Artists: Chris Bradley, Vaginal Davis, Mireille Delice, Luc Fuller, Arnold Joseph Kemp, Brian Kokoska, Michael Lazarus, Gladys Nilsson, Misleidys Francisca Castillo Pedroso, Brion Nuda Rosch
Exhibition title: KEY FIGURES
Venue: Adams and Ollman, Portland, US
Date: February 20 – March 28, 2015
Photography: Courtesy of the artists and Adams and Ollman
January 30, 2015, Portland, Oregon: Adams and Ollman proudly presents Key Figures, a group exhibition opening with a reception on Friday, February 20 and on view through March 28, 2015. Paintings, sculptures, photographs, and collages by contemporary and self-taught artists including Chris Bradley, Vaginal Davis, Luc Fuller, Arnold Joseph Kemp, Brian Kokoska, Michael Lazarus, Gladys Nilsson, Misleidys Francisca Castillo Pedroso and Brion Nuda Rosch will be on view.
Chris Bradley’s three-dimensional trompe l’oeil sculpture on view in Key Figures is a minimal elegy to the body. Two holes transform what appears to be a flattened cardboard box into a figure, or perhaps, a shield. The cardboard piece, in actuality a painted aluminum sculpture, evokes, with precision, the literal, political and social body.
Ghost-like and totemic, Vaginal Davis’ paintings made with make-up, glycerin, tempera, watercolor pencils, food coloring, mascara, and nail polish, capture the spirit or essence of seminal women.
Luc Fuller is interested in how images and actions create meaning through repetition and duration. For Key Figures, Fuller presents a series of new works that borrow the image of an ecstatic figure from an Alexander Calder lithograph that appeared in the French art journal Derriere le Miroir in 1975.
Arnold Joseph Kemp’s photographic images of crude faces fashioned from torn and crumpled aluminum foil function across a variety of media–sculpture, painting, photography–and speak with a voice often found in Aftrican American art and jazz that acknowledges conflicting needs to both mask and reveal.
Brian Kokoska’s abstracted figures are exuberant and childlike as they occupy an explicitly uncomfortable space that is sexual, abject, crass and comic. The raw emotion and desire of the works are reinforced by the palpable traces of Kokoska’s fingers pushing and pulling the paint across the surface of each canvas.
Michael Lazarus adds personality to humble materials, often discarded pieces of wood and weathered signs, using common household items such as hooks, light switches, mirrors, and found text. The resulting assemblages reveal the most essential parts of the human form and spirit.
The female body is the organizing principle in Gladys Nilsson’s chaotic figurative works. Errant limbs and torsos are constricted, entangled and invaded by images of fashion, advertisements and art history.
Misleidys Francisca Castillo Pedroso’s figures are hyper-masculine with bulging muscles, exaggerated features, and mythological overtones. Pedroso’s cut out paintings on paper are graphic and monotone–green, yellow, pink, brown–and are marked with tape, evidence that they once hung throughout her family’s home in Cuba.
In his deadpan collages, Brion Nuda Rosch rearranges and complicates images of found objects and sculptures by modern masters to create new hybrid figures and identities. By layering a Picasso sculpture on top of another Picasso sculpture, Rosch creates a hyper-Picasso, a frenetic figure that is out of context, yet familiar.
Vaginal Davis, Jeanne Lanvin, Madame Gre´s, Elsa Schiaparelli, 2012
Chris Bradley, Untitled (Shield #4), 2012
Misleidys Francisca Castillo Pedroso, Untitled, 2014
Michael Lazarus, no title, 2014
Luc Fuller, Untitled (Critter Painting After Calder), 2015
Gladys Nilsson, Untitled, 1968
Arnold Joseph Kemp, What Actually Happens (See Black Say Red), 2012
Mireille Delice, Untitled (Haitian Voodou Flag), c. 1990s
Brian Kokoska, Pyro Penelope (13 Candles), 2015
Brian Kokoska, Buttercup (She Gives No Fucks), 2015