Thursday, September 09, 2010

Tonight! The Art Season Opens :: Sarah Peters "Appeal to Heaven" and in the Curatorial Project Space "Used Books"

Well, ready or not (and we're ready!), the art season begins in earnest for much of Chelsea tonight! The galleries on 27th street, including our new neighbor Jeff Bailey, will all open this evening, so come on by! We have two great new shows to launch the new year:

In the Main Gallery:

Sarah Peters
Appeal to Heaven
September 9 - October 9, 2010
Opens September 9 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Winkleman Gallery is very pleased to present "Appeal to Heaven," our second solo exhibition by New York artist Sarah Peters. Featuring a suite of new drawings (the “Mayflower” series) and the first of a series of new bronze busts ("Descendants and Believers"), "Appeal to Heaven" represents a continuation of Peters' in-depth exploration of the ideals and motifs of early American art and colonial history as viewed from our 21st Century vantage point. Combined with her highly stylized landscapes, her portraits of the fervent idealists and puritan visionaries who risked everything to come here from Europe and their ideological heirs reveal not only a lost romanticism, but, in her words, “the chaos of initial human convictions and beliefs as tempered by time and experience.”

The drawings presented from the “Mayflower” series, each created in Peters’ signature aggressive cross-hatching and inky layering technique, include seven turbulent seascapes and a single portrait. The seascapes are titled with dates, beginning with “Sept 6, 1620” (the day the Mayflower departed from Plymouth, England) and ending on “November 9, 1962” (the day America was first sighted from the ship). Occasionally appearing among the magnificent yet terrifying waves in these scenes are what appear to be hallucinations of people or spirits bobbing in the open seas.

The single portrait is an imagined likeness of Dorothy May Bradford, wife of William Bradford who in addition to being one of the first colony's earliest governors would also leave the best-known written account of the settling of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Dorothy is unfortunately renowned for being the first of those who survived the sea journey to die in the “New World.” Today there are those who insist she accidentally fell from the Mayflower into the freezing waters of Provincetown Harbor and other who believe she intentionally jumped to her death. As such she epitomizes the tragic fate of Peters' central characters (the cast of true believers who follow their convictions, come what may) as well as the internal and external manifestations of the turmoil of belief.

The progression of sculptural technique and stylization represented via the six bronze busts from Peters’ “Descendants and Believers” series reflects the increasing sophistication achieved by early American artists through the centuries (a reconnection with European sensibilities over time, perhaps), even as the subjects’ shared emotional turbulence suggests a persistence of the belief tinged with longing and suffering that defined many of the earliest Puritans and continues up through those caught up in contemporary messianic cults. From her clunky but somehow still compellingly rendered portrayals of sexually ambiguous characters to her exquisitely sculpted saint-like young man (with a marvelous head of curls and a gently twisting neck), Peters' virtuosic spectrum parallels the artistic progress in early American art.

Sarah Peters received her BFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996 and her MFA from the Virginia Commonwealth University in 2003. She has been awarded multiple residences, including recently, The Fine Arts Work Center, Artist in Residency, in Provincetown, MA; the Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Grant, in New York; and the John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry, Artist in Residency, in Kohler, WI. Her recent exhibitions have included show at artSTRAND Gallery, Provincetown, MA; The Front, New Orleans, LA; Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA; and the Morris Museum of Art, Morristown, New Jersey.

For more information, please contact Edward Winkleman at 212.643.3152 or

And in the Curatorial Research Lab:

Used Books
Featuring work by Brent Birnbaum, Danielle Durchslag, Michael Galvin, Morgan Levy, and R. Justin Stewart.

Organized by Ryan Frank.

Used Books pairs the work of five visual artists with the books that played a role in each artwork’s creation. Each artist in the exhibition has one work installed on a wall, under which is a selection of books handpicked by the artist that visitors to the gallery can view and read. The format of the exhibition is intended to give viewers a nuanced perspective of each artist’s interests and experiences while serving as a unique alternative to the typical artist’s statement.

The process for selecting the contents of the exhibition consisted of two parts. The first was a studio visit in which the curator met with each artist to discuss their work and ultimately selected a piece for the exhibition. The second was a meeting in each artist’s home, during which the curator and the artist discussed the contents of the artist’s library and ultimately the artist selected books to be paired with their artwork. While some books directly affected the accompanying work, others were chosen due to their importance in the artist’s overall creative and intellectual development.

A section of the gallery space has been established to allow visitors the opportunity to read each artist’s books as they would in a typical reading room.

Please return books to their respective shelf when finished.

Used Books
is loosely based on an exhibition concept developed with Ad Nauseam Lyceum and would not have been possible without the collaboration of Deena Selenow and Rory Sheridan.

Ryan Frank was recently an artist-in-residence at The Wassaic Project, where his work was shown in the exhibition "Bestiary" at Maxon Mills this past summer. He is the co-founder of Ad Nauseam Lyceum, a curatorial collective that organized a series of pop-up exhibitions in galleries and storefronts throughout New York City from 2006 to 2009. For the past year he has worked as the Collection Manager and Director of Education at The Granary, a private exhibition space located in Litchfield County, CT.

Labels: gallery artists exhibitions


Blogger Ben Valentine said...

I was very taken with this show Used Books. I used it in a post about what gallery space can be, I hope that is okay.
Thank you

10/09/2010 02:27:00 PM  

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