Pelham Art Center is pleased to present Natural Enemies, opening on Sept. 12 and running through Oct. 25.
One artist group and seven artists will exhibit a diverse collection of artwork ranging from performance artifacts from an Ideological Tug of War to sculptural wooden wall objects. Viewers can explore a Collage Formation with sculpture based on a chicken liver to the duality of Martha Stewart vs. Martha Rosler. This group exhibition explores the inherent conflicts in human nature and the prevailing ideologies that influence and motivate our existence on an emotional and intellectual level. Curated by Elizabeth Saperstein.
Reason vs. Emotion. Sacrifice vs. Self-interest. The theme of human nature has inspired countless works of art and literature throughout history. Philosophers, economists, and ecologists continue to develop new lines of inquiry and theories to explain the subject. One popular theory suggests that our daily thoughts and actions are inextricably linked to underlying impulses in human behavior that may undermine the dominant notion of reason as the ultimate arbiter of decision-making. Another theory challenges homo economicus - that perhaps humans are not by nature cruel and motivated by self-interest, but more inclined to share, give, and cooperate. "Human nature is potentially aggressive and destructive, and potentially orderly and constructive," observed the cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead.
Today, even at the most prosaic levels, we are chided to "make smart choices," which implies choosing between right and wrong, for one set of values against another. Whether addressing notions of what drives opposing values or reflecting on an increasingly rapacious culture, the exhibit presents an opportunity to start a conversation about integrating a better understanding of human nature - our beliefs, assumptions, and morality - into the way in which we communicate and conduct ourselves.
Participating artists: Inga Dorosz, Loren Eiferman, Dahlia Elsayed, The Ladies' Auxiliary, Erik Parker; Tom Sanford, Barbara Weissberger, and Jeremy Willis.
Admission is free and open to the public. An opening reception and free all-ages art workshop will be held on Friday, Sept. 12 from 6:30-8pm with an artist and curator talk at 7pm. A panel discussion will be held on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 7:30pm.
About the Artists: INGA DOROSZ Inga Dorosz received her B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and an MFA in New Genres from Stanford University. Dorosz has exhibited her photographs, videos, and drawings at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Sam Lee Gallery, Los Angeles; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE); Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Oregon; and Kunstraum Arcade Galerie, Austria, among others. She has been in residence at Djerassi; Atlantic Center for the Arts; AIR Krems, Austria; and Skriduklaustur, Iceland. She lives and works in San Francisco. Her work investigates place through abstracted depictions of specific locations based on intensive research of cultural history and environmental interests.
LOREN EIFERMAN "My work can be called the ultimate recycling: where I take the detritus of nature and turn it into a new art. Nothing in my studio goes to waste. My influences are many: carpets from Iran from the 13th century, the mysterious crop circles that appear in the U.K. every spring and summer, the metaphysical works of Buddhist mandalas, sacred geometry found in nature, the chemical structure of wood and the translation of that into sculptural forms, and the celestial images viewed from the Hubble Telescope. Each sculpture is a new geometry that works on many different levels where numbers and numerology, interconnections, science, and color all have a place and relate together in a new pattern and dimension." Eiferman lives and works in Katonah, New York. She received her B.F.A. from Purchase College, Purchase, New York.
DAHLIA ELSAYED Dahlia Elsayed combines text and imagery to create visually narrative paintings that document internal and external geographies. Her work, influenced by conceptual art, comics, and landscape painting, is informed by autobiography and environment, to create illustrated documents of places and memories. Frequently using the visual language of cartography, Ms. Elsayed's paintings employ symbols of hard data - geologic forms, borders, markers, coastlines - to frame the soft data of the ephemeral, adapting a quantitative schema to the qualitative. Her paintings, prints and artist books have been shown at galleries and art institutions throughout the United States and internationally, including the 12th Cairo Biennale, and solo exhibitions at Aljira Center for Contemporary Art and the Jersey City Museum. Her work is in the public collections of the The Newark Museum, The Zimmerli Museum, Johnson & Johnson Corporation, and New Jersey State Museum, amongst others. Dahlia has received awards from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Edward Albee Foundation, Visual Studies Workshop, Women's Studio Workshop, Headlands Center for the Arts, and The NJ State Council on the Arts. She received her M.F.A. from Columbia University, and lives and works in New Jersey. Ms. Elsayed is assistant professor of humanities at CUNY LaGuardia Community College.
THE LADIES' AUXILIARY The Ladies' Auxiliary, founded in 2007, is a maternal organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the homely aesthetic. "Our membership is comprised of married women professionally trained in the functionless arts who have chosen to reside in peaceful, wholesome communities where they can nurture both their families and fixations. Our non-political, self-serving organization selects projects based upon their potential futility. Mrs. Sarah Eyre, Mrs. Erin McNally-Klein, Mrs. Leila Orienter, and Mrs. Jessica Villar are the charter members of The Ladies' Auxiliary. At this time, we have one additional active member, Mrs. Becky Teves." The members, along with the help of their devoted husbands, participate in, manage, and endorse all activities sponsored by the organization.
