Artists: Amanda Ross-Ho, Andrea Zittel, Kelly Akashi, Kathleen Ryan, Nevine Mahmoud
Exhibition title: SOGTFO
Curated by: Charlie White
Venue: François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, US
Date: February 28 – April 11 2015
Photography: Robert Wedemeyer, images courtesy of the artists and François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles
SOGTFO (Sculpture Or Get The Fuck Out) is a critical play on the misogynistic acronym TOGTFO (Tits Or Get The Fuck Out), a prompt directed at anyone claiming to be female within online boards, chats, and forums. This prompt, which bridges “accepted” adolescent immaturity and the most menacing forms of misogyny, points to the pernicious “made by and for men” sentiment that persists in cultural realms both high and low.
Under such hegemonic primacy, male artists tend to be elevated far above their female peers, and the notion of genius is largely reserved for men. This bias resides most resolutely in the discourse surrounding the practice of sculpture, in which an emphasis on grandeur functions as the new phallus of nations, churning out massive works for even more massive sales floors, collections, and institutions.
This exhibition argues against the predominantly patriarchal imagination that has defined sculptural form, and it aims to reveal the energy, intensity, and originality being forged by artists who exchange the emptiness of grand gestures for complexity, criticality, humor, and meaningful gravitas.
Without discrediting or disregarding history, the exhibition makes a case in and for the present—a time when the market has nearly consumed every aspect of the maker—by turning our attention to five contemporary artists whose gestures in form embody the now and point to the new in Sculpture. Spanning three generations, the show introduces emerging artists Kelly Akashi, Nevine Mahmoud, and Kathleen Ryan, alongside established artists Andrea Zittel and Amanda Ross-Ho, illustrating a shift in mentorship and aesthetic lineage that argues against longstanding—and all-too-gendered—systems of artistic valuation and authority.
Andrea Zittel, Flat Field Work # 1, 2015
Kelly Akashi, Figure oO, 2015
Nevine Mahmoud, Tied chunks with color box, 2015
Amanda Ross-Ho, Untitled Sculpture (ONCE U GO BLACK), 2015
Nevine Mahmoud, Tunnel chunk with color plane, 2015
Kelly Akashi, Ring, 2015
Kathleen Ryan, Bacchante, 2015
Amanda Ross-Ho, Untitled Still Life (UNDERSTANDING YOUR BODY), 2014
Kelly Akashi, Harvest, 2015