Acrylic on plaster, Alexander and Bonin
John Ahearn (b. 1951, Binghamton, New York) studied at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. He now lives and works in New York City. Ahearn was a founding member of Collaborative Projects, Inc. and co-organizer of the “Times Square Show” (1980). John Ahearn’s work alongside that of his long-time collaborator, Rigoberto Torreswas the subject of a survey exhibition, “South Bronx Hall of Fame,”organized by the Contemporary Arts Center, Houston in 1991, which traveled to museums in Europe and North America. In the 1980s and 1990s the artists executed several outdoor murals in the Bronx, New York and collaborated on public projects and exhibitions in Europe and North America.
Between 2000 and 2002 John Ahearn completed a public project in Pan Chiao, Taiwan and between 2005 and 2006, Ahearn and Torres collaborated on two large scale wall murals at the Inhotim Centro de Arte Contemporânea in Brazil. In the fall of 2010, their work was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Aljira Center for Contemporary Art in Newark. In May 2012, John Ahearn participated in the special projects section of the Frieze Art Fair on Randall’s Island, where he presented a reconstruction of his legendary 1979 exhibition at Fashion Moda, “South Bronx Hall of Fame.” Ahearn’s work has been included in group exhibitions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art (1980); the Institute of Contemporary Art, London (1982); the Whitney Museum of American Art (1985); the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1993); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1996); the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2008-2009); the Bronx Museum of the Arts (2009-2010); and “Greater New York” at MoMA PS1, New York (2015). His next solo show at Alexander and Bonin will take place in September 2017.
Torbjørn Rødland, The Curator, 2016, Photography, Lightjet print on Kodak matte paper, Air de Paris
Rødland was born in 1970 in Stavanger, Norway. He studied Photography at the National College of Art and Design in Bergen, Norway and at the Rogaland University Centre in Stavanger, Norway. He is a Los Angeles-based photographer known for portraits, still lives and landscapes that transcend their often banal settings and motifs and move into the otherworldly. Since the late 1990s, his work has been exhibited widely.
The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo arranged a retrospective exhibition of Rødland’s work in 2003. Public collections also include Fonds national d’art contemporain (Paris), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago), The Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, DC) and theWhitney Museum of American Art (New York City). After years of short stays in Tokyo, Beijing, Melbourne, Paris, Berlin, Oslo, Tallinn and New York City, Torbjørn Rødland has lived and worked in Los Angeles since 2010. Rødland is currently represented by Air de Paris, Paris; Greenspon, New York; Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels; David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich; Nils Stærk, Copenhagen; STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo.
Rødland’s photography moves from genre to genre; portrait, landscape, still life can all be found in his constructed imagery of the everyday, whether in his Scandinavian hometown or in visual translations and explorations of Japanese Moé aesthetics or Americana. Wanting to push forward the artistic boundaries of his medium, Rødland has reconceptualized and integrated aesthetic qualities dismissed in postmodern art. Building on the work by The Pictures Generation and Jeff Wall, Rødland’s photography represents a surprising revaluation of lyricism and what he calls the sensuality of the photographic moment. Originally known for his images of young beauties, Rødland transcended this potential trope by consistently inventing new lures for viewers of his photographs. An example of these lures is the subtle co-existence of the twisted with the warm normalcy of his figures; as seen in his photograph of a woman’s hand with an octopus tentacle creeping through her sleeve and wrapped around her fingers. Also a subtle symbol of nonduality, this image is characteristic of Rødland’s work. His matter of factness, even in stylized imagery and multiple exposures, is what allows Rødland to straddle both the commonplace and the otherworldly.