Figura at Foxy Production

Artists: Kamrooz Aram, Rafal Bujnowski, Sojourner Truth Parsons, Lady Pink, Idelle Weber

Exhibition title: Figura

Venue: Foxy Production, New York, US

Date: November 7 – December 20, 2020

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Foxy Production

Figura considers the ever-changing function of the figure in art. Beyond the resemblance of a person in real life, the figure’s role, across time and cultures, has constantly evolved through socio-political, philosophical, and religious influences. Literary critic Erich Auerbach’s Figura (1938) investigates the history of the figure’s definitions and contours: from Ancient Greece to Rome, “figure” took on an abstracted quality that contrasted with its concrete sense, while in the modern period, its realist or mimetic sense came to the fore. This contrast between the allegorical or symbolic and the real is integral to our understanding of the figure today.

Figura is an exhibition of collage, painting, wall-based sculptural works, and works on paper by Kamrooz Aram, Rafal Bujnowski, Sojourner Truth Parsons, Lady Pink, and Idelle Weber. These works embody, in varying ways and to differing degrees, the changes in the signification of the represented subject. As if viewed through a prism, their use of repetition, dissonance, refraction, and displacement presents bodies as sensuous and concrete, on one the hand, and transformative, historicized, and abstracted on the other.

Kamrooz Aram’s collages on linen and paper recast ancient figurative statuary within in geometric forms. The artist is interested in how Eastern and, in particular, Persian antiquities have been traditionally photographed and how the conventions of their presentation have informed the understanding of them. Reworking his subjects within modernist formats, he produces iconographic contrasts that are at once dissonant and visually compelling.

Rafal Bujnowski’s series of portraits—inspired by “The Last Day of Summer” (1958), an art film by Polish director Tadeusz Konwick that is full of longing, tension, and silences—has both a sense of reversal and erasure. Bujnowski ‘s black-and-white oil paintings combine a filmic realism – not unlike the “day for night” shooting technique of classical cinema – with pronounced brush strokes, as if the artist had painted them in one take. His subjects appear as after-images or spirit photographs, as hovering somewhere between worlds.

Sojourner Truth Parsons’ figures’ minimal forms engender a visceral and emotional subjectivity, while her marks and brushstrokes highlight the process of her painting. Her paintings incorporate psychic dramas where the drive for unity and completion is balanced by the pleasures of a dynamic multiplicity. Parsons’ paintings have a powerful sense of narrative intimacy, where we, as viewers, are witnesses to highly-personal yet fictional slices of life.

Lady Pink’s “Brick Goddess” (2019) depicts a Golem-like, amazonian figure fashioned from bricks. On a podium, next to a castle’s ramparts, the painting’s subject appears like a sensuous Athena. The painting was originally produced as an illustration for a mythical story in Heavy Metal magazine.The artist also presents a series of vivid, pink-hued paintings on carved wood that embody a wide range of styles and content, from classical portraiture, to vintage ads and cartoons. Lady Pink’s works compress and distill historical and contemporary narratives within the artist’s accessible and distinctive visual language developed through her influential work in the worlds of graffiti and muralism.

Idelle Weber’s silhouetted figures, sometimes falling though space, infuse a Pop aesthetic with a dynamic minimalism. Her works on paper, acetate, and in plastic reflect and refract the post-war world of work and play. Her scenes are snapshots of decisive moments of the everyday that have been pared down to their essentials. Weber’s body of work is an elemental testament to the contrasts and contradictions of the American experience.

-Kamrooz Aram

“Kamrooz Aram’s work is rooted in the history and practice of painting, which he expands to include collage, photography, sculptural works and exhibition design. His work engages the complicated relationship between Modernism and ornament, often with reference to non-western ornamental art, which he sees as a parallel to painting. Aram’s work sets out to renegotiate the art historical hierarchy that places these ornamental artforms in a category of value beneath fine art.”Green Gallery, Dubai

Kamrooz Aram (1978, Shiraz, Iran) holds a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, and an MFA from Columbia University, New York. He is based in New York City. Recent exhibitions include: “RELATIONS: Diaspora and Painting,” PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art, Montreal, Canada; “Some Mysterious Process: 50 Years of Collecting International Art,” Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; “Desorientalismos,” Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, Spain (all 2020); “Arabesque,” Green Art Gallery, Dubai (solo)(2019); “An Object, A Gesture, A Décor,” FLAG Art Foundation, NY (solo); “FOCUS: Kamrooz Aram,” The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX (solo); “Ancient Blue Ornament,” Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA (solo)(all 2018); and “Ornament for Indifferent Architecture,” Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Belgium (solo)(2017).





