Eva O'Leary: ARTFORUM, Critic's PickRead More
April 6 - May 6, 2017
CRUSH CURATORIAL is pleased to present Spitting Image, Eva O’Leary’s New York solo debut exhibition which opens April 6th, 6-8 pm and runs through May 6th, 2017.
The women in Spitting Image are not vain or pitiable, nor are they comfortable in their own skin. They are young women who—like most women in this country—have been inundated by imagery that projects the fantasies of others onto their bodies, teaching them to suppress their desires, values, personality, and flaws. Spitting Image presents a group of photographs and videos that examines the relationship between gender, image, commerce, and identity through found and re-performed beauty rituals.
At the center of the exhibition is a video and a group of portraits that depict adolescent girls reacting to their own image through a two-way mirror. The still images pair the girls’ unsettling vulnerability with the blank backdrop of a yearbook photo and the glowing light and clarity of a glamor shot. The video, which shows the girls in the act of posing, reveals the dueling anxiety and confidence of young women learning to manage the endless and intricate modulation of their own image. In another video—one that can be seen as the inverse of the first—O’Leary strings together a sequence of selfies (found online) in which an accidental camera flash obscures the subject’s face in the mirror and relegates glimpses of bodies to the periphery of the frame. While the video of adolescent girls posing uses mirrors to reveal the particularity of character apparent in even the most self-conscious acts, the video of the found mirror selfies focuses our attention on the erosion of individuality in the age of social media. The tension implied between the two videos—that the mirror is simultaneously a site of claiming and losing individuality and power—is the definitive tension of this body of work.
O’Leary’s images and videos can be as slick and sweet as a glossy magazine, but it’s the clarity of their details—the texture of face paint settling over pores, stray hairs and furrowed brows, or a girl un-rumpling her shirt—that unmasks the bilious unreality at the heart of commercial imagery of women. And, while the toxicity of commercial imagery is one of its central concerns, Spitting Image is not a simplistic takedown. Watching O’Leary’s subjects watch themselves emphasizes the impossibility of separating out which acts of self presentation are resistance to beauty norms and which are capitulations. Spitting Image is a nuanced portrait of the psychological space in which women must balance their own identities, insecurities, and desires with the ever-present reality of imagery that is insistently, but seductively, unreal.
Eva O’Leary (b.1989) was named a Foam Talent in 2014, and has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions within the United States and abroad, including at the Serpentine Gallery (London), l'Atelier Néerlandais (Paris), and Danziger Gallery (New York). Her work has appeared in various publications, including The New York Times ‘T’, WIRED Magazine, and The Huffington Post. She received a BFA from California College of the Arts in 2012, and an MFA from Yale in 2016. In 2017 she was the recipient of the Vontobel Contemporary Photography Prize. She currently lives and works between New York and Pennsylvania.
This exhibit contains flashing lights. People who are sensitive to flashing lights, please use caution.
Kate Klingbeil 'Thick' @ Crush Curatorial
Kate Klingbeil applies acrylic paint like frosting. Her subjects inhabit a Boschian dream of carnal desire. This approach titillates the senses and leaves the viewer with feelings of hunger on multiple levels. 'Thick' continues upon Klingbeil's exploration of the forbidden, the way we communicate with our bodies, and questions female stereotypes in today's world. In Klingbeil's own words, "As a woman, I have been expected to be polite, submissive, and beautiful: but life is messy, so I make the work thick and unapologetic."
'Thick' is on view through March 18th at Crush Curatorial, 526 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001, www.crush-curatorial.com.
February 16 - March 18, 2017
CRUSH CURATORIAL Chelsea is pleased to present “THICK” new work by Kate Klingbeil, opening February 17th from 6-8, and running through March 26th, 2017.
