ANTENNA SPACE | Allison Katz
Allison Katz, Oil on paper 2017 | Allison Katz, Oil on paper 2017, Atenna Space
Allison Katz is a painter who investigates and pushes the conventions and history of Western painting. Her work rejects formal or thematic coherence—within the picture plane or throughout the artist’s oeuvre—and therefore resists the labeling of a style. Avoiding narrative or continuity, the artist instead chooses to approach each canvas anew, taking on different personas, and sometimes forcing opposing tastes to coexist uncomfortably within a single tableau. Motifs do reappear—black pears, strawberries, monkeys, noses, silhouettes, roosters, clocks—but less as representations or signatures, and more as a visual lexicon which allows her to expand and distort their meanings in an ongoing meditation on the nature of representation and the elasticity of symbols. Exemplary of her dedication to approaching subjects freshly, Adele is a portrait series that Katz has continued to return to since 2011. Painted on leather swatches, the artist does not wish to portray a continuing likeness or demeanor of her friend, but rather to capture her impression of the sitter each time they meet. Marked by skillful improvisation, her painting is often described as exuding a playful wittiness, or “joie d’esprit.” Katz’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Johan Berggren Gallery in Malmö, Sweden, Battat Contemporary in Montreal, and BFA Boatos in Sao Paulo. She has also been included in group exhibitions at ScuptureCenter in New York, and Tate Britain in London (as part of a performance by Tai Shani). She is the recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant.
DAWID RADZISZEWSKI GALLERY |Tomasz Kowalski
Alicja Kowalska / Tomasz Kowalski, Untitled 2017, Dawid Radziszewski gallery
Tomasz Kowalski is a painter, illustrator, and author of collages, object-machines, installations, and video art. He also composes music. He was born in 1984 in Szczebrzeszyn. Tomasz Kowalski graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow (2004-2009). He’s a member of ephemeral music groups Anna Dymna Ensemble and Masters of the Universe. He works and lives in Berlin and Kraków.
Kowalski made his debut in 2006 at the Nova Gallery in Kraków while a student. After the Żak-Branicka Gallery in Berlin organised his individual exhibit in the same year, the career of this talented artist was already in full swing. A year later he took part in collective exhibitions in Germany and Italy, his work attracted attention of art critics and he was signed by the prestigious Berlin Carlier-Gebauer gallery. In dreamlike works tinged with darkness and ambiguity, Tomasz Kowalski merges references to Polish culture and society, art history, and his own life and experiences. Though he primarily concentrates on painting, he also produces sculpture, installation, drawing, and collage. His indebtedness to Expressionism can be seen in his imaginative use of color and in the distortion and semi-abstractedness of the human and animal figures and domestic objects that populate his compositions. He is also inspired by Surrealism, as evidenced by the illogic and emotion that seem to govern his strange scenes. These have included a lone male figure wandering against a background filled with repeating images of a woman’s parted lips and a family of mice ensconced in a landscape composed entirely of cheese. Through such images, Kowalski suggests that life is a tragicomedy and that we are its actors.
EMALIN |Athena Papadopoulos
Athena Papadopoulos, The T’s of E’s, (Mulp Ragus) 2017, Emalin
Utilizing a list of cosmetic, medicinal, and edible ingredients, Athena Papadopoulos typically stains layers of cotton bedsheets with red wine, lipstick, hair dyes, Pepto Bismol, and self-tanner. Connoting the practice of self-augmentation of dolling oneself up these intense hues draw attention to how such commodified materials are marketed towards certain consumer archetypes. These archetypes then appear in drawings and photographs of women layered into dense collages: Papadopoulos chemically transfers, cuts, and stitches her own photographs into and alongside imagery gleaned from literature, art history, and popular culture. The compositional gesture assumes posture. Papadopoulos’ action of sampling and recombining images therefore becomes a way of thinking about the construction of femininity. Within this, autobiography functions as a point of departure for thinking through the patriarchal power structures underpinning both the visual experiences and social relations performed by Papadopoulos’ characters.
FRANCOIS GHEBALY |Lila De Magalhaes
Lila De Magalhaes, François Ghebaly gallery
Lila De Magalhaes was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1986. She moved to Zurich in 1989, studied at Glasgow School of Art 2004-2008, and University of Southern California 2011-2013 and currently lives and works in L.A. Lila De Magalhaes is interested in perching right on the unsteady cusp between desire and abject, instinct and composure, animal and human. From video, soap, ink, or a performance with a Saint Bernard dog, her practice varies greatly in form. Most recently she has made two mermaids out of clay resembling herself and her flat-mate. They sit together in a transient state, in a plastic bag filled with water. For Tall Tales Lila will showcase this new work Room mates alongside an accompanying video work ‘Rain Control’, which animates these mermaid figures through an everyday yet uncanny scenario – played out by non other than Lila and her flat mate. Lila will also showcase a recent work, Same Together (The Lady and the Lion) a painting based upon a found artwork by American artist Terry Bowden from an artist project space called Creative Growth in Oakland, which supports adult artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilities. In his original image, the artist only paints in an albino palette with even fruits only depicted in white and pink.Lila wanted to insert herself within this artist’s imagery, and pay homage to the work and its maker, creating a new piece Same Together (The Lady and Lion).
ARCADIA MISSA |Penny Goring