Figura, 2020, exhibition view, Foxy Production, New York

Figura, 2020, exhibition view, Foxy Production, New York

Figura, 2020, exhibition view, Foxy Production, New York

Figura, 2020, exhibition view, Foxy Production, New York

Figura, 2020, exhibition view, Foxy Production, New York

Figura, 2020, exhibition view, Foxy Production, New York

Idelle Weber (1932-2020), Untitled, 1961-2, Tempera on Color-aid paper mounted on colored acetate, 23 x 20 in. (58.42 x 50.8 cm) (paper size)

Rafal Bujnowski, The Last Day of Summer, 2019, Oil on canvas, 12 7⁄8 x 12 7⁄8 in. (33 x 33 cm)

Rafal Bujnowski, The Last Day of Summer, 2019, Oil on canvas, 12 7⁄8 x 12 7⁄8 in. (33 x 33 cm)

Idelle Weber (1932-2020), Office Party, 1960s, Tempera on paper, 7 1/2 x 10 in. (19.05 x 25.4 cm) (paper size)

Lady Pink, Girl with Flames, 2007, Acrylic on wood, 30 x 25 x 1/4 in. (76.2 x 63.5 x .64 cm); Violette, 2007, Acrylic on wood, 36 x 22 x 1/4 in. (91.44 x 55.88 x .64 cm); Garden of Earthly Delights, 2007, Acrylic on wood, 24 x 23 x 1/4 in. (60.96 x 58.42 x .64 cm)

Kamrooz Aram, Untitled (from the series Ancient Through Modern), 2014, Paper collage, 17 x 14 in. (43.18 x 35.56) (paper size)

Kamrooz Aram, Untitled, 2020, Paper and color pencil on linen, 40 1/4 x 27 1/2 in. (102.24 x 69.85 cm)

Sojourner Truth Parsons, Oriel, 2019, Acrylic on linen, 69 x 46 in. (175.26 x 116.84 cm)

Rafal Bujnowski, The Last Day of Summer, 2019, Oil on canvas, 59 1⁄8 x 59 1⁄8 in. (150 x 150 cm)

Rafal Bujnowski, The Last Day of Summer, 2019, Oil on canvas, 59 1⁄8 x 59 1⁄8 in. (150 x 150 cm)

Idelle Weber (1932-2020), Falling Figures, 1966, Tempera on Color-aid paper, 22 1/2 x 18 in. (57.15 x 45.72 cm) (paper size)

Kamrooz Aram, Untitled (from the series Ancient Through Modern), 2014, Paper collage, 17 x 14 in. (43.18 x 35.56) (paper size)

Kamrooz Aram, Untitled (from the series Ancient Through Modern), 2014, Paper collage, 17 x 14 in. (43.18 x 35.56) (paper size)

Idelle Weber (1932-2020), Untitled, 1967-8, Painted balsa wood and gouache on paper, 7 3/4 x 6 3/4 x 1/4 in. (19.69 x 17.15 x .64 cm) (paper size)

Idelle Weber (1932-2020), Flight 1 & 2, 1964, Marba-Lite acrylic plastic, 16 x 46 3/4 x 1/4 in. (40.64 x 118.75 x .64 cm) (each)

Rafal Bujnowski, The Last Day of Summer, 2019 Oil on canvas, 19 5⁄8 x 19 5⁄8 in. (50 x 50 cm)

Rafal Bujnowski, The Last Day of Summer, 2019 Oil on canvas, 19 5⁄8 x 19 5⁄8 in. (50 x 50 cm)

Idelle Weber (1932-2020), Untitled, 1971, Paper cut-out mounted on Lenticular postcards, 23 3/4 x 17 3/4 in. (60.33 x 45.09 cm) (paper size)

Lady Pink, Brick Goddess, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 20 in. (76.2 x 50.8 cm)

Sojourner Truth Parsons, Minute man, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 95 x 72 x 1 1⁄2 in. (241.3 x 182.88 x 3.81 cm)

Sojourner Truth Parsons, The End, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 20 in. (60.96 x 50.8 cm)