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A Reluctant Apparition

Sue Scott Gallery
1 Rivington Street, 212-358-8767
East Village / Lower East Side
March 4 - April 4, 2010
Reception: Thursday, March 4, 6 - 8 PM
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Sue Scott Gallery is pleased to present A Reluctant Apparition, an exhibition of gallery artists who each invited an artist of their choice – all twelve presenting work selected in response to the show’s title. The haunting of images and their residual effects has long been an artistic preoccupation; recreations and remakes are of particular interest now. Through curatorial doubling, this exhibition proposes less literal – maybe even reluctant – acts of summoning.

Included in the exhibition are gallery artists:

Kristopher Benedict, Franklin Evans, Paola Ferrario, Suzanne McClelland, Tom McGrath and Elisabeth Subrin plus Kate Gilmore, Jumana Manna, Joshua Marsh, Sophy Naess, Hanneline Røgeberg, and Fraser Stables.

threetrees extends Franklin Evans’ recent fixation on an image of a lone tree in a landscape which through repetition becomes a colony. The tree persists long beyond its expected end and is presented in varying resolutions – one hand-drawn, one hovering in the window, and one behind a facsimile of the window. Kristopher Benedict’s work is primarily about the landscape. However, recently his work is more reliant on the visceral reaction of the viewer to the paint more than to the imagery. In Curtain, 2010, he explores ways to show a painting’s structure and break it down at the same time.

Currently featured in the 2010 Whitney Biennial, Kate Gilmore will be showing a gallery debut of the video That Human Touch, 2009, in which the camera becomes the actor/victim with Gilmore as the aggressor.

Tom McGrath is represented by a nocturnal image of headlights reflected by the forest while Suzanne McClelland’s Longest Heap, 2009, draws from Robert Smithson’s 1966 “A Heap of Language” as well as the American inclination to “dig holes and draw lines.” Joshua Marsh’s painting of an electric yellow table offers a studied yet modest form of still life. Here he pits a modernist tradition (which includes, perhaps, Morandi) against the cold precisionism of LCD lights and the haptic afterimages of an LSD trip.

Elisabeth Subrin’s new photographs, Shulie Photographing Trash, 2010, and Shulie Talking, 2010, present iconic moments from her acclaimed film, hailed as “a cinematic doppelganger without precedent, of a woman out of time and a time out of joint.” Painstakingly recreating an obscure 1967 documentary of an art student before she ignited the radical feminist movement, Subrin lays claim on this minor portrait of a woman’s past as a critical document of the Now. A layering of multiple formats (Super 8 to video to 16mm to Digital C-print), the stills highlight the mediation across elusive histories, genres and technologies.

Fraser Stables’ work examines the intersection between personal and cultural narratives. In this exhibition, a photograph of the Poussin painting in Philip Johnson’s Glass House is juxtaposed with an image of a garbage can in the graveyard of a Pennsylvania mining town. The images describe different models of architecture while exploring narratives of aspiration, memorial, and exclusion.

Jumana Manna’s photographs place the artist in the driver’s seat of her car, using the lens to confront Arab men as they cruise her. Initiated as an interrogation of the male gaze and an investigation of machismo in Arab society through role reversals and doubled vulnerability, the Palestinian artist later saw the work in different terms: “Simply, it was about me trying to be a man.”

In her grid of digital photographs, Paola Ferrario offers an oblique narrative of her experience last summer when she rented an apartment online in Athens. Promised a view of the Acropolis, the Italian artist’s vision of living in the shadow of the great Greek monument were erased when she arrived to find a decrepit building whose doorless rooms were home more to pigeons than humans.

Sophy Naess takes inspiration from the Ouija, or ‘talking boards,’ where the hand of the medium is moved across the board towards signs, which are used to divine messages from an unseen world. Reluctant to present themselves as singular images, Naess’s paintings are built through a combination of spontaneous gestures and reflective, controlled actions, allowing imagery to emerge and dissolve in a flutter of mystery and humor.

Known for her tactile and sensuous paintings of the figure, Hanneline Rogeberg’s work is both about the thing and being the thing itself. The body parts and merging forms, oscillating between descriptive clarity and the blurring materiality of paint, are just out of representation’s reach. The series “Balzac’s Balls” is inspired by Balzac’s short story, “The Unknown Masterpiece” and serve as an allegory of Modernism’s impotence. The motif was chosen for a variety of reasons, but as the artist notes, “mostly for being the one place on the body where metaphors go to die. Seen in everything from Holofernes’ head to the twin towers, balls themselves refuse to transform back.”
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