Intimate Immensity at PAFA

Ruais_Double =.jpg

Intimate Immensity

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Curated by Alexis Granwell

February 12 - April 7, 2019

Opening Reception, February 15 (5 -7 PM)

El Anatsui/ Lynda Benglis/ Chakaia Booker/Louise Bourgeois

Judy Chicago/ Alexis Granwell/ Fabienne Lasserre/ Brie Ruais

Michelle Segre/ Joan Snyder/ Sun You

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is pleased to announce the opening of Intimate Immensity, an exhibition of work by El Anatsui, Lynda Benglis, Chakaia Booker, Louise Bourgeois, Judy Chicago, Alexis Granwell, Fabienne Lasserre, Brie Ruais, Michelle Segre, Joan Snyder, and Sun You.  Intimate Immensity will be on display in the School of Fine Arts Gallery from February 12 to April 7, with an opening reception and panel discussion February 15, 5-7 pm.

Intimate Immensity presents work dealing with touch, materiality, the sensual, and the subversive. Whether in object or image, the works in the show engage with the abstract vocabulary of the psyche, the body, memory, mythology, and the decorative. Organized by Alexis Granwell, the show features work by contemporary sculptors, selections from PAFA’s newly-acquired Brodsky Center archive, and rarely-shown works from PAFA’s museum collection.

Exhibition Text by Bea Huff Hunter:

INTIMATE IMMENSITY

Sitting at my parents’ dining table over the holiday and reading Gaston Bachelard’s essay “Intimate Immensity” (in The Poetics of Space, 1958) on my laptop. I know that B.’s text is your inspiration, Alexis. There are some beautiful passages: “Immensity is within ourselves. It is attached to a sort of expansion of being that life curbs and caution arrests, but which starts again when we are alone.” We are “sensitive inhabitants of the forests of ourselves,” and as certain poems’ sounds invoke “the echo of the secret recesses of our being… an intimate call of immensity may be heard.” 

Have you felt “an extension of our intimate space,” as B. writes, while sitting in the presence of a living, growing tree? While shaping handmade paper, clay, or wire into a sculpture? While touching the contours of a drawing with just your eyes? 

I’m crossing and uncrossing my legs, though, tangling with some of B.’s blind spots: his all-male selection of poets (Baudelaire, Rilke, Supervielle, etc.); his sense of internal largeness that seems dependent on individual aloneness; his descriptions of mental experience that do not often touch on the physical. There’s just one beautiful body-moment in which he notes that if you silently read a vowel sound—“ah”—your vocal chords will slightly tighten in response. It’s important to breathe. 

BODY

In organizing this exhibition, you have reminded us of this sensing of personal depth that extends imaginatively in and out of each of us. Through the work of eleven artists, you have cast this as feminist: collective, restorative, experienced by many folk, and so, so bodily. The tactility of folds, wrinkles, lumps, curves, dots, and twists sends me back and forth in a sort of sensual conversation between my body and the “bodies” of many of the works. 

As I read about the contemporary artists you selected, I came across a line by Susanna Wesley on Fabienne Lasserre’s delicately balanced sculptures: “I want to stretch with the shapes of her forms. I want to follow the delicate lines and gauge their tensions.” Some years ago, I felt similarly about a large-scale painting of a dancer by Laura Owens—and I did bend and stretch my limbs with her shapes in a grey-floored gallery until the arrival of another gallery visitor shook me back into myself. I danced, in part, because I could not grasp the painting intellectually and I felt ashamed of this; my body thought through movement. 

Brie Ruais, whose large, highly textured ceramics are included in the show, said of her explicitly feminist practice: “For me, the work [is] about what happens when one’s body is overcome by a physically demanding process...We are forced to remember that making something sometimes requires the laborious use of the body.” The body stores and releases experience often through tension and touch. Michelle Segre’s fibrous three-dimensional drawing Substantial Stringata (2016) arranges objects and parts of objects—umbrella handle, saw, fan blade—that our hands know through muscle memory and trusses them into thinking webs. Your own cluster of biomorphic sculptures, Alexis—of layers of handmade linen on cotton paper stretched like skin over paper mache forms—feel restorative. And Sun You’s vulnerably small-scale sculptures congregate on a low plinth-like table, leaning, hanging, and balancing as red, orange, yellow, green, and blue painted curves surround and connect them like lines of boundary and communication that emanate from persons.  

GATHERING

You’re the host of a gathering—one that celebrates and connects artists across generations in this bright, rectangular gallery around the School of Fine Arts’ second-floor stairwell. You have claimed a specific, expansive lineage for yourself and for the contemporary artists in this exhibition by including Judy Chicago’s Untitled [test plate from the Dinner Party, 1976] from PAFA’s collection of American art. The plate contributed to her iconic The Dinner Party (1974–79) installation that honors the creativity and power of 1,038 named women—from mythic Ishtar to Eleanor of Aquitaine and Emily Dickinson—through collaboratively made place settings and inscriptions. And the round, twitchy face of Louise Bourgeois’s The Angry Cat, 1999, which you hung diagonally opposite the plate, manifests an artistic great-grandmother at the party. 

