I Plan to Stay a Believer
June 29 - August 19, 2017
537 West 22nd Street

I Plan to Stay a Believer
June 29 – August 19, 2017

Opening Reception: Thursday, June 29, 6-8pm

John Ahearn, Andrea Bowers, Nicole Eisenman, Beatriz Gonzales, Robert Gober, Leon Golub, Christian Holstad, Tala Madani, Catherine Opie, Adrian Paci, Marinella Senatore, Nancy Spero, Wu Tsang, Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Martin Wong, Tobias Zielony

Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to announce I Plan to Stay a Believer, an exhibition that brings together a cross-generational group of artists, whose work is united by the use of the body to explore the social context in which their work was made. Working in media that ranges from painting, photography, sculpture, installation, and video, the artists included employ a variety of narrative strategies to position the body as a politicized entity. By addressing their present moment, as well as the histories that have shaped it, together the works provide an entry towards a deeper understanding of the experiences of others, and the complexities of our society.

Since the 1980’s, John Ahearn’s works have recorded residents of neighborhoods including the South Bronx and Harlem, through painted, plaster life casts. Culminating in public projects such as the South Bronx Hall of Fame, realized in collaboration with Rodrigo Torres, Ahearn’s work records the history of a changing city. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1980, the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, 1982, the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1985, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1993, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1996, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2008-2009, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, 2009-2010, and Greater New York, at MoMA PS1, New York, 2015. 

Andrea Bowers’ video installation I Plan to Stay a Believer -
The Arcadia 4 Tree-Sit, 2013records the artist’s, and three other activists’ attempt to protect 250 trees in Los Angeles from clearcutting, which ended in the artist’s arrest for three misdemeanor charges. The film combines documentary footage, with news clips, and the Sheriff’s own recordings, creating a comprehensive document of their activism. Bowers’ work is currently on view as part of Documenta 14, Kassel through September 17. Her work is additionally the subject of an exhibition at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, on view through July 14. Recent solo exhibitions include Womxn Workers of the World Unite! at the Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2017; Andrea Bowers: Sanctuary, the Bronx Museum, New York, 2016, Lessons on Performance Art (with Suzanne Lacy), the Main Museum, Los Angeles, 201, In Situ 1–Andrea Bowers, Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris. 2014, and #sweetjane, Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, California, 2014.

Nicole Eisenman’s paintings often focus on intimate moments shared between friends and lovers, documenting life’s moments that occur behind doors. Interested in how these personal moments transform to the political, her work on paper, Crawford, 2005, depicts a protester outside of President George Bush Jr’s home in Crawford, Texas, demonstrating against the Iraq War. Eisenman’s work is currently included in the Münster Skulptur Projekte 2017. Past solo exhibitions of her work include Al-ugh-ories, New Museum, New York, NY, 2016, and Dear Nemesis, Nicole Eisenman 1993–2013, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; traveled to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA (2015), among others.

Beatriz González’s paintings record the tumultuous political history of her native Colombia. In the series Zulia, executed in 2015, González depicts deported Colombians living in Venezeula due to political tensions between the two countries. In 2017, a survey of González’s work will be presented at CAPC Musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, and will travel to Centro Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin. Her work is currently on view as part of Documenta 14, in venues in both Kassel and Athens. 

Robert Gober’s work borrows from everyday life, creating uneasy, narrative scenarios that explore issues of sexual and cultural identity. For his newspaper works, executed in the early 1990s, Gober would insert his own manipulated photographs and texts into the layouts of various national newsletters. Past exhibitions of Gober’s work include Haunted House, Fondazione Prada, Milan, 2015, The Heart is Not a Metaphor, 2014, Work 1976­2007, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, 2012, Work 1976–2006, Schaulager, Basel, 2007, among others. In 2001, Gober represented the United States at the Venice Biennale.

Leon Golub’s figurative works draw on diverse representations of the body, including pornography, athletic competitions, and Greek and Roman sculpture, often pulling images from mass media to explore issues of power, sexuality, and politics. Golub often collaborated with his wife, Nancy Spero, until his death in 2004. Solo exhibitions of Golub’s work include Leon Golub: Portraits of Power, National Portrait Gallery, London, 2016, Bite Your Tongue, Serpentine Gallery, London, Travelled to Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 2011, among others.

 

Christian Holstad’s early collages combine pornographic images of men with those culled from interior décor magazines, filling the silhouettes of their physiques with romantic and domestic patterns atop fantastical landscapes. Past solo exhibitions of Holstad’s work include New Positions, Andrew Kreps Gallery, 2017, Toothpick, Massimo de Carlo, Milan, 2016, Corrections, Victoria Miro, London, 2014, I Confess, Galleria Civica di Modena, Modena, 2009, The Terms of Endearment, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, 2006, and Gaeity: Discovering the Lost Art (in Absentia), Kunsthalle Zurich, 2004.

Tala Madani’s paintings employ lyrical, and often comedic strategies to address unsettling themes, and the ways in which desire and shame condition human behavior. Madani’s work was recently included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Solo exhibitions of her work include La Panacée – Centre de Culture Contemporaine, Montpellier, 2017, and First Light, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, 2016, traveled to Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, 2016.

