Exhibit by appointment only
May 1 — 31
by Nina Mdivani
Our time defies logic in many ways or rather it creates a different kind of logic. What was certain for centuries becomes obsolete in a matter of hours, while simultaneously old ideas of isolationism thrive once more. Logic is outdated and recreated, dissected and revisited. Only artistic production can fathom such discrepancies and come unscathed. Surrealism is a notion that comes to mind when an individual is facing a reality of one’s own making, when considering how real is her reality, how accurate his dreams. Surreal painters bring in their mysteries, their puzzles and riddles, their sets of visual associations and hidden keys. Painters selected for Defied Logic – a four-artist exhibition at Ivy Brown Gallery do not purposefully chase their dreams or subconscious drives, yet what they show us are questions and metaphors executed through their highly personalized and masterful languages. In the selected works phantasmagoric dynamic of traditional surrealism gives way to a more contemplative and reflexive turn, a turn that is also disquieting and shape-shifting.
Samira Abbassy is an Iranian-born and New York-based artist, whose magnetic, minimal and eloquent figures carry timelessness around their shoulders, grappling with eternal forces of grief, trauma, renunciation, hierarchy, shame, delusion, and truth. Using a rich and minimal palette Abbassy creates scenes biblical in their gravity, they act as parables for any given dilemmas in human lives. She is an intense historian of her own mystical land and with these works Abbassy chronicles and defines it.
In her prints and sculptural works New York-based Whitney Harris depicts nude feminine bodies, self-aware and vulnerable, indifferent to their audience and comfortable in their reflective state. Appropriating the nude femme pictorial tradition throughout art history Harris looks at internal emotional spaces reflective of all races and times. This is the state where reality blurs with fiction. Female bodies are not objectified, but celebrated for their connection to the rhymes of nature.
Brooklyn-based painter Mark Milroy uses life and fiction as subject matter for his paintings. Frustration, joy, wonder, and pain are palpable in his portraits and scenes depicting humans in everyday surroundings. Yet, a hint of uneasiness and undercurrents are also present. A snake presents itself in the middle of an intimate dialogue. A glistening pink wall appears in front of two protagonists. A viewer is invited to decide on the reality factor.
Italian-born and New York-based artist Bea Scaccia questions our roles in society, our certainty as human beings. She plays with compositions and themes that contain all possibilities— therefore her creations are genderless, ageless, faceless. In her latest series Hang in there, Scaccia completely abandons figures and looks at wigs as a certain kind of presence underlining the void behind us. This void stands behind our performative gender or role choices. With her compositions Scaccia reminds us that we do not really have a clue about what/who we are and that selves are often fluid and unknown.