Sept. 8 – 30th
Opening Sept. 8 | 6-9pm
87 Franklin St. #2, NY
Curated by Julian A. Jimarez Howard
For Immediate Release:
Recasting the title of Françoise Sagan’s iconic tragedy, a line she borrowed from the poem À Peine Défigurée by Paul Éluard, Bonjour Tristesse is an exhibition that looks romantically, if also critically, at certain kinds of melancholia. The eight artists each take a particular illustrative lens, through which they poignantly address social relations, both structural and inter/intrapersonal. The exhibition serves as a reaction against the spectacular in favor of an appreciation of the intimate. Through a deliberate focus on the body, its gestures, and expressions each artist creates a world of emotion, an interior narrative sometimes opaque in details yet, overflowing with tone. An intuitive collection, the work selected here is as much about looking at others as it is about looking at one’s self… To borrow from Oscar Wilde, “It is the spectator, and not life, that art mirrors.” Much like the protagonist in Éluard’s poem or even Sagan’s novel, we find ourselves alone, gazing longingly at a beautiful misery, just out of reach, and yet somehow all too familiar.
Jillian Denby’s earlier works were critically acclaimed for her larger-than life size figures. Her recent works operate on a more conceptual level, investigating the quotidian and the passage of time. Denby's compositions appear poignantly intimate, as her quasi-voyeuristic observations capture human behavior with painterly alacrity. She is the recipient of three awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, has received two artist-in-residence grants at the Roswell Museum of Art and has also received two fellowships from Yaddo. She currently lives and works near Saratoga Springs, New York.
Nathalie Jolivert is a Brooklyn based Haitian artist and designer. In her work, she explores in human relationships, urbanism, and environmental issues. Jolivert draws strongly on vernacular images and her Haitain culture while also speaking to the global diasporic experience. Jolivert holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a Bachelors of Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Suyeon Na’s works explore how the self is shaped by changes in personal, social, and cultural environments. She often incorporates Asian folktales from her childhood along with mythological and fantastic elements exploring the subconscious through metaphor while addressing contemporary issues like migration, cultural adaptation, feminism, and intimacy. Her laboriously created compositions often employ mixtures of painting, drawing, collage, digital and analog photo manipulation in order to manifest enigmatic and dreamlike worlds. Na holds a BFA from Seoul National University and an MFA from Pratt Institute having shown widely in both the USA and internationally including the Jawahar Kala Kendra Art Centre in India, the Seoul Arts Center and Uijeongbu Arts Center in Korea, Studio Kura in Japan. Na has been awarded grants and studio spaces from the Vermont Studio Center, Chashama Visual Arts Studio, and the Contemporary Artists Center.
GaHee Park is a New York based painter whose visually arresting works focus on interpersonal relationships which deeply implicate the spectator through her ingenious treatment of voyeuristic space. Through wry humor and voluptuous volumes, her compositions read like the richest of detective novels, shattering the viewers’ subjectivity and building tension through uncertainty. Park holds BFA in painting from Tyler School of Art, and an MFA in painting from Hunter College.
Mithu Sen, currently based in New Delhi, is one of India's top artists. Her work often explores the human psyche, in particular sexuality and its associations like intimacy, taboo, gender, power, desire, and the body. Common motifs like teeth, birds, and spinal columns allude to the physical but also to their psychoanalytic components, for example Freud noting that dreams about falling teeth represent thoughts of castration or a loss of power, while the spine can represent strength or the will. Indeed Sen's works, while somewhat narrative, often inhabit a dream like "inbetweenness" which leaves them open to nuance while negating the conventions around socially acceptable consumption of sexual imagery. This open-ended engagement allows viewers a chance to step into Sen's psyche as well as their own. Sen is originally from West Bengal and earned both a BFA and an MFA from Santiniketan before continuing her art studies at the Glasgow School of Art. Her work is in many fine collections including the Tate, and is widely known internationally. She is the recipient of many awards including India's inaugural Skoda Prize in 2010.
Born in Karachi, Pakistan and currently based in Brooklyn, Hiba Schahbaz’s works draw upon her schooling in traditional Indo-Persian painting techniques while updating the form to suit a contemporary feminine voice. Simultaneously vulnerable and defiant, her works focus on the female body as a site of conversation around personal freedom, destruction, sexuality, and censorship. Schahbaz trained in miniature painting at the National College of Arts, Lahore and received an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute. She has been an artist-in-residence at Mass MoCA, The Wassaic Project, Vermont Studio Center, and the Alfred Z. Solomon Residency at the Tang Museum.
Sam Vernon is a multi-disciplinary artist focusing on intersections in personal and historical memory. She uses drawing, Xerox, photography, painting, sculpture, and performance in her works. Vernon builds her collage-like compositions layering meanings in physical elements to create narratives at once self-reflective and socially indicting. She holds an MFA in Painting/Printmaking from Yale University and a BFA from The Cooper Union. She has shown at the Brooklyn Museum, Queens Museum, Fowler Museum at UCLA and Seattle Art Museum. Vernon is currently based in Oakland, California teaching printmaking at California College of the Arts (CCA).
Lily Wong’s practice is a push and pull with cultural hybridity. Her works draw on the western cannon of figuration, while resisting the rigidity of their patriarchal norms. Her compositions are thoroughly contemporary while incorporating elements of her mixed Korean-Chinese-American upbringing where elements like skateboards and Cheetos bags intersect with fortune cookies and scholar’s rocks set within a Chaekgeori planar space. Wong holds a BFA in printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design.