Curated by Matthew Schum
June 25 - July 31, 2015
David Nolan Gallery is pleased to present Five Artists, curated by Matthew Schum. On view from June 25 through August 1, the exhibition brings together an international group of artists - Ana Prvački, Clarissa Tossin, Vesna Pavlović, Steffani Jemison, and Pilvi Takala - whose art explores vernacular, political and art historical cultures across a variety of media.
Two Los Angeles-based artists – Ana Prvački (b. 1976, Serbia) and Clarissa Tossin (b. 1973, Brazil) – retrace the legacies of key twentieth-century cultural figures. Selections from Prvački’s Stealing Shadows here alternate the gendered politics of appropriation art by borrowing the silhouettes of Koons, Degas, Duchamp, and Giacometti. Connected to Tossin’s Study for a Landscape (Brasilia) and the utopian plans architect Oscar Niemeyer and urban planner Lucio Costa made for a new capital (Brasilia), Study for a Landscape (Mars) imagines such aspirations preparing for a futuristic life beyond our hemisphere and on another planet.
In The Fabrics of Socialism, Vesna Pavlović (b. 1970, Serbia) presents archival footage of former Yugoslavia’s President Josip Broz Tito in a suspended glowing sculptural photo installation. In the work, Cold War-era divisions are cast as cinematic apparitions. Brooklyn-based Steffani Jemison’s (b. 1981, California) art concerns the notion of progress, its assumptions and its narratives. Jemison’s text works are part of a larger project, "Same Time," which uses repetition to discover new ideas within expired cultural forms.
In Players (2010) Pilvi Takala (b. 1981, Finland) integrates herself into a group of young men living as expats in Bangkok. Portraying each member of a community of six poker professionals, who make their living gambling online, Takala reveals their decadent behavior. According to the artist, these men “ignore their original [European] society” to build a new way of life, and in so doing, overlook their apparent sense of purposelessness.
According to the curator: "Five Artists is loosely based on Robert Altman’s film 1977 3 Women. Set somewhere in the California desert, the sparse narrative depicts three characters who occupy, overturn and eventually abandon their male-dominated community. Taking inspiration from the eroded landscape and classical mythology, the appropriation of patriarchy in the film’s conclusion involves the characters becoming an amalgamation of archetypal roles. Myth-making within recent art became a consideration when selecting artworks for the present exhibition. The various works suggest a displacement of political orders predicated on male values. They resist gendered formulas of making and art’s market-driven desertification, just as Altman’s most experimental film, in its time, did.”