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The Show’s So Nice

Monya Rowe Gallery
504 West 22nd Street, 2nd Floor, 212-255-5065
September 6 - October 20, 2007
Reception: Thursday, September 6, 6 - 8 PM
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Monya Rowe is very pleased to start the new season with a group exhibition of painting, sculpture and video titled The Show’s So Nice featuring Fergus Feehily, Jackie Gendel, Josephine Halvorson, Vera Iliatova, Xylor Jane, Amy Longnecker-Brown, Peter Pezzimenti, Suara Welitoff, Wendy White and Carrie Yamaoka.

The exhibition places a particular focus on duality; the title is a nod to a quote by Frank Sinatra, “The town’s so nice they had to name it twice…”. Dissolving the parameters between the concrete and the suggestive, the exhibition seeks to explore some of the fragmentary ways in which ideas of duplicity are executed. Decidedly lying somewhere between abstraction, narration and conceptualism, dichotomy plays a significant role in the works on view.

Each carefully executed line in the small quiet abstractions of Fergus Feehily embodies a simplicity that is of significant importance. Purposefully blurring the line between painting and drawing, an undertone of anxiety and opposing emotions are omnipresent. Feehily is represented by Green on Red Gallery, Dublin, Ireland.

Jackie Gendel’s paintings infuse art history, time and abstraction to create a mélange of conceptualized and personalized portraits of friends and found images. The subjects – somewhat disconnected and formal – are seemingly from another time, opening up room for conceptual interpretation. Gendel is represented by Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York.

Josephine Halvorson’s paintings possess a Morandi-like affinity for quiet, unassuming still lifes in a muted patina. For this exhibition, a painting of a closed window captures the essence of the object and memory itself. Presenting itself as an architectural form, it moves in and out of abstraction and representation transcending the mediocrity of the object. Halvorson has a MFA from Columbia University, New York and a BFA from Cooper Union, New York.

Duality is a fundamental component in Vera Iliatova’s work; each painting depicts the artist in a range of psychological circumstances. In some instances, one painting contains varied seasons, times of day and locations. Iliatova is represented by Monya Rowe.

Xylor Jane’s work – heavily rooted in mathematical equations – relies on the concrete to arrive at the suggestive. Her vigorous grid-like paintings are an amalgamation of simplicity, rigidity and complexity. Jane is represented by Canada, New York.

This recent series of paintings by Amy Longenecker-Brown titled Road Trip With Kierkegaard investigates theology and sociality with contemporary deliberation. Proposing that Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) would be “a supportive traveling companion for one in an existential crisis”, the artist imagines a journey across country with the philosopher. Longenecker-Brown will have her first solo exhibition at Monya Rowe in October 2007.

For this exhibition, Peter Pezzimenti exhibits a standing sculpture, made from plywood, piano hinges, canvases and theatre paint, mirroring a magazine rack that deliberately straddles the edges of painting and sculpture, representation and abstraction. Initially read as non-representational, the work, however, stems from a pictorial reference. In this case, the colored squares also represent the buttons on a VCR, hence the tile Rewind Play Fast-Fwd Record Stop (2007). Pezzimenti is represented by Monya Rowe.

Suara Welitoff is a Boston-based video artist. Airplanes (2002) is a continuous loop of World War II bomber planes steeped in unnatural sepia tones. Using appropriated images, Welitoff’s mesmerizing video simultaneously reflects a haunting yet beautiful image. Her work was recently included a group exhibition at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Welitoff is represented by Allston Skirt Gallery, Boston.

Using spray paint and oil Wendy White’s vibrant abstract paintings are purposefully charged by bold direct brush strokes. Each painting is built around the immediacy of energy, tension and moment. While defying a set of conceptual boundaries, White references art history through disparate styles contained within one painting. White is represented by Leo Koenig, New York.

Carrie Yamaoka’s paintings are idiosyncratically comprised of a signature practice of mounting mylar sheets onto panels with epoxy resin; the results are deliberately imperfect as bubbles occur and ripples form. The resin allows the reflective surface to act as a mirror, which in turn allows the viewer to become part of the piece itself. Yamaoka is a New York-based artist who has shown extensively nationally and internationally.
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