I started my day today with a bite of freshly made glazed donut and a sip of drip coffee. Not my normal routine, but enjoyable nonetheless, in a very familiar way. Familiarity can possibly and instantaneously forge intimate connections between people, ideas, contexts, and experiences. I find myself intrigued by the artists' process or rather their process of being an artist.
The artists selected for this feature reveal something from their daily surroundings that gives the audience a peek into the artist's intimate life and thoughts. From the silhouette of a paring knife and lemons to grandma's pound cake recipe, these seemingly mundane and familiar elements become tangible starting points in understanding the artists' process of discerning order, reflection, integration and affirmation within their daily environment. Though they employ vastly different methodologies and strategies in creating their work, their inspiration comes from the world around them, thus offering us a key into their world through the familiar object.
Inspired while musing over her grandmother's legacy, Nyeema Morgan's Forty-Seven Easy Poundcakes Like grandma Use To Make tackles rule-based processes and the idea of authenticity in the digital age. It employs a labored process of repetition that is additive yet ultimately reduces the recipes into a series of unique but incomprehensible text-based digital drawings. Morgan explores the boundaries of authoritative reasoning through the process of collecting and editing — dissecting, rearranging and ultimately negating and abstracting. The forty-seven recipes, including Morgan's grandmother's, are also baked and shared with the audience. The project touches upon notions of cultural knowledge and its production, consumption, validation, appropriation, representation, reiteration and its sometime superfluous connotations within contemporary society and engages the audience in both a private and shared communal experience.
Megan Whitmarsh examines and reconfigures personal and communal history using a process that she compares to taking a photograph of the inside of her mind. Traces is part of a larger series based on women artists and their work. By making a hand-sewn replica of Niki de Saint Phalle's autobiography, Whitmarsh re-examines the artist, her artwork, and the book itself, which in the process is rendered unreadable. Although her interest in feminism is peripheral and influences her vision rather then being the focus of her work, her recent works have included fictionalized past covers of art magazines featuring women artists who Whitmarsh feels deserved to be on the cover but never did. Part pop art, part criticism, Whitmarsh explores various potent ideas entwined within her daily life in a sincere but lighthearted and personable humble manner.
Siyeon Kim also examines her daily surroundings for inspiration. Kim's most recent photographic series titled Cup continues to examine the themes of fragility and the lack of communication within the domestic setting. The very private and personal objects such as cups, books, kitchen utensils, and eggshells reference the home and the traditional domestic role while the pristine superficiality and obsessive cleanliness depicted in the photographs are evocative of psychological tension, fragility, futility, and almost suffocating emptiness. Like a fragmented poem, the delicate and precarious balancing of the cup and the lifeless paper nourishments capture a melancholic domestic narrative along with a slight sense of paranoia. The pervasive silence is overwhelming yet there is a meditative quality to Kim's quiet photographs, which brings the viewer back to her work again and again.
Not unlike Kim's intimate photographs, Todd Kelly's paintings are introspective explorations and embrace both representation and abstraction. Kelly describes his paintings "as a method of thinking" and enjoys diversity and formal freedom that comes from mashups and interplay of divergent styles and genres. Many of Kelly's recent paintings incorporate facets of still life — silhouettes of bottles, a paring knife and sliced lemons in particular. untitled (Theory of Gravity Still Life) seems to be an amalgamation of abstract scribbles and patterns at first glance but starts to reveal the multiple layers of still life and their playful juxtapositions. Kelly's painting references commercial printing and machine-made marks against hand-painted patterns in fanciful layers. It reflects his daily life and attitude of joy and inquiry in approaching his paintings.
Eun Young Choi is a New York-based installation artist and independent curator originally from Seoul, Korea. She holds a MFA from the School of Visual Arts and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Choi has organized exhibitions and performance events in collaboration with various organizations including the New Museum's IDEAS CITY Festival, National Academy Museum, United Nations Headquarters, Asian American Art Centre and Arario Gallery New York. Her programming and exhibitions have been featured in the New York Times, New York magazine, VOGUE magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, artcritical and numerous other media outlets.
Culturehall is thrilled to celebrate its sixth anniversary and the global community of artists and curators who have contributed to our growing online resource for contemporary art.
In the summer of 2008, David Andrew Frey founded Culturehall as a new way for artists to connect with curators, gallerists, collectors, and other artists. Culturehall has been honored to witness the outstanding achievements of artists whose work has been featured in our issues during the past six years. We would like to take this opportunity to recognize some of the many remarkable accomplishments by artists within the community.
The 2009 feature issue Framed by Nina Büsing Corvallo brought together four female photographers, including LaToya Ruby Frazier and Tiana Markova-Gold, whose work examines theoretical, political, social, and personal issues. LaToya's documentary photography about her hometown, Braddock, Pennsylvania, received critical acclaim during the 2012 Whitney Biennial, and her solo exhibition, A Haunted Capital, is currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum. Tiana was a 2010 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Photography, as well as a 2010 recipient, with writer Saran Dohrmann, of the Dorothea Lange — Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for their on-going collaboration about prostitution and the marginalization of women in Morocco. This work was recently presented in a solo exhibition at the Camera Club of New York as the culmination of Tiana's 2012 Darkroom Residency.