Catherine Opie’s photographs explore the relationships between the mainstream and outliers, investigating how identity, in particular sexual identity, is shaped and depicted. Catherine Opie’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including O, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 2016, Portraits, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2016, 700 Nimes Road, MOCA Pacific Design Center, 2016, traveled to Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, 2016, George Eastman Museum, Rochester, 2017, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, 2017, Portraits and Landscapes, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, 2015, and The Gang: Photographs by Catherine Opie, 2015, among others.

Adrian Paci’s paintings on paper and canvas draw on a variety of sources, from youtube, news images, and his own films. Depicting people in transit, their almost uncanny appearance reflects on immigration, and the increasing numbers of stateless individuals as more and more are displaced by their political turmoil. In a group of drawings titled The Procession, Paci paints stills from his video Interregnum, 2017, which compiles footage of the funeral processions of communist dictators, in which participation is compulsory. Past solo exhibitions include MAXXI - Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome, 2015,. MAC, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, 2014, Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea – PAC, Milan 2014, National Gallery of Kosovo, Prishtin, 2012, Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich, 2010, Bloomberg Space, London, 2010, and MoMA PS1, New York, 2006.

 

Marinella Senatore’s installation draws on her ongoing project The School of Narrative Dance, which focuses on how narrative can be achieved through non-traditional means, including choreography, participation, and political engagement. Senatore’s first Museum exhibition in the United States Piazza Universale / Social Stages, is on view at the Queens Museum of Art through July 30th. Other solo exhibitions and projects include The School of Narrative Dance Paris, curated by Kathryn Weir, as part of MOVE, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2017, Zurich Parade, Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich, 2017, and Public Secrets, Kunst Halle St. Gallen, St. Gallen, 2014, among others.

 

Nancy Spero’s works on paper interweave art and sociopolitical activism, combining imagery from Egypt, classical antiquity, pop culture, and news media. Repurposing these found and fractured images, and combining them with text, Spero’s works call for a broader examination of the universality of war as a tool for oppression. Following her death in 2009, a major survey of Spero’s work was presented at the Musée National d'art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 2010, traveled through 2011 to Serpentine Gallery, London.

Wu Tsang’s community-based practice employs performance, video, photography and sculpture to investigate and expand queer and trans histories. Her work Female Hero, 2016, draws on her video from the same year Duilian, which takes inspiration from the Chinese poet and martyr Qiu Jin, executed in 1907 for treason during a failed uprising against the Qin Dynasty. Tracking her relationship with calligrapher Wu Zhiying, the film and surrounding objects, create a tension between documentary and narrative fiction, and speak towards the politically transformative power of relationships. Wu Tsang’s work is currently the subject of exhibitions at Kunsthalle Münster, through October 1t, and Nottingham Contemporary, through August 28th. Wu Tsang participated in the 9th Berlin Biennale, 2016, Made in LA 2014, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, The Ungovernables, the 2012 New Museum Triennial, New York, and the 2012 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Since the early 1980’s Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven has been prolific in her output, with her work encompassing painting, drawing, installation, video, and early experiments in computer art. Across these disparate media, Van Kerckhoven investigates the overlaps between feminism, eroticism, and technology. A survey of Van Kerckhoven’s work titled What Would I Do In Orbit originated at Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, 2016, traveled to Kunstverein Hannover, 2017, and will travel to MuHKA, Antwerp in 2018. Other past solo exhibitions include Serving Compressed Energy with Vacuum, Kunstverein München, 2015, In a Saturnian World, The Renaissance Society, Chicago, 2011, and Nothing More Natural, Kunstmuseum Luzerne, 2008, traveled to Wiels, Brussels, 2008, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, 2008, and FRAC Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, 2009.

Martin Wong’s diaristic paintings reflect his engagement with his community, from the Lower East Side Latino community of the 1980s, to New York’s Chinatown, and later, with Grafitti artists, whose work Wong extensively collected. Wong passed away of complications related to AIDS in 1999 in San Francisco. In 2015, a major posthumous survey of his work, Human Instamatic, was mounted at the Bronx Museum of Arts, and travelled to the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus. In fall 2017, the exhibition will travel to UC Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley.

Tobias Zielony’s photographs capture those on the fringes of society, and record a complicit relationship between photographer and subject built over time. In his series Jenny Jenny, began with a chance encounter on a subway platform. After taking several photographs, Jenny invited Zielony to photograph herself, fellow prostitutes, and her friends. The resulting images form an authentic, and complex portrait of his subjects. Past solo exhibitions of Zielony’s work include Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal, 2017, Vele, Esker Foundation, Calgary, 2014, Ursula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal-Unteröwisheim, 2014, Jenny Jenny, Berlinische Galerie
, 2013 and Live Cinema / Peripheral Stages, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2011, traveled to MAXXI Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome, 2012.

Also opening on Thursday, June 29:
Condo New York
A collaborative exhibition by 36 galleries across 16 New York spaces
Andrew Kreps Gallery hosting What Pipeline, Detroit
Mary Ann Aitken and Dylan Spaysky
June 29 – July 28
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 29, 6-8pm