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Object Intimacies, curated by Jane Cavalier and Nicole Kaack

December 1 January 13, 2019

Tourniquet
Performance
Sunday, December 9, doors at 3:30pm, performance at 4pm

NURTUREart is pleased to present Object Intimacies, a group exhibition curated by Jane Cavalier and Nicole Kaack and featuring artworks by Wesley Chavis, Mira Dayal, Andrew Gayle, David Horvitz, Simone Kearney, Junyu Li, and Alayna Rasile-Digrindakis.

Layered as though holding one another, the outlines of two sets of hands reach across the inscribed surface of a paper sheet: I touch you love you desire you. Mailed to Carl Andre in May 1970, Hanne Darboven’s words cast her body’s longing across the distance between them, hands touching through the medium of the page. Intimacy speaks in a sliding scale of somatic proximities: eyes pausing together across a room, the redolent warmth of embrace. Sewing the seams of two exhibitions, Object Intimacies considers the companionship that may exist between bodies and things, in or out of touch. This show addresses intimacy through two chapters: the converging tracks of proximity and distance. Comprised primarily of sculptures meant to be touched, the first chapter presents artwork that insists upon an embodied knowledge of the object. This section aims to create a space in which artworks and those who behold them may become vulnerable to each other through the mutually felt experience of tactility. The second chapter steps away from physical contact to present works in which haptic gestures become a means of transmitting touch across space, asking how may the language of intimacy be translated, communicated through proxy or image?

Ch1. Imprints of the artist’s hand in the palm-sized sculptures of Andrew Gayle’s An Invitation draw visitors closer to the artist’s process of making. Intended to be held and passed between people, these objects are installed on the ground as a bid to onlookers to take the time to sit, try them on, and exchange them with others. In this vein, Simone Kearney catalogues the gesture of touch in the multitudes of finger-sized clay pieces that she flattens, presses, and assembles to form an archive of physical memory. Addressing the paradoxical nature of touch as both an experience of closeness and an assertion of distance, she creates a veil that gives form to what Kearney calls “that tiny interval between myself and myself, between myself and another.” Alayna Rasile-Digrindakis creates a series of mental maps turned objects of nostalgia in this lake’s for holding close. As fabric sculptures that chart her friends’ recollections of a beloved path around a lake in British Columbia, they are meant to be embraced in the act of longing for a distant time and place shared with loved ones. Junyu Li’s installation, meanwhile, uses materials ranging from yarn, stocking, and aluminum to elicit feelings of revulsion, desire, and curiosity in relation to the body. She deconstructs the human anatomy to create a space in which divisions between inside and outside, self and other, order and disorder are rendered absurd.

Ch2. Capturing the concurrent rise and fall of the sun in the Maldives and off the California coast, video-recordings by David Horvitz and his mother frame synchronicity as being together in distance. Although reunited, screened side-by-side on smartphones, Horvitz’s video continues to hold distance in parts that are intended to correspond from afar. Wesley Chavis’s sculpture employs a shared belonging—the corporeal presence of a cascading sheet—to evoke collective and individual bodily memories. Positioned in relation to a photographic portrait of the young artist held in his sleeping father’s arms, Chavis’s cloth installation evokes both the enveloping embrace of a blanket and the rupture of a shroud. By contrast, Mira Dayal addresses the body’s trace beyond its physical presence in a surreal synthesis of architecture and flesh. Like a mass of fibrous hair, a rectangular swathe of fiberglass insulation is adhered to the wall—almost as though the building has turned its interior outward—seeming to invite touch even while physically repulsing it. This matted surface is paired with a sound installation that reflects on the ways in which distinct identities may be experienced intimately, yet across the barrier of language.

In an installation designed in collaboration with Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels, a swathe of soft pastel carpet delineates the distinct chapters of this exhibition. A cushioned floor suggestive of a domestic space invites viewers to make themselves comfortable as they become aware of the tactility of the works in the space. On the other side of this cushy divide, artworks address correspondence in constraint, holding viewers at a distance even while gesturing towards the thwarted desire to touch. In the carpeted area, you are welcome to touch the art, while the works in the uncarpeted areas ask you to keep your distance.

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Object Intimacies

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Ch1.

Andrew Gayle is a multiple disciplinary artist from New York City. In 2016 He graduated with a BFA from the City University of New York’s Hunter College, and has since continued working and living in Harlem. His work seeks to highlight and augment codified social relations between each unique iteration of the viewer/participant, artifact/performance, and artist/performer. Using ceramics, video, the body, etc. Andrew hopes to create moments of temporary utopia in a world that could use a little more light. He has performed with many others including My Barbarian, and Robert Barry, and has work in both the Dean collection, and El Museo de Arte Moderno in The Dominican Republic.