Kelli Connell and Debbie Grossman, two featured artists who digitally alter images to re-imagine gender roles and identity, were included in After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this past year. Also a recent MacDowell Colony Fellow, Kelli was featured in Other Places, an issue about different generations of international artists whose photographic work explores gender and sexuality. Other artists in this issue, including Doug Ischar, were part of a group show guest curated by Tema Stauffer at the Camera Club of New York in 2011. Doug's Marginal Waters series documenting a gay beach in Chicago in the mid-eighties was recently on view at Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography in Toronto and featured in the Guardian Weekend Magazine.
Among a long list of gallery exhibitions of work by Culturehall artists in New York City, Higher Pictures included work by four featured artists — Artie Vierkant, Jessica Eaton, Letha Wilson, and Joshua Citarella — in the group show, Photography Is, in 2012. Artie, Jessica, and Letha also each had solo shows at Higher Pictures in the last two years. Letha's new series of photo-based sculptures examining the magnetic pull of the American West was recently exhibited in her solo show, Landmarks and Monuments, at Art in General. Cultured Stone, a solo show of work by another featured artist Ethan Greenbaum, was presented at Theirry Goldberg Gallery in 2012.
This spring in Chicago, conceptual artist Jason Lazarus's Chicago Works was installed in two separate areas of the Museum of Contemporary Art. His installation of work from Michael Jackson Memorial Procession is included in a group show, Love to Love You, at MASS MoCA, bringing together artists who explore the notion of being a fan as an opportunity for shared social experience and extreme personal obsession.
Constant Dullart's solo show Jennifer in Paradise opens at Import Projects in Berlin in September 2013. Featured in Being There by Jenny Jaskey, Constant also participated in an event at the New Museum in 2012 in which he released a series of works in response to the new Terms of Service conditions of several Internet services. Photographic portraits shot in Vietnam by Jamie Maxtone-Graham were shown at the Nooderlicht International Photofestival 2012 in the Netherlands this past fall. In Paris, featured artist Jo-ey Tang was selected to curate a group exhibition Forming Loss in Darkness at Praz-Delavallade as part of young curator season of Palais de Tokyo that opened in June 2013. The works in the exhibition set an alternative mise-en-scene of the rarely screened silent super-8 film Beautiful People (1998) by David Wojnarowicz, tracking the journey from slumber to death, with the history of material as a form of narrative.
Jesper Norda's recent video and sound piece, Right Hand-Left Hand, was installed in three adjacent rooms at the Gothenburg Museum of Art in Sweden. Culturehall highlighted The Centre of Silence, an earlier sound installation at the Kalmar Museum, in our New Artists Feature, Spring 2012. A Swedish artist living in Berlin, Erik Bünger will exhibit work in a group show opening at the Gothenburg Museum in September, Nyförvärv, displaying work the museum has purchased in recent years.
One of the artists selected for our New Artists Feature, Spring 2011, Sarah Palmer received the 2011 Aperture Portfolio Prize. A solo show of her photographic series, As A Real House, was presented by Aperture Gallery in Fall 2012. Featured in Traces along with three other women artists, Corinne May Botz was recently awarded a New York Film and Video Grant from the Jerome Foundation. The grant will fund an experimental video that will use the construction/deconstruction of a standardized patient simulation to explore empathy and the performative aspect of doctor-patient encounters.
Featured photographers Juliana Beasley and Christoph Gielen received Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer's Fellowships in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Sasha Rudensky, whose work was included earlier this year in Scout by Jacob Rhodes, recently received one of six fellowships granted in 2013.
Part of what made it possible for Culturehall to feature the work of this diverse and accomplished community of artists were the insights of exceptional guest curators from around the world. Culturehall has reached out to dynamic figures who shape the arts — such as curators, writers, poets, educators, artists, and gallerists — to invite them to share artists with our audience and to write essays about their work based on a curatorial theme. We've collaborated with guest curators in over twenty cities including New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, Moscow, and Mexico City.
Culturehall would like to thank all of the guest curators who have contributed to the site: David B. Smith (28/73/91), Jordan Tate (32/62), Ruben Natal-San Miguel (34), Nina Büsing Corvallo & Candace Gottschalk (35), Erin Sickler (36), Ian Cofré (37), Leeza Meksin (39/49), Shane Lavalette (40), Zeina Assaf (41), Elissa Levy (42), Alex Ebstein & Seth Adelsberger (44/72), Matt Olson (46), Melissa Levin (48/64), Emily Carter (50), Tracy Candido (51) & Chelsea Haines (51/79), Allison Browning (52), Debora Kuan (53), Silke Bitzer (55), Jenny Jaskey (56), Ethan Greenbaum (57), Amy Fung (59), Jo-ey Tang (61), Howard Hurst (66), Oliver Wise & Eleanor Hanson Wise (67), Amy Elkins (68), Corinna Kirsch (71), Tucker Neel (75), Anna Knoebel & Tess Knoebel (76), Lauren van Haaften-Schick (78/82), Sean Justice (80), Gerardo Contreras (83), Helen Homan Wu (85), Yulia McCutcheon & Dasha Kutasina (86), Pauline Magnenat (88), Legacy Russell (89), Elly Clarke (92), Jacob Rhodes (94), Elizabeth White (95), Cindy Rucker & Brad Silk (97), Keri Oldham (98), and Abigail Smithson (100).
Thank you also to all of the artists who have shared their work on Culturehall and to our friends and supporters. We look forward to building new relationships and featuring more exceptional artists in the years ahead.