Sit… Play dead at Super Dutchess

Artists: Ian Faden, Adam Linn, Noelle Velez

Exhibition title: Sit… Play dead

Venue: Super Dutchess, New York, US

Date: December 5, 2020 – January 14, 2021

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Super Dutchess, New York

Super Dutchess presents a group exhibition of works by Ian Faden, Adam Linn, and Noelle Velez curated by Ernesto Renda. Sit…Play dead invites the viewer to consider the tension between the anthropomorphic impulse in figurative painting and the permissions granted in painting and looking at non-human subjects like plants or animals.

Adam Linn’s work seduces us into the sleazy underworld of his anthropomorphic cat figures. Drawing on internet sexual sub-cultures like “furries”, Linn follows his figures into their bedrooms, watches as they shower, or get sweaty in the gym. His treatment of every substance in this perverse pop world is unapologetically only after one thing: to extract as much pleasure as possible.

Like Linn, Ian Faden’s animal subjects seem to inhabit a world of their own, and this is a world after birds and hybrids have evolved into the hegemonic species, subjugating shrunken humans to their will. Faden finds human attributes like facial expressions in his subjects which refer to both an illustrative visual language as well as scientific field guides. Faden’s characters seem playful, but the world he conjures is far from any paradisiacal “Peaceable Kingdom”. He is interested in creating fable-like images, using animals and a diminished human race to talk about the inevitability of hierarchies in nature, past present and future.

If Linn and Faden’s animal subjects are happy to be the center of attention, the plants in Noelle Velez’ paintings seem unaware and uninterested in the concerns of beings that walk for a living. Regal and terrifying, her plants (composites of various natural referents) hold all the presence of a human figure and more. Although they may be framed anthropomorphically, they force us, as humans, to encounter an unrepentant otherness. Velez probes her flowers’ overlapping identities as living subjects in Nature and domesticated objects for still lives.

Born in Boston, Ian Faden grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Pratt Institute in 2011 with a BFA in Painting. While there he also studied in Venice. In 2014 he worked with the artist Brian Stremick to make a collaborative figure painting book, Ass & Dick, released at the The Bureau of General Services – Queer Division. From the end of 2015 to 2020, he worked in the studio of the artist Eliza Douglas between New York and Frankfurt. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his cats, Tompkins and Sissy.

Adam Linn (b. 1995 Pittsburgh, PA) is an artist based in Pittsburgh, PA working in drawing and print media. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2017 with a BFA in Printmaking. Following graduation, Adam participated in the Vermont Studio Center and Anderson Ranch Arts Center residencies. Since returning home to Pittsburgh, Adam has joined the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Print Group. Linn recently completed the year long Distillery residency, a program geared towards emerging artists in the city, at the Brewhouse Association on Pittsburgh’s Southside.

Noelle Velez is a New York City-based painter specializing in dreamlike narrative scenes populated by symbolic characters, flora and fauna. Inspired by her intense compulsion to catalogue both objects and emotions, Noelle builds scenes out of context clues and carefully selected avatars of the self that range from painfully discordant to self indulgently jubilant. Her paintings are meant to encompass both the changeable intensity and specificity of daily stimulus and the scintillating volatility of the subconscious. Noelle was raised in the Bronx and has since relocated to Brooklyn. She graduated from SUNY Purchase summa cum laude with a BFA in Painting and attended the Yale Norfolk summer session in Norfolk Connecticut.

Sit… Play dead, 2020, exhibition view, Super Dutchess, New York

Sit… Play dead, 2020, exhibition view, Super Dutchess, New York

Sit… Play dead, 2020, exhibition view, Super Dutchess, New York

Sit… Play dead, 2020, exhibition view, Super Dutchess, New York

Adam Linn, Perfect Form, Pastel, enamel, acrylic on mylar mounted on wood panel, 49 x 38 x 0.5 inches, 2020

Adam Linn, Peekaboo, Graphite on paper, 12 x 10 inches, 2020

Ian Faden, Laughing Place, Oil on canvas, 29 x 25 inches, 2020

Noelle Velez, Bullthistle, Acrylic and copper powder on panel, 24 x 9 inches, 2020

Noelle Velez, Damiana, Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, 2020

Ian Faden, Capuchin, Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 2020