Simone Kearney is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist. Recent exhibitions include Re: Art Show (Brooklyn, NY), La Mama Galleria (New York, NY), Annex Gallery (Fishers Island, NY), Art Omi International Art Center (Ghent, NY), and the Penthouse Gallery (Baltimore, MD). She has been an artist-in-residence at The Lighthouse Works, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, and The Edward F. Albee Foundation. She has given poetry readings and performances at the Queens Museum (Queens, NY), NADA (New York, NY), and St. Anne’s Warehouse (Brooklyn, NY). In 2014, she was awarded a NYFA Grant in Poetry, and her chapbook, My Ida, was published by Ugly Duckling Presse in 2017. She teaches at Parsons School for Design and Rutgers University.

Junyu Li is an artist based in China and US. She was born in Xuzhou, China and raised in Hangzhou, China. She earned her BFA in Craft Design and MA in Fiber Art from Hangzhou Normal University before pursuing her MFA in Fiber Art from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Alayna Rasile-Digrindakis is a textile artist whose work takes the shape of durational performances, buoyant sculptures, costumes and clothing. She often uses foraged fibers and plant dyes that allow her designs and materials to be in direct conversation with place. She is currently based in the rural Intermountain West.

Ch2.

Wesley Chavis is a visual artist and vocalist living in New Orleans, LA. He received a BA from Yale and recently graduated with an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Through artworks, he tests the ability of Southern blacks, and their material remnants, to evocatively physicalize the veiled presence of the future, past, ancestry, and of religious ethereality. His interdisciplinary explorations of everyday touch and sensuous physicality evoke layered sensations of love and loss that flow from black humans in communion—seeking home, rest, and warmth.

Mira Dayal is the founding editor of the Journal of Art Criticism (JAC), co-director of the collaborative artist publication prompt:, co-director of the email project of missing out, and an assistant editor at Artforum. Her studio work has recently been shown with Abrons Art Center, NARS Foundation, and A.I.R. Gallery in New York. Her writing has been published online and in print with Artforum, The Brooklyn Rail, CUE Art Foundation, Hyperallergic, Performa, SFAQ / NYAQ / AQ, and several museum exhibition catalogues. In the past few years, she has worked on curatorial projects internationally and in New York, for venues including the Pfizer Building, the Living Art Museum in Reykjavik, Helena Anrather Gallery, Barnard College, A.I.R. Gallery and Studio44.

David Horvitz (b. 1982, Los Angeles, USA) lives and works in Los Angeles. He studied at the UC Riverside and received his MFA from the Bard College. Recent solo exhibitions include: Eridanus, Galerie Allen, Paris, 2017; Concurrent solo exhibitions ja at Chert, Berlin and oui at Yvon Lambert Bookshop, Paris, 2016; Situation #20, Fotomuseum Winterthur, 2015; through the morning kiss this pillow, Tongewölbe T25, Ingolstadt, 2015; David Horvitz, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, 2014; Gnomons New Museum, 2014; concurrent shows at Jan Mot, Brussels, and Dawid Radziszewski Gallery, Warsaw, 2014; Statements, Art Basel, 2013; POST, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, 2013; At Night They Leave Their Century, Chert, Berlin, 2013. Further projects include David Horvitz’s presentation at Frieze Projects, New York, 2016 and Porcino Gallery, Berlin, which he founded in 2013.

Curators

Jane Cavalier is a Curatorial Assistant at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, where she was recently on the curatorial team for the exhibition, Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction (2017). She also independently curates shows, including Re: Framed at the Re: Art Show, Brooklyn (2018) and Modern Melancholy at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College (2013). Jane received a master’s in art history from The Courtauld Institute in July 2016, and was a 2014–2015 Fulbright Research Scholar in Berlin. Currently based in Brooklyn, New York, her writing has been published by The L.A. Review of Books; The Art Newspaper; The Brooklyn Rail; MOMUS; Hyperallergic; University of California, Los Angeles Graphite Interdisciplinary Journal of the Arts; and Northwestern University Art Review.

Nicole Kaack is an independent curator and writer based in Queens, NY. She is the current Curatorial Fellow at The Kitchen, New York, as well as Assistant Director at the Photo Collections Preservation Project (PCPP). Kaack has been published by Whitehot Magazine, artcritical, Art Viewer, SFAQ / NYAQ / AQ, Artforum, and The Brooklyn Rail. She has also contributed texts to I will set a stage for you, published by HOLOHOLO Books and edited by Ana Iwataki and Marion Vasseur Raluy, as well as to a publication in association with Hauser & Wirth’s Recto / Verso panel series. Exhibitions include It All Trembles at the NARS Foundation, Brooklyn (upcoming 2019), Science Fictions at CRUSHCURATORIAL, New York (2018), Re:Framed at the Re: Art Show, Brooklyn (2018), Wordless at Small Editions, Brooklyn (2017), Enveloped at Small Editions, Brooklyn (2017), and Paperless at Small Editions, Brooklyn (2017). Kaack is the co-founder of the newsletter of missing out, co-director of the artist publication prompt:, and co-founder of the press Blind Carbon.

 

Image: An Invitation, Andrew Gayle, 2016, 30 glazed and unglazed ceramics, oriