In a space of wonder, how can we digest experiences, reference the process of world-building, and find refuge in a world that is daunting, ethereal, or has inherited complex histories?
Summer DAYZ is a compilation of works made by ten generous young artists invested in diverse and engaging content. This exhibition was formulated from thoughts about the processes of working with hot and cold materials – metal, paint, and plastic – to build worlds. Artists make their own decisions but, in many ways, their ideas are superseded by present context and/or cultural limitations of imagination. The artists in this show balance technological and material possibilities; their work presents structures that offer a chance to redefine dreaming and reflection.
Isaac Soh Fujita Howell has developed a narrative of figurative and architectural landscapes combined with translated text. This mashup creates a combination of imagism and formalism in Howell’s painting. In contrast, Adrian Rivera’s sculptures challenge the history of found objects. His work questions how the evolution of colonialism into global capitalism creates cultural value and social desire. The images in Julia Maiuri’s current painting series blur perspective and film construction methods, generating new images.
Making art by hand is an important element to the works in Summer DAYZ. Carley Mandel, Julia Haft-Candell, and Fin Simonetti all imbue construction and deconstruction methodologies by dealing with varied materials. Their art carries perspectives of how objects can be seen and formed. The weight of meaning varies just like the materials used. Handmade objects reflect or mirror the systemic structures that expand or dislocate a view of how something is put together.
The poetics in the details around us are reflected within the works of James Maurelle, Abigail Lucien, and Stuart Lorimer. Maurelle’s sculpture, using copper and musical instruments, blows through mechanical construction and poses the possibility that a verb can change time. Lucien beautifully crafts architectural elements and organic objects into permanent, semi-permanent, and malleable materials. These recall and metaphorically shift the built and natural world with the perspective that the landscape is constantly adjusting ahead of the atmospheric change, simultaneously historical and current. Portraits are a consistent studio endeavor for Lorimer. In NYC, even if one’s eyes are closed it is impossible not to see someone for their looks, energy, and presence. Within these portraits he is layering thin layers of lines and shapes that imply and create such direct portrayals. Do we know who these people are?
Each artist in Summer DAYZ suspends material and conceptual concerns within a paradigm or a fiction, beautifully constructed around their local and personal perspective. This, in relation to an even broader vision of what space or personal mythologies can look like, creates room for critical reflections.
There is magic within an object, or the way an object has come to be.
Kahlil Robert Irving has curated a coinciding show at CANADA called Summer Nights, opening Friday, July 8.
Image above: Isaac Soh Fujita Howell, When the Sun Splits, 2020. Acrylic on canvas. 72 x 96 inches.