September 28, 2013 – October 26, 2013
Closing Party & Reading of Mapplethorpe: The Opening by the Playwright Brian Quirk, Saturday October 26, 7 – 10 PM
The absolute yearning of one human body for another particular body and its indifference to substitutes is one of life’s major mysteries. —Iris Murdoch
Ortega y Gasset Projects is pleased to present The Sacred and Profane Love Machine, an exhibition organized by Karla Wozniak comprising artworks by Susan Bee, Lucy Kim, Brian Scott Campbell, Pat McElnea, and Emily Janowick. The exhibition is inspired by the Iris Murdoch novel of the same name—a psychologically rich tale of characters caught in a complex web of emotional and sexual experiences. Similarly, the artworks in this exhibition negotiate intimate, charged situations. The pieces tell stories of love, heartache, and orgiastic ecstasy.
Susan Bee’s paintings of couples, based on film-noir stills, are tinged with emotion and melodrama. Her simplified figures, rendered with saturated color and exuberant patterns, are engaged in interactions nearing emotional climax. The figures in Brian Scott Campbell’s detailed pencil drawings of Grecian urns and ancient statuary have come to life. These classical nude motifs are animated into a cartoonish bacchanal of humor and sexual whimsy. Lucy Kim casts the faces of real couples, including her husband and herself, to make her 3D portraits. Distorted through the mold-making and casting process, then painted with cryptic images associated with sexiness, these surreal objects seem descended from Egyptian burial masks. Patrick McElnea’s frenetic paintings investigate skin—both human skin and the physical skin of oil paint. The evocative surfaces and tangle of body parts in these paintings suggest we are witnessing sexual intimacy in progress. Emily Janowick’s small assemblage sculptures show a fluency in formal relationships of color and material surface. Yet what at first seem like simply playful objects on second glance become improvised sexual paraphernalia.
As a group, the works brought together in this show deliver a potent cocktail of emotion and sexuality. One can think of art as a love triangle—a three-way relationship between artist, art object, and viewer. Each corner of the triangle is strong willed, yet precarious. The artworks in this show revel in this confusing terrain, which exists between cerebral, emotional, and physical experience.
Susan Bee is a painter, editor, and book artist, living in New York City. She recently had a solo show,Criss Cross: New Paintings, at Accola Griefen Gallery, NY. Bee has had six solo shows at A.I.R. Gallery. She has published many artist’s books, including collaborations with Charles Bernstein, Johanna Drucker, Susan Howe, Regis Bonvicino, Jerry Rothenberg, and Jerome McGann. Her artwork is in many public and private collections including the Getty Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Yale University, New York Public Library, and the Harvard University Library. Her work has been reviewed inArt in America, Art News, The Forward, The New York Times, Art Papers, The New Yorker, and The Brooklyn Rail. Bee teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and the School of Visual Arts.
Brian Scott Campbell (b. 1983, Columbus, OH) received his MFA from Rutgers University, and BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design. Campbell has exhibited in exhibitions at Jeff Bailey Gallery, Artists Space, Kunsthalle Galapogos, and Cuchifritos Gallery in New York, as well as CB1 Gallery in Los Angeles. His work was recently included in the Bronx AIM Biennial at the Bronx Museum of Art (2011). Campbell has been awarded residencies at the McColl Center for Visual Arts in North Carolina (2011), and at the Vermont Studio Center (2010). His work has been published in Whitehot Magazine, Art Fag City, Hyperallergic, and Beautiful Decay. Campbell lives and works in Santa Barbara, California.
Lucy Kim was born in Seoul, Korea, and raised between Korea, Myanmar, and the US. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2001 and her MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2007. She has attended the Yale Norfolk Summer Program, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the MacDowell Colony. Her work has been exhibited at numerous venues including Field Projects (New York, NY), Slag Gallery (New York, NY), Regina Rex (Queens, NY), Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute (Utica, NY), Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Philadelphia, PA), and Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY). She is a founding member of the collaborative Kijidome, and is currently Lecturer of Fine Arts at Brandeis University. Lucy Kim lives and works in Lynn, MA.
Pat McElnea resides in New York and exhibits his work internationally. He grew up in Southern California, received his BFA from Cooper Union and an MFA from Yale University. Former residences in LA, Berlin, Buffalo, New Haven, and Brooklyn have been primary characters in his videos. Painting, short fiction, and criticism also encompass his art practice. Currently he teaches video and theory at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Born in Kentucky and raised all over the globe, Emily Janowick is a painter who creates objects that are in a state of flux: no longer what they were, not quite something new. She received her BFA in 2 Dimensional Arts from the University of Tennessee. She attended the Yale Norfolk summer program and has been the recipient of the Terry Burnette Memorial Award from the University of Tennessee. She currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Karla Wozniak is an artist based in Knoxville TN. She received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from the Yale School of Art. She has had recent solo exhibitions at the Gregory Lind Gallery in San Francisco, CA and at the University of Vermont, Burlington. Wozniak’s distinctions include a NYFA fellowship (2011); a Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program fellowship (2009-10); and MacDowell Colony fellowships (2007, 2005). Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Village Voice, and The Huffington Post. Wozniak is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.