ATLBNL at Atlanta Contemporary

Erin Jane Nelson

Artists: Aint–Bad, Katrina Andry, Jason Benson, Guy Church, Tommy Coleman, Stephen Collier, continent., Dust-to-Digital, Skylar Fein, Ke Francis, Coulter Fussell, Adler Guerrier, Virginia Griswold, Darius Hill, Ridley Howard, Horton Humble, Harmony Korine, Phillip Andrew Lewis, Kalup Linzy, Abigail Lucien, Jillian Mayer, Erin Jane Nelson, Daniel Newman, Sharon Norwood, Gina Phillips, Mary Proctor, Zack Rafuls, Andrew Scott Ross, Southern Food Ways Alliance, Stacy Lynn Waddell, Christina West, Cosmo Whyte

Exhibition title: ATLBNL

Curated by: Victoria Camblin, Daniel Fuller, Aaron Levi Garvey and Gia Hamilton

Venue: Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, US

Date: August 27 – December 18, 2016

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy the artists and Atlanta Contemporary

Atlanta Contemporary is pleased to announce the return of the Atlanta Biennial – an exhibition that will showcase emerging, established, and forgotten artistic practices from around the region of which Atlanta, the “capital of the New South,” professes to be a cultural node.

In 1984, the Whitney Museum’s biennial survey of influential American contemporary art contained work from zero Southern artists. This lead Alan Sondheim, then curator at Atlanta’s Nexus Contemporary, to take matters into his own hands, by creating the first ever Atlanta Biennial as platform for contemporary art emerging from and impacting culture in the southeastern United States. From that first exhibition until its last iteration in 2007, the Biennial exhibited hundreds of artists from throughout the region. Over the course of this 23-year run the exhibition sometimes focused solely on Atlanta-based artists, sometimes on artists from the state of Georgia, and, in several iterations, on an area of artistic production that included the whole of the American South. In 2016, we are waking the Atlanta Biennial from its nine-year slumber.

To continue to add to the dialogues created in Atlanta Biennials past, the 2016 edition will focus on bringing entirely new voices to table: the extraordinary artists exhibiting represent 10 states from across the Southeast – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee – and have never shown in an Atlanta Biennial before.

“After a nine-year slumber,” says Daniel Fuller, curator at Atlanta Contemporary, “it is a pleasure to bring the Atlanta Biennial back to light. On moving to Atlanta, this exhibition allows us to go back to our institution’s roots, while thinking about art from the South in a fresh way. This Biennial is an invitation to engage voices of the south; it is a platform to gather upon.”

The 2016 Atlanta Biennial is organized by the curatorial team of: Victoria Camblin, Editor + Artistic Director, ART PAPERS (Atlanta); Daniel Fuller, Curator, Atlanta Contemporary; Aaron Levi Garvey, Independent Curator and Co-Founder of Long Road Projects (Jacksonville); and Gia Hamilton, Director, Joan Mitchell Center (New Orleans).

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (Atlanta Contemporary) announces the 33 artists participating in the return of the Atlanta Biennial. With a roster of artists at varying points in their careers and with varying artistic practices– ATLBNL brings entirely new voices to the galleries by presenting not only the visual arts, but also book arts, film + video, fiber arts, literature, performance and music + sound.

Previous Biennials – regardless of locale, curator, artists, or even the name itself – trumpeted the idea that many exceptional and relevant contemporary artists call the South home. The 2016 Atlanta Biennial further upholds this truth. “This Biennial brings together four curators with distinct points of view and curatorial methodologies,” noted Veronica Kessenich, Executive Director at Atlanta Contemporary. “They found common ground in their combined interest to exhibit individuals and collectives who have never before participated in the Atlanta Biennial. While the participants represent 8 states from across the Southeast, they do not relegate themselves to any specific sense of geography or space rather, together, their work examines the current state of contemporary art and contemporary issues.”

ATLBNL endeavors to champion these artists and their work while simultaneously re-contextualizing Atlanta Contemporary’s commitment to our mission to engage the public in the creation, presentation, and advancement of contemporary art – on the local, national, and international level. The Atlanta Biennial presents an opportunity to deeply engage with our established arts community as well as the day-to-day visitor. It is our unified hope that by respecting what has come before, we can remain responsive to what’s next as we discover, recognize, and reaffirm the role the South plays in the field of contemporary art.

Darrius 1

Darrius 2

Abigail Lucien

Abigail Lucien, Shy Shades, No. 1, 2015
Vinyl, cotton, steel, audio installation, Audio duration approx. 47 min (loop)

Andrew Scott Ross

Andrew Scott Ross, Galleries of Prehistory, 2015
Dry erase, whiteboard paint, whiteboard marker, styrofoam, Dimensions variable


Cosmo Whyte, Promis(ed) Land (Version #3), 2016
Canvas backdrop, neon sign, shipping palettes, 4 bicycle wheels, steering wheel, 5 speakers, 3 car batteries, Demissions variable

Erin Jane Nelson

Erin Jane Nelson, Became Ocean, 2016
Pigment print on silk, various fabrics, hemp, RAM, and debris, 84 x 84 x 3 inches

Gina Phillips

Gina Phillips, 88 Conflates ’74, 2008
Fabric, thread, acrylic paint, 37.5 x 24.75 inches, Courtesy of JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY, New Orleans

Guy 1

Guy Church, Going Down the Road, 2015
Graphite on paper, 29 x 22 inches

Guy 2

Guy Church, XXX,yy”c I M QT-ypr.”, 2015
Graphite on paper, 29 x 21 ½ inches

Install 1

Jason Benson

Jason Benson, Ticker, 2016
Plumbing pipe, lamp kit, red LED bulb; paint marker and collage on used circular saw blades, 69h x 28.5w x 24d inches, Courtesy of Bodega, New York

Kalup 2


Kalup Linzy, The Queen Rose Family, 2016 – ongoing, 83 collages


Mary Proctor, My Grandma Didn’t Need A Whip, Mixed media on salvaged door, 30in x 80in x 7in; The Coming Supper, Mixed media on salvaged church pew, 79 foot x 37 foot x  19.5 inches

Michi 3

Michi 4

Michi 5

P A Lewis

Phillip Andrew Lewis, Distribution in Red, 2016
Light box vacuum form sign, 64 x 8 x 47 inch


Ridley Howard, Summer Party, Orange Sky, 2016
Oil on Linen, 25 x 27 inches

Tommy Stephen 1

Tommy Stephen


Virginia Griswold, Equal Parts, 2015
Hydrocal, plaster, rubber, cement, wood, porcelain, aqua resin, wax, plastic, found objects, Dimensions variable

Zack and Christina West