As a papermaker, you explored the collection of PAFA’s Brodsky Center, an international forum founded by Director Judy Brodsky, which enables artists with interest in paper and print to work one-on-one with master craftspeople and realize their visions in these ancient mediums through mentorship. El Anatsui, Lynda Benglis, Chakaia Booker, and Joan Snyder each collaborated with master papermaker Anne Q. McKeown on delicate, layered works that celebrate the sharing of ideas, skills, and practices. As malleable paper responds so sensitively to touch, each work registers its maker’s body and indexes a physical thinking process.  

ALEXIS AND BARBARA 

When you first told me that you would curate an exhibition including your own work, I thought of a tiny black and white photograph of big droopy organic imposing textiles suspended from walls and ceiling, which I’d seen in the ICA exhibition catalogue for Barbara Kasten’s 2014 retrospective. For her MFA thesis exhibition, Dimension of Fiber (1970) at the California College of Arts and Crafts, Kasten curated her woven works in shoulder-rubbing conversation with works by other artists—including U.S-based artists Sheila Hicks and Annie Albers, and Polish textile artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, who subsequently became Kasten's mentor during a Fulbright Scholarship stint. Kasten expanded herself, her community, her practice to touch all of these others. 

You are present through your own sculpture’s inclusion, and I am present through this writing, which sets even more places at the table. And you’re inviting the viewer to become part of this lineage, or at least to assess their position in relation to it. And this becomes especially powerful when we think about one of your most important audiences being the students at PAFA who will come see this show for inspiration and return to their studios to work. 

Bea Huff Hunter is a writer and researcher in Philadelphia, who serves on Vox Populi’s board and writes for Artforum and Frieze. 

Click for the PDF version here.

 https://www.pafa.org/exhibitions/intimate-immensity

Life Expectancy at SSD, a new collaborative space between Sargent's Daughters and Shrine Gallery

Life Expectancy

SSD

October 19 - November 18,2018

179 East Broadway, New York, NY

Philip Ashley | Corinne Beardsley | Joseph Dolinsky | Daniel John Gadd I Alexis Granwell | Chris Oh | David Pappaceno | Ben Pederson I Leah Tacha I Michael Wetzel 

Apocalyptic narratives are more prevalent in our culture than ever. Expressions of extinction saturate contemporary art, literature, film, pop culture and music. Why are we so drawn to this narrative? Is it simply an interesting and dramatic story, or is the instability of our current politics, economy and climate inspiring a collective darkness. Can reflection on the mortality of our planet bring insight to these chaotic times and perhaps steer us into more sustainable systems?  The works in  Life Expectancy  are a collection of contemporary artifacts displaying a glimpse into our beliefs, fears and desires in this particularly uncertain moment. They present what we might leave behind for future generations or new life forms to discover and demonstrate the lasting effects of man's interventions.   Many of the artists in this show are using materials in non-traditional ways and discovering new techniques to create with. As we move forward in technological advancements and political policies, it opens up infinite possibilities for both creation and destruction. Intention being the deciding factor.   About  SSD : SHRINE and Sargent's Daughters are excited to announce the launch of a new collaborative project space. Located on the lower level of 179 East Broadway, SSD will serve as a rotating exhibition space for both galleries, a home for outside curatorial projects and a for-rent space for nomadic galleries to inhabit.   shrine.nyc/   www.sargentsdaughters.com/

Apocalyptic narratives are more prevalent in our culture than ever. Expressions of extinction saturate contemporary art, literature, film, pop culture and music. Why are we so drawn to this narrative? Is it simply an interesting and dramatic story, or is the instability of our current politics, economy and climate inspiring a collective darkness. Can reflection on the mortality of our planet bring insight to these chaotic times and perhaps steer us into more sustainable systems?

The works in Life Expectancy are a collection of contemporary artifacts displaying a glimpse into our beliefs, fears and desires in this particularly uncertain moment. They present what we might leave behind for future generations or new life forms to discover and demonstrate the lasting effects of man's interventions.

Many of the artists in this show are using materials in non-traditional ways and discovering new techniques to create with. As we move forward in technological advancements and political policies, it opens up infinite possibilities for both creation and destruction. Intention being the deciding factor.

