fordPROJECT announces the opening of Summer Affair, a group exhibition featuring works by Alessandro Belgiojoso, Winston Chmielinski, Shin il Kim, Virginia Overton, Manuela Paz, Christopher Saunders, Stephen j. Shanabrook/Veronika Georgieva, and Zdravko Toic. The exhibition takes place in the gallery’s penthouse at 57 West 57th, recently restored and designed by architect Rafael de Cardenas for the fordPROJECT.
The exhibition showcases the talents of eight artists through the conceit that the display was curated by a duo of “fantasy collectors” in the midst of a summer affair. The couple, referred to as “He/She,” focus their selection on the display qualities of specific works, as well as how the viewer engages and lives with the art. It is an examination, both playful and serious, of how art is valued for its form and color as much as its content and authorship. The fordPROJECT penthouse was once a residential apartment, inhabited by passionate and tragic lovers, thereby adding to the domestic quality of the viewer’s experience.
Among the new works on view are a series of collages by Winston Chmielinski, a young painter based in New York, that explore the presence of hands touching, censoring and provoking. Also exhibited are two new dreams-like oil paintings of cloud-like images by New York artist Christopher Saunders. These works employ clouds as symbols of people or events in the past that are meant to provoke and interact with the contemporary viewer.
Italian artist Alessandro Belgiojoso is represented by two photographs from his Redentore series. The annual Redentore festival in Venice celebrates the end of the 1576 plague. Picking up on the “He/She” theme of the exhibition, the gallery presents photographs of the city’s lagoon bathed in pink and blue light from hundreds of fire works. Two recent works on paper by Zdravko Toic, a Croatian artist living in New York, explore a micro and macro view of the human body using a refined cutting and construction process.
Stephen j. Shanabrook and Veronika Georgieva, working as a collective based in New York, are represented by three works. The artists, noted in the past for a number of international exhibitions, present a new large-scale wall piece made with recycled plastic objects that have been melted and compressed to a flat surface that strikes a balance between abstraction and extreme detail. Another work by the artists, an 8-minute video entitled “Spin City,” captures the urban landscape of a spinning and colorful south Bronx neighborhood from a camera mounted to the wheel of a car.
Among the special installations and events for Summer Affair are: a text piece by Korean-born Shin il Kim in the gallery’s 19th floor solarium, a light installation by sculptor Virginia Overton for the staircase of the gallery and a performance by Manuela Paz at the opening reception on June 28.