theater residency and billboard installation by Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Flatlands and Mirror Cells will mark the museum debuts for several artists, and will be followed by the premiere of a video installation by Sophia Al-Maria in her first museum solo show in the country. These exhibitions demonstrate that we want to introduce not only new talents but new frameworks for thinking about contemporary art.”
FLATLANDS, January 14–April 17, 2016
Featuring paintings by Nina Chanel Abney, Mathew Cerletty, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Caitlin Keogh, and Orion Martin, this exhibition highlights the unique ways these artists approach reality in their work. Through a range of techniques, styles, and subject matter, the paintings that will be on view conjure a sense of space that is reminiscent of the illusionistic scenery flats used on stage and movie sets. These artists fill their compositions with objects, bodies, and places that are based on reality, yet are distorted through exaggeration, recontextualization, simplification, or flattening. The individual works are imbued with both the anxiety and uncertainty of our sociopolitical moment as well as the seductive quality of consumerism and physical attraction. Flatlands is curated by Laura Phipps and Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curators at the Whitney.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
NINA CHANEL ABNEY (b. 1982, Chicago, IL; lives and works in New Jersey) received her MFA from Parsons School of Design in New York. Abney recently had a solo show at Kravets-Wehby, New York. Abney is included in 30 Americans, organized by the Rubell Collection and currently at the Detroit Institute of Fine Arts, New York. A solo survey show, organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, is forthcoming.
MATHEW CERLETTY (b. 1980, Milwaukee, WI; lives and works in New York) received his BFA at Boston University and has had recent solo shows at Office Baroque, Brussels, and Blum and Poe, Los Angeles. He has been included in group shows at Anton Kern Gallery, New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.
JAMIAN JULIANO-VILLANI (b. 1987, Newark, NJ; lives and works in New York) received her BFA from Rutgers University in New Jersey. This fall, Juliano-Villani was included in Greater New York at MoMA PS1 and Unorthodox at The Jewish Museum. She has had recent solo shows at Tanya Leighton, Berlin, and JTT, New York.
CAITLIN KEOGH (b. 1982, Spenard, AK; lives and works in New York) received her MFA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. Keogh recently had a solo show at Mary Boone Gallery, New York, and is included in a three-person exhibition currently on view at Koenig & Clinton.
Orion Martin (b. 1988, Danville, VA; lives and works in Los Angeles) received his BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Martin recently had a solo show at Favorite Goods, Los Angeles, and has been included in group exhibitions at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York, and Bodega, New York. His solo show at Bodega, New York, is forthcoming.
MIRROR CELLS, May 13–August 21, 2016
This exhibition brings together artists Liz Craft, Rochelle Goldberg, Elizabeth Jaeger, Maggie Lee, and Win McCarthy, who often conceive of interconnected works that suggest strange invented worlds. While each artist creates discrete objects, these works act in direct dialogue with one another—at times alluding to furniture or other functional items—in order to generate a broader context that extends beyond their individual physical forms. They often make use of humble materials such as wood, resin, and ceramic clay, putting a renewed emphasis on the act of making and materiality. The exhibition’s installation on the eighth floor will take on an otherworldly quality by using the galleries as a single, surreal landscape. Continue reading