Spencer Sweeney At Park & 75

Spencer Sweeney, Self-Portrait, 2018, oil and oil stick on linen, 66 × 42 inches (167.6 × 106.7 cm)
Spencer Sweeney, Self-Portrait, 2018, oil and oil stick on linen, 66 × 42 inches (167.6 × 106.7 cm)

Self-Portraits is an exhibition of new paintings by Spencer Sweeney, his first with the gallery.

Self-portraiture, which Sweeney has equated to “working as your own analyst,” has been a persistent genre within his work. In both abstract and figurative modes, he weaves between recognizable human consciousness and expression. While Sweeney paints himself from photographs and mirrors, other personalities and influences of indeterminate gender and style begin to pervade his self-depictions. The artist appears as a social creature, subject to the influence of others, as well as to the forces of environment and lifestyle. The imagery of these new works jumps between different styles with an irreverent resistance to strict categorization.

For twenty years, Sweeney has been a vital presence in the art, nightlife, and music of New York City. As musician and performance artist, he was a member of the seminal noise-art group Actress. As a painter and visual artist, he makes collages, paintings, self-portraits, and drawings, as well as environments and immersive experiences, such as the 2010 show in which he moved his living quarters into a gallery space and installed himself alongside the art objects on view. With Self-Portraits, he brings a humorous pathos to the act of introspection.

This new group of works comes right after Headz, his collaboration with Urs Fischer on a temporary, underground, word-of-mouth art studio in Lower Manhattan, where artists—both known and amateur; adults, students, teenagers—came together to make pictures of human heads, resulting in a collage-like portrait of a specific time and place. Headz also became a hub for improvisational jazz, and hosted performances by Lonnie Plaxico, Jay Rodriguez, Craig Harris, and Pheeroan akLaff. Sweeney’s engagement with “availablism”—a term coined by performance artist Kembra Pfahler to describe making art using what’s around you—pervades his portraiture as if psychological territory is being physically mapped onto the canvas. His ludic and anarchic self-portraits show a multiplicity of selves, interwoven with an examination of the creative process itself.

Spencer Sweeney was born in 1973, in Philadelphia, and lives and works in New York.

Exhibition Dates: November 9 – December 22, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, November 9, 2018 from 6 – 8pm

Park & 75
821 Park Avenue,
New York

Henna Vainio At Ratio 3

Henna Vainio, Legs (black), 2018, Plaster, pigment, fiberglass, steel, 80 x 12 x 12 inches
Henna Vainio, Legs (black), 2018, Plaster, pigment, fiberglass, steel, 80 x 12 x 12 inches

More Life, a solo exhibition of new artworks by Henna Vainio. Working with pigmented plaster, Vainio has produced a series of wall-mounted objects, freestanding sculptures, and lamps, each cast from molds made of common materials. Using manipulated cardboard and fabric as templates for her forms, Vainio presents objects that suggest animated motion, balance, and agencies of their own.

The series of wall-mounted works in More Life each record a particular moment, functioning partly like topographical photographs of a still life arrangement. Yet, each imprint modifies and abstracts its source material so that the sculpture does not read strictly as documentation. Vainio’s use of monochromatic pigments lends vibrance to her torsioned, layered forms. The selectively-enhanced colors pronounce the relief of each sculpture, accentuating shapes, and lending physicality and weight to the color itself.

Vainio’s series of freestanding sculptures titled Legs are cast from bent and balanced corrugated cardboard molds. The various interlocking lengths of her sculptures are suggestive of limbs and structural buttresses. Bearing relation to the body, the contortions of Vainio’s cast forms imply movement; each is at once fluid and solid, both stable and vulnerable. In the rear gallery, Vainio presents a suite of lamps visible by their own cast light, seemingly poised for motion.

Throughout More Life, cardboard is not a packing material, towels are not functional objects, but are instead references for a type of still life. Removed from their intended, often disposable functions, Vainio’s materials are not simply preserved, but transformed and elevated. Whether by subtle anthropomorphization, or by capturing the drapery of fabrics meant for the human body, Vainio’s newest works both embody and evoke life.

Henna Vainio (b. 1981, Finland) lives and works in San Francisco.