As a constant observer and an American woman, Kate Klingbeil has borne witness to a tremendously affecting, and undeniably bizarre, sociocultural harvest. Events of recent years have spawned mutations, and necessitated antiserums. When pressed by need, women inhabiting this present moment have shed idealism, grasped onto anger, and allowed vulnerabilities to calcify into something less permeable. With THICK, our world is revealed, through Kate’s textures, color, and figurative representations, to be an organism buckling beneath a powerful and insidious toxicity. When we view Kate’s paintings, this is what we see: curtains pushed aside reveal a scene of Boschian chaos and vivid life.
Her new work reflects the unspooling, almost psychedelic horror of our predicament, and calls attention to the voice that describes the scene: bell-clear, shattering. These bitter fruits could be seen as the only gifts
that come from hitting rock bottom. (During toxic times, the greatest mercy can be that equalizing hum that settles when denial and disguises are thrown out, their efficacy used up.)
Vulnerability, both revered and destroyed, is among the themes that this collection of work holds aloft as offerings. The generosity of women, the fallibility of love, and the constant interplay between craving and toxicity- like a flower that you cannot help but eat, some oleander that will not be refused- we see women who cannot help but love, even when their freedom, their very bodies, are surveilled and controlled. Kate’s depictions of carnal desire, intimacy, and the determination to pursue pleasure are revolutionary in this context: every woman depicted, a revolutionary following her own inclinations.
Kate’s usage of paint and texture highlight that contradiction of womanhood- those cosmic twins, sustenance and poison. We are offered an unending stream of illusions and lies: designed to sedate us, and so appetizing, one can almost taste them. This is the nature of our hour on earth: needs that are torn down the middle, strength made profound by fragility. And always, the knowledge that oppression summons forth great rage, and ultimately, a greater and wilder freedom.
-Allison Hummel, writer
Kate Klingbeil (b. 1990) is a multi-media artist currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Her work investigates self acceptance, relationship dynamics, and questions ideas of ownership placed on women's bodies. Her work combines printmaking, animation, sculpture, and ceramics. She graduated from California College of the Arts with a BFA in printmaking in 2012 and has attended residencies at ACRE projects and Kala Art Institute. This is her first solo show.
November 25, 2016
Of note: Eric Brown, Suchness
11:08 am by Two Coats Staff
Eric Brown, Anagram, 2016, oil on linen.
Contributed by Sharon Butler / Eric Brown, co-director of Tibor De Nagy Gallery, has been a secret painter for years, and this month he had his first NYC solo show at CRUSH Curatorial in Chelsea. We’ve shown together at Theodore:Art in Bushwick several times, and I’ve always loved his matte surfaces, rich color relationships, and endearingly hand-drawn geometric shapes. Here are some images for his solo show, as well as excerpts from John Zinsser’s fine exhibition essay.
“Brown’s small-scale and medium-scale works are all about possibilities. Each displays a record of generative and transformational visual logic.” Zinsser writes. “They are mostly limited to two or three colors in hard-edged interplay. Often, a chromatic hue—orange, green, blue—surrounds silhouetted black form. The internal shapes can read as biomorphic figures, bulbous, symmetrical, often placed off- center in a kind of precarious imbalance. Two very recent larger black-and-white works employ shaped stretcher bar configurations. Throughout, subtly-inflected layerings of oil paint result in densely optical areas of flat opaque color.”
Eric Brown, Flat-Footed, 2016, oil on linen, 24 x 36 inches.
Zinsser’s essay continues:
Painted freehand, there is always a tenderness of human engagement. Mischievous absurdist humor runs against more traditional absolutist readings. At times, Brown allows a singular moment of “narrative” awkwardness to assert itself as a work’s central subject. Here, it’s like an invitation for the viewer to actively enter into the “crisis mode” of a painting’s own moment of coming-into-being…
Viewers may initially bring their own lexicon of indexical sources: Ellsworth Kelly, Leon Polk Smith, Myron Stout. But the paintings resist such identification. They seem, in fact, adamantly non-appropriative. Instead, they arrive as “beings” among us—very much in the present.”