Top 5 | Dama 2017


373fb844-3680-403d-a83a-b92b74954ba1Elif Erkan, Left Off Waiting, 2016, Weiss Berlin

Elif Erkan was born in 1985 in Ankara. She lives and works in Los Angeles. A graduate of the HfBK Städelschule Frankfurt am Main (class Willem de Rooij), her work has been exhibited widely at spaces such as the WIELS Centre d’art contemporain and the Maison des Arts in Brussels, the Portikus in Frankfurt am Main as well as the Villa Aurora in Los Angeles. Erkan’s vision is more indebted to the massive infrastructure that shuttles us to and front the debris that collects alongside it, than that sleek Finish Fetish look that dominates the city’s aesthetic history as exported to the mainstream. She mobilizes signifiers of defeat wilted vegetables and crumbled rock, to prompt us to read into these objects the disillusionment of moving here with an image of cruising the coast only to find oneself sitting in traffic on the 101. The artist’s work maintains a quiet grace that suggests these apparent contradictions and disappointments might just be the strange look of equilibrium, a balance not found in a center but through dispersal.

Weiss Berlin

SVIT| Jimena Mendoza

74608be1-d36d-483c-bedc-459ac50196a8Jimena Mendoza, Robota, 2017, SVIT

Jimena Mendoza (Ciudad de México, México, 1979) lives and works between Mexico City and Prague. She studied at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado “la Esmeralda” in Mexico City and later at L’École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs, in Paris, France; she is currently studying a masters program at the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design of Prague, in the Czech Republic. She has participated in artist residencies in Banff Centre, in Alberta, Canada; Brownstone Foundation, Paris and in the Meetfactory, Prague. She has been a fellow of the Jóvenes Creadores FONCA program (2003, 2011) and she is currently a fellow by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport – Czech Republic and the Fundación Colección Jumex scholarship program. Some of her most recent exhibitions are: Shape of relation, Berlinskej Model, Prague (2015); Between world and fiction, Klubovna, Brno (2015); Tamiz, leve variación de la banda, Biquini Wax, Mexico City (2014); Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2013); Hallazgo (In a broken dream), Museo de Arte de Sinaloa (2013); Traces, La Raza Gallery, San Francisco (2013); Comedores de Loto, Casa del Lago, Ciudad de México (2013). She was an active member at La Galería de Comercio. Possessing a penchant for applied arts, craft and design, Mendoza works primarily with glazed ceramics, collage and drawing. Until recently, her iconography has been drawn predominantly from indigenous cultures and Mexican handicraft, which she filters through her own idiosyncratic vision, and thus renders up a deliberately pseudo-anthropological perspective on the evolution of culture.

For Kurimanzutto as for SVIT, Mendoza continues in the same mode, expanding it to include a strange and bewitching iconography. The artist has created a series of small, ceramic glazed sculptures whose imagery issues from a number of disparate sources. These range from pre-Hispanic artifacts to former Eastern European depictions of futurism, space travel to German expressionist cinema, as well as continental modernism. Indeed, seemingly the byproduct of some anachronistic crucible, the works almost look like they could have been models for a Soviet science fiction film about space travel in which Martians are actually Pre-Colombian warriors whose angular features are evocative of postwar Brutalism. The name of this impossible film could have been Konstelovat, which is the name of Mendoza’s exhibition. Coming from the Czech verb to constellate, the  word is of interest to Mendoza not only because of its descriptive function but also due to the possibility of it being interpreted as a proper noun– as if the Konstelovat were actually a being and these objects were his/her properties. The stuff of a wholly personal and idiosyncratic anthropology, this work is at once classical, in terms of how it is made – glazed ceramic – and utterly contemporary, in so far as such radical cultural hybrids seem most possible in the 21st century. As full of contradiction as they are of unlikely juxtaposition, these sculptures contain and synthesize a series of incongruous spaces and times, dreaming the future of a bygone past as much as they fluidly and subjectively concretize an elusive and fleeting present.


HAWAII-LISBON| Daniel Van Straalen

1cd54377-1ef3-42ee-9085-ecfa4498446bDaniel Van Straalen, David.David, 2017, Hawaii-Lisbon

Daniel Van Straalen was born in1987. He received a BA from the Royal Art Academy the Hague 2012 and later a MA through Sandberg Amsterdam 2014. Recent and forthcoming solo shows include Bonnefantenmuseum, Masstricht (2018), Stigter van Doesburg Gallery, Amsterdam, Nl (2017); Hawaii-Lisbon, Lisbon, PT (May 2017); Stigter van Doesburg gallery, Amsterdam, NL (2015); Stigter van Doesburg gallery, Amsterdam, NL (2014).  Curated shows Hijacking Karma 2.1 & 3 Stigter van Doesburg Gallery, Amsterdam, NL (both 2015); 2, Nest, The Hague Nl (2014); 1, Old Church Amsterdam, NL (2013) Recent group and duo shows include, Spatiu Intact, Cluj, RO (2015 Duo show); Liste, Basel, CH (2015); Manifesta Building – Amsterdam, NL (2015); Dutch Bank, Amsterdam, NL (2015); Martin van Zomeren Gallery, Amsterdam, NL (2014); Boetzelaer Nispen gallery, Amsterdam, NL (2014); Gemeente Museum, the Hague, NL (2013); 1646, The Hague, NL (2012).


ARCADE| John Wallbank

NNNNJohn Wallbank at ARCADE, DAMA 2017

The sculptor John Wallbank known for his ‘skip art’ aesthetic presents new paintings that allude to a sculptural presence.  Using plywood, wire mesh, MDF, PVA, paper and acrylic, Wallbank combines materials associated with both sculpture and painting in order to confuse the boundary between these two historically intertwined mediums. John Wallbank  makes ambitiously scaled installations and domestically scaled objects from complex combinations of abstracted and eviscerated material. All his pieces have a strong integral sense of drawing; a particular and eloquent line. New works incorporates sheaths or elements made from vaccum-formed perspex, its almost molten clarity glazing the contained form with a seductive smoothness.

In dealing with the act of making as a thing in itself rather than a means to obtaining a form or image, Wallbank’s objects act almost as stand-ins for, or approximations of, things that inhabit the world. Currently he is exploring the concept of the packable and unpackable, both in its practical applications and conceptually as a metaphor for the adaptability that modern living requires of all species, particularly humanity. He is concerned for that which is temporary, compact, multifunctional or reproducible in multiple situations.  Ultimately it is the act of translation as much as the source that interests Wallbank.   What often results are samples or examples, suggestions of what is possible.   Rather than a vocabulary of forms he develops vocabularies of making and function – containing, supporting, joining, decorating, displaying.   The language employed operates in 2D and 3D concurrently – a line may be a saw cut, a bent wire or a sausage of clay. A single thread is woven into fabric, out of which complex 3 dimensional forms grow. This coherence of Wallbank’s thinking, his language accruing through the metaphors and terminology of building into coherent phrases and sentences, is made apparent in his environments’ and objects’ machinic sense of urgency and purpose. Though static they appear designed to act.


NEOCHROME| Alexandra Noel

alexandra noelAlexandra Noel, Split Still Life II: She dj’s too, Neochrome Gallery

Alexandra Noel was born in 1989, she lives and works in Los Angeles. She has exhibited at NEOCHROME (Turin), Hester (New York) and Shanaynay (Paris). Her first book By Rote was published by Holoholo Books (Paris) in 2015.

Solo Exhibitions 

2017 The Armory Show, Bodega, New York, NY | 2016 From Rafters, Bodega, New York, NY/ Bone-in, NEOCHROME, Turin, ITA

Selected Group Exhibitions 


Balice Hertling, Paris, France | The Steak House Doskoi via XYZ Collective, Tokyo, Japan


Instrument of the Homecoming, The Sunroom, Richmond, VA | Aquél que camina delante, Travesia Cuatro, Guadalajara, Mexico | Commodus Operandi, curated by Ryan Kortman, Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago, IL | All at Once, with Naoki Sutter-Shudo, Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, CA Le domaine enchanté, Galleria Acappella, Naples, Italy | Aunt Nancy, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA | El Que Camina Al Lado, Travesia Cuatro, Madrid, Spain


Arrears, Strongroom, Los Angeles, CA | Sara two, Hester, New York, NY | Comforter, Shanaynay, Paris