Henna Vainio: More Life
Exhibition Dates: November 9 – December 21, 2018
Opening reception: Friday, November 9, 2018 from 6 – 8 pm

Ratio 3
2831A Mission Street
San Francisco, CA

Maurizio Anzeri & Patsy Krebs At Haines Gallery

Maurizio Anzeri, Galliano, 2018  /  Patsy Krebs, Untitled 2-18, 2018
Maurizio Anzeri, Galliano, 2018 / Patsy Krebs, Untitled 2-18, 2018

Maurizio Anzeri: Vintage photographs of circus performers are brought to joyous life in Maurizio Anzeri’s first large-scale exhibition at Haines Gallery. Anzeri combines his signature hand embroidery with materials such as strips of brass and steel, colored paper, and gaffer tape, to create circus scenes that are as whimsical as they are enigmatic, filled with uncanny figures and mysterious emanations. Debuting alongside these images will be his first video work, also entitled In-Equilibrio, which animates his surreal portraiture and landscapes.

Patsy Krebs: Northern California painter Patsy Krebs continues to mine the optical and affective possibilities of reductive painting. With an elegantly refined formal vocabulary and restrained palette, she creates ethereal paintings that explore our perceptions of light, color, and space. The term “aletheia” in Ancient Greek philosophy suggests both an active revealing and its opposite, concealment, pointing towards an essential quality of Krebs’ practice: one that rewards careful viewing, as complex forms and meaning are revealed over time.

Maurizio Anzeri: In-Equilibrio
Patsy Krebs: Aletheia: reveal/conceal

Exhibition Dates: November 1 – December 22, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 1, 2018 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Tom Chambers At photo-eye Gallery

Tom Chambers, Middle Light
Tom Chambers, Middle Light

Tom Chambers is a master storyteller. Employing Magic Realism, Chambers’ complex single-setting narratives convincingly insert fantastical elements into our everyday existence. In this world, people share a kindred connection with animals, spoken words fall as floral blooms, and the metaphysical nature of light reveals sacred spectacles. Using imagery from the artist’s travels to locations such as Iceland, Italy, and Mexico, Chambers’ images appear otherworldly. The scenes are evocative, yielding feeling of delight, wonder, and trepidations as Chambers explores themes of transformation, vitality, mythology, and identity. An early adopter of digital media, Chambers builds his improbable scenes by seamlessly integrating elements from multiple photographs into a single image.

“Since I began creating photomontage, storytelling has been part of all my series and something that has engaged the viewer. My hope has been that the viewer will look at my images, each of which contains an unfinished story, and then create his own interpretation of what's seen. Magic realism has been a tool for me to create a strong narrative. I use magic realism to peak viewer's interests compelling them to take a second look because something looks different or improbable; I really want to raise questions in the viewer's mind. I like to say that instead of taking a photo, I am making a photo. Many of my inspirations for my montage photography come from musings or dreams, which I refer to as improbable dreams.” – Tom Chambers

Tom Chambers: Hearts and Bones
Exhibition Dates: November 30, 2018 – January 5, 2019
Opening Reception & Book Signing: Friday, November 30, 2018 from 5pm – 7 PM

photo-eye Gallery
541 South Guadalupe St
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Morgan Fisher At Redcat

Morgan Fisher, Lumière Alticolor Lumière du Jour 106 July 1956, 2014 framed archival pigment print, 45 x 55 cm
Morgan Fisher, Lumière Alticolor Lumière du Jour 106 July 1956, 2014
framed archival pigment print, 45 x 55 cm

Working in Los Angeles since the mid-1960s, Morgan Fisher has a long history of applying a conceptual eye and mind to the materials and technologies of Hollywood. Morgan Fisher / Passing Time, is the first exhibition of Fisher’s work to bring the full range of his endeavors into sharp focus in the city where he lives.

“Of course we know that without the artist there isn’t a work,” Fisher has stated. “But at least construction, and the performative within construction, enact the wish to reduce the visibility of this unavoidable fact.”

With a precise arrangement of photographs, videos, works on paper, and a key series of paintings, the show aims to elucidate Fisher’s steadfast pursuit of non-subjective, non-compositional things and methods; nevertheless, it also displays the figure of the artist as a stubborn, although frequently occluded, effect of his pursuit.

The exhibition spotlights the career of an elusive Los Angeles éminence grise, providing, in a moment of extreme self-obsession and celebrity branding, an opportunity to reflect upon other ways of constructing the aesthetic—matters that deserve thought.

Curated by Bruce Hainley and Sohrab Mohebbi with Carmen Amengual, curatorial assistant. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication edited by Bruce Hainley and Sohrab Mohebbi.

Exhibition Dates: October 25, 2018 – February 16, 2019
Screening of films by Morgan Fisher followed by a conversation with the artist: November 4, 2018, at 3pm

631 West 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012