ERIK PARKER Erik Parker is a New York-based artist. He has had solo exhibitions at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut; the De Appel in Amsterdam; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; Colette in Paris; Honor Fraser in Los Angeles; and Galleri Faurschou in Copenhagen, Denmark. Parker studied at the University of Texas, Austin with Peter Saul before receiving his M.F.A. from Purchase College of the State University of New York. Employing his own wildly inventive architecture and signature neon palate, Parker creates bold, graphic compositions that riff on the traditional genres of portraiture and still-life. His visionary paintings draw their inspiration from diverse elements of American subculture - psychedelia, underground comic books, the Chicago Imagists, hip-hop, and heavy metal, as well as Picasso, Francis Bacon, and Roy Lichtenstein.
TOM SANFORD Born in Bronxville, New York, Tom Sanford is a New York-based artist whose work is exhibited around the world. His paintings, which range from historical works depicting celebrity assassinations to portraits of gangsta rappers and teen pop tarts to elaborate cosmologies weaved together from Hollywood movies, reflect a deep ambivalence about the American cultural condition. Sanford received a B.A. from Columbia and an M.F.A. from Hunter College.
BARBARA WEISSBERGER Barbara Weissberger's work has been shown at such venues as the Drawing Center, PS1/MoMA, DUMBO Art Center, and White Columns in New York; GRIDSPACE Brooklyn; Hallwalls, Buffalo, New York; in Pittsburgh at The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and Artist Image Resource; Artspace New Haven in New Haven, Connecticut; the Holter Museum (solo, catalogue) in Helena, Montana; and ADA Gallery and the Harnett Museum of Art, University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. She is a participant in the inaugural Open Sessions at The Drawing Center (New York, 2014-2016). Grants and fellowships include a Guggenheim Fellowship, residencies at The Camargo Foundation (France), the Hambidge Center (NEA Distinguished Fellow 2013), Oberpfalzer Kunstlerhaus (Germany), the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Ucross Foundation, VCCA, and the Montana Artists Refuge. She divides her time between Pittsburgh and New York. Play is central to her process; images grow out of improvisation and the pleasure of working with materials. The writer Sherrie Flick described the idiosyncratic mix of elements in her work as "stacked and wrapped -- harmoniously, improbably, united in their disparity."
JEREMY WILLIS "I have been doing paintings of women for the last few years that explore the intersection between the pop culture and personal experience. The painting style is a collision between abstract expressionism (the personal) and comic books/cartooning (pop culture). I also incorporate elements of baroque painting and the visual manifestation of rock-and-roll culture. Sort of an Ab-ex Betty and Veronica. Or (do you read comics?) Maggie and Hopey from "Love and Rockets," or Enid and Rebecca from "Eightball." The paintings have a sense of compromised exuberance. The expressive is thwarted by the false promises of youth and pop culture, the insanity of addiction/compulsion cycles, and the disenchantment of contemporary New York. The compromised nature of personal expression seen via the lens of hedonism." Willis received his M.F.A. from Hunter College. He is from New Orleans. He sings and plays guitar with the Brooklyn band, Cathy.
About the Curator: Natural Enemies is organized by Elizabeth Saperstein, an independent curator. Saperstein has served on the Pelham Art Center's Gallery Advisory Committee since 2004, where she has organized several thematic group exhibits including still life, landscape, comics, and cartography, and most recently a luscious painting exhibition titled, "Big, Fat and Juicy." Horizon Variations, is her most recent offsite exhibition at the Camera Club of New York. She is a former professor of multimedia studies at the University of the Arts and program manager at the Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop. She received her M.A. from Purchase College and B.S. from Emerson College.
Pelham Art Center, 155 Fifth Ave., Pelham, NY 10803. 914-738-2525. email@example.com.
Directions: Located 5 blocks from the Hutchinson Parkway exit 12 and 2 blocks from the Metro North Pelham stop.
These events and programs are made possible, in part, by the ArtsWestchester with funds from Westchester County Government. Pelham Art Center also receives funding from New York State Council on the Arts, A State Agency; Westchester Jewish Community Services; hibu; Nurses Network of America; Town of Pelham; New Rochelle Campership Fund; Bistro Rollin; Robin's Art+Giving; Nycon; Junior League of Pelham, Prospect Hill Lunchtime Enrichment; Strypemonde Foundation; Mark Link Insurance; Broadway Electric, Owen Berkowitz; Members; and Annual Fund Donors.
Address: 155 5th Ave.
Pelham, NY 10803
About Pelham Art Center
Standard hours: Tuesday–Friday, 10–5 pm; Saturday, 10–4 pm
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Pelham Art Center's mission is to provide the public with a place, the resources, and the opportunity to see, study, and experience the arts in a community setting. Currently serving more than 16,000 adults and children in Westchester County and parts of the Bronx by offering high-quality free and affordable art programs for children and adults year round, high quality art exhibitions and event space for birthdays and more. Pelham Art Center is committed to the belief that the public’s access to and participation in the arts strengthens communities and fosters life long engagement in the arts.
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