About SSD: SHRINE and Sargent's Daughters are excited to announce the launch of a new collaborative project space. Located on the lower level of 179 East Broadway, SSD will serve as a rotating exhibition space for both galleries, a home for outside curatorial projects and a for-rent space for nomadic galleries to inhabit.

shrine.nyc/ www.sargentsdaughters.com/

INDIVIDUAL GRAVITIES at Tiger Strikes Asteroid PHL

Individual Gravities

Alexis Granwell, Elana Herzog, Trish Tillman

Curated by Alex Ebstein

February 23 - April 7, 2018

Opening Reception: Thursday, March 8, 2018, 6-9PM

 

InAspect_2.jpg

Philadelphia, PA - Tiger Strikes Asteroid Philadelphia is pleased to present Individual Gravities, an exhibition featuring new works by Alexis Granwell, Elana Herzog, and Trish Tillman, curated by Alex Ebstein. Individual Gravities brings together the works of three artists whose practices stretch between classifications of sculpture, painting, and installation. Dense, rigid materials achieve levitation, while paper, fabric and voluminous structures take on density and weight, rooted to their supporting planes. Conceptual and thematic overlaps subtly weave together an environment that examines material value through a personal and social lens. Reclaimed and found materials are minimally altered, presented as small monuments or added as adornments to constructed surface. While gravity acts as a force defied by this group of work, it also connotes significant importance and points to the three individual perspectives.

Alexis Granwell’s background in printmaking and paper-making inspires the inventive material sensibility and physicality she brings to her sculptural work. Adhering handmade paper to papier-mâché and wire armatures, Granwell constructs assemblages that suggest ruination, artifact, mineral, and body. The tactility of paper forms a dynamic energy in contrast to the inert quality of the industrial materials, which act as both support and remnant. Together, these materials create fragile structures that retain a corporeal presence.

Elana Herzog’s immersive works balance rigor and playfulness, engaging with the impermanence of material matter. She incorporates metal staples that embed and deconstruct found textiles into various surfaces, including gallery walls and mixed media constructions. Herzog uses materials that are non-precious, second-hand, discarded or cheaply mass-produced to consider aspects of entropy, pleasure, pain, attraction, and revulsion. Her current focus is on the global migrations of culture and technology as seen through the lens of textile.

Trish Tillman’s modular wall sculptures combine hand-sewn and upholstered geometric shapes with industrial objects, human hair, rope, and jewelry. Her materials grip, puncture, and drape over each other in meticulous forms, often arranged in perfect symmetry. These works are well-crafted but punk. Tillman’s hybrid creations suggest talismans, fragmented bodies, and ostentatious furniture, questioning notions of ritual, fantasy, and tastefulness

 

TIGER STRIKES ASTEROID | PHL

1400 N. American St. Suite 107 Philadelphia, PA 19122 / http:www.tigerstrikesasteroid.com

.

Alchemy, Typology, Entropy at Fleisher Ollman Gallery // June 8–August 25, 2017

 

Adam Lovitz, Peter Allen Hoffmann, Alexis Granwell: Alchemy, Typology, Entropy

June 8–August 25, 2017
Reception: Thursday, June 8, 6–8pm

Fleisher/Ollman’s Summer 2017 exhibition presents three miniature solo shows by three Philadelphia artists. The exhibition title reflects respective descriptors as an entry point to tease out meaning within and across each distinct body of work.

View 2_FO copy.jpg

From Press Release: Alexis Granwell’s background in print and paper-making imbues her sculpture with a unique material sensibility. Adhering handmade paper to papier-mâché and wire armatures, Granwell creates forms that suggest eroded bodies, bodily fragments, and biomorphic shapes—a fusion of Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, and classical sculpture by way of the entropy of millenia. Accentuating the forlorn, Granwell uses a variety of coloring techniques (spraying, spilling and brushing) to suggest lichen encrustation and erosion. Granwell’s organic forms are radically juxtaposed with the pristine, rectilinear, monochrome pedestals of wood or concrete block on which they’re installed. Granwell’s attention to the pedestal as a sculptural object equal in weight to the works that lie on top places her in the company of recent contemporary sculptors (Matthew Monahan, Huma Bhaba, Thomas Houseago, and Lisa Lipinski) who creatively explore the aesthetic function of the base (all indebted to Brancusi). Like the artists mentioned above, Granwell’s work departs from the all-encompassing aspirations of installation art that gained traction over the last 30 years and instead returns sculpture to a discrete entity occupying a more circumscribed notion of space. In dialogue with Adam Lovitz’s paintings that conjure the surfaces of ancient rocks and minerals, perhaps Granwell’s biomorphs are not ruins after all, but scholar stones placed respectfully on oddly yet carefully crafted bases for deep contemplation. In any regard, Granwell’s evocation of entropy through sculptural form resonates with Lovitz’s paintings that explore sedimentation and the passage of time, and the geometry of Granwell’s pedestals pair well with Hoffmann’s geometric abstract paintings.

