January 26, 2011

Irvine Contemporary, Gallery artists exhibition of new works titled Saturnalia is a festival of new art to celebrate the New Year

Exhibition: Saturnalia
New Work by Gallery Artists
Irvine Contemporary, Washington DC
January 8 - February 12, 2011

The exhibition includes works by Teo González, Melissa Ichiuji, Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi, Akemi Maegawa, Alexa Meade, Susana Raab, and Nicholas Kahn & Richard Selesnick.

Alexa Meade, Double Take, 2010. 
C-print, artist's installation. 20 x 16 in. 
Courtesy Irvine Contemporary

ALEXA MEADE's new photographs extend her strategy of defining a new intersecting point for multiple genres and techniques, merging photography, performance, painting, installation, and portraiture. Her images are at once records of a performance, a portrait session in a constructed set or installation, and a reflection on three- and two-dimensional representational spaces. Meade calls attention to the expectations of representational space in the picture plane through displacements in medium. Her final photographic images read like portraits, but with the codes for fiction, illusion, truth, the index of the real, the imaginary, and pictorial representation confounded, conflated, and exposed. Alexa Meade lives and works in Washington, DC. 

Susana Raab, Cholita 1, 2010. 
C-print. 24 x 22 in. 
Courtesy Irvine Contemporary

SUSANA RAAB presents recent work from her evolving photography series, Cholita, which were shot in Peru. Raab was born in Peru, and though she moved to the US at three, Peru has always fascinated her as a land of mixed identities and cultural adaptations. "Cholo" originally referred to people from black and native parents, and is used today in masculine and feminine forms for those of mixed race and/or lower social class. Cholo/chola are also part of US urban slang for Latino/Latina gang styles, usually with deprecation. Raab has re-appropriated the term for her own personal reflection on Peruvian and Latin American identities in a series of highly original and direct portraits that only a photographer with her background, access, and identification with her subjects could produce. Susana Raab lives and works in Washington, DC. 

Teo González, Cloudy Sky, New York, 2010
Acrylic on panel. 12 x 12 in. 
Courtesy Irvine Contemporary

TEO GONZALES's new paintings challenge the boundaries of organic and geometric form through a process of abstraction from the colors of skies over specific city locations. González's new series of works are based on photographs of skies, which he uses to map a color palette in Photoshop. He then selects a restricted set of colors, matches them to pigments, and composes a painting of cells and drops of paint that snake and weave across the surface. These new paintings display González's signature method of elegant challenges to the formal categories and genres of painting, this time drawing in a reference to the world outside painting and fusing computer pixels and organic form. González has looped around the issues in abstraction, and now discovered a way to make paintings like organic stained-glass windows back-lit by a city sky. Teo González lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. 

Melissa Ichiuji, Nature's Promise, 2010. 
Fabric, wood, nylon, found objects, mixed media. 
Dimensions variable. Detail. 
Courtesy Irvine Contemporary

MELISSA ICHIUJI's new work expands on her approach to materials, identities, domestic space, and sexualities. Her sculptures and installations are performative works and staged fantasies about innocence and perversion, power and seduction, sexuality and the domestic space, and often explore the boundaries of childhood innocence and adult self-consciousness and repression. Each sculpture is sewn and assembled from many materials, including nylon, fabric, leather, bones, fur, hair, and found objects. Advancing the Surrealist tradition in the works of Hans Bellmer and Louise Bourgeois, Ichiuji's works are at once playful, humorous, and subversive. With humor and playful irony, they provide perfect three-dimensional emblems for today's anxieties about the family, childhood, sex, and the body. Melissa Ichiuji lives and works in Front Royal, VA. 

Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi, Untitled, 2010. 
Acrylic and mixed media on Mylar, 78 x 60 in. (detail) 
Courtesy Irvine Contemporary

HEDIEH JAVANSHIR IICHI presents new mixed media paintings on Mylar as provocative visual essays on Persian, Iranian, and American cultural identities. Fusing sources and references from historical Persian miniature painting, contemporary Iranian social and political imagery, and the visual codes of Western abstraction, Ilchi composes imaginary scenes where cultural and sexual identities are given space to reveal questions and contradictions without canceling or denying the significance of multiple histories and cultural positions. Ilchi uses militarist icons of the current Iranian regime as invasions and disruptions of a possible cultural coexistence. Her female figures with long-flowing, loosened hair are posed in jeans and contemporary fashion, a challenge to the current regime's restraints to be sure, but her figures seem equally at home in a Persian landscape, a modern abstract color field, or a contemporary urban scene. Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi lives and works in Washington, DC. 

Nicholas Kahn & Richard Selesnick, Adrift on the Hourglass Sea
archival pigment print, 10 X 72 in. (detail). 
Courtesy Irvine Contemporary

NICHOLAS KAHN & RICHARD SELESNICK present works from their new series, Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, an historical fictional narrative of the colonization of Mars. This body of work also represents the first time that artists have used NASA’s high-resolution imagery from Mars. Continually working like art directors for film sets, Kahn and Selesnick have created complex photo-montage compositions combining NASA shots of the Martial surface with their own sets and location photography. Through the mystery of a discovered colony on Mars, this new project explores questions of ecological and societal collapse, myths about technology and colonization, and the ideologies of utopia and dystopia. Kahn & Selesnick live and work in New York and Massachusetts, and on location in cyberspace. 

Akemi Maegawa, White Jizō, 2010. 
Unique glazed porcelain sculptures, 18  x 9  x 9 in.  
Courtesy Irvine Contemporary

AKEMI MAEGAWA expands her work in ceramics and Japanese pop culture with new Jizō figures in white glazed porcelain. Jizō Bodhisattva is a traditional Buddhist guardian divinity for travelers going between spiritual states and for the souls of children. Jizō figures have appeared in many forms and in both sexes over the centuries, and are now commonly seen along roadsides and graveyards in Japan. The figure has entered Japanese pop culture in a variety of styles, including cartoon and hyper-cute versions, similar to the use of Daruma images and figures. Maegawa has adopted Jizō for her playful work at the intersections of Japanese and American pop, kitsch, and fashion. Her Jizō figures welcome visitors as travelers into the gallery space. Akemi Maegawa lives and works in Washington, DC. 

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