Risky Behavior at Field Projects

Presented by Field Projects and TSA LA

Carl Baratta, Loren Britton, Vanessa Chow, Alexis Granwell, Erin Harmon, David Humphrey, Julian Kreimer, Sheila Pepe, Brian Porray, Warren Schultheis, Laurel Shear, and Christopher Ulivo

Dates: September 15th - October 29th, 2016
Opening Reception: September 15th, 6-8pm

http://www.fieldprojectsgallery.com

Field Projects and TSA LA are pleased to present Risky Behavior, a group exhibition that threads together artists from each coast to create a lively visual soirée. 

Tiberio Fiorillio was the boisterous son of an actor famous for his lewd rendition of the violent stock clown Punchinello. Sometime around the 1620’s, Tiberio created a new character, the cad Scaramouche. He was invented from remnants of Il Capitano, the boastful soldier and Zanni, the untrustworthy servant. Scaramouche crooned and swooned women away from their jealous husbands. He knew how to hide in a closet or under a bed whenever one came home earlier than expected. Sometimes he made it off without a hitch and sometimes he was clubbed while scrambling down a trellis. A loveable opportunist and a coward, he made fools and he was a fool.

Freddy Mercury calls him out in “Bohemian Rhapsody”: “I see a little silhouetto of a man, Scaramouch, Scaramouch will you do the fandango?" Then, “Thunderbolts and lightning”, followed by Brian May’s anthemic solo. Someone, I imagine, is left picking up the pieces behind Scaramouche, little people! Confidence without reason, confidence with cowardice, cowardice with talent.

How to caricature the collaboration of Field Projects and Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Los Angeles? Both spaces are superficially similar operations, forthright and scrappy artist-run, curator-driven galleries. Perhaps a balding Dennis The Menace crossed with an injured Laura Ingles? The match should be fruitful.

The artists in Risky Behavior each in their own way incorporate, embody or feign trouble, doubt and uncertainty. They seek to give something and sure as hell are trying to get away with something.
  
Tiger Strikes Asteroid is a network of artist-run spaces with locations in Philadelphia, New York, and Los Angeles. Each space is independently operated and focuses on presenting a varied program of emerging and mid-career artists. Their goal is to collectively bring people together, expand connections, and build community through artist-initiated exhibitions, projects, and curatorial opportunities. For more information visit their website at http://www.tigerstrikesasteroid.com/.

Field Projects
526 W 26th Street, #807
NY, NY 10001
www.fieldprojectsgallery.com
info@fieldprojectsgallery.com

Hours: Thursday - Saturday
12:00-6:00pm

Wait For the Echo at Dickinson College

    

WAIT FOR THE ECHO February 9, 2016-February 28,2016

Dickinson College, Goodyear Gallery, 595 Louther St., Carlisle, PA      

Philadelphia artist Alexis Granwell will exhibit works on paper and sculpture.

Reception & artist's talk: Tuesday, February 9, 5:30-7 p.m.

Gallery Hours: Tues.-Fri., 3-5 p.m., Sat. 2-5 p.m.

IMG_7583.JPG

Pressure Points at Savery Gallery curated by Cindi Ettinger, Alexis Granwell and Alex Kirillow

Savery Gallery is pleased to present Pressure Points, curated by Cindi Ettinger, Alexis Granwell, Tory Savery, and Alex Kirillov, an exhibition that examines dynamic approaches to printmaking. This exhibition will feature 26 contemporary artists from across the United States whose work is at the forefront of the medium: BJ Alumbach, Katie Baldwin, Marc Blumthal, Victoria Burge, Tom Burckhardt, Deb Chaney, David Curcio, Amze Emmons, Cindi Ettinger, Steven Ford, Rebecca Gilbert, Alexis Granwell, Christopher Hartshorne, Daniel Heyman, Anna Hoberman, Nicola Lopez, Virgil Marti, Sarah McEneaney, Yoonmi Nam, Alexis Nutini, Golnar Adili, Bill Scott, James Siena, Mike Stack, Andrew Spence, and Joe Wardwell. Presented as part of The Print Center 100. On view October 9 – November 20, 2015. Opening Reception: October 9, 6:00 – 9:00pm.

IMG_6283.JPG

CATALOG FOR MATERIALIST IS AVAILABLE AT PULLSTRING PRESS

Materialist is a group exhibition featuring the work of six artists at the forefront of exploring the potential of material as subject. Materialist investigates strategies of production that consider site specificity, function, artifact, and redirection. The materials used by each artist create pluralistic interpretations of the objects as they are presented. Resisting traditional classification, the works exist as both ruin and artifact, serious and whimsical, unresolved and rigorous. While maintaining a transformational ambition, the artists create a tangible energy that derives from the investigations and demands placed upon the materials they’ve chosen. From carrying objects on our backs to presenting previously unknown relation- ships between materials, this exhibition displays a full range of work that embodies the Materialist.

http://pullstring.co/print/materialist/

14_materialist-a-2.jpg
14_materialist-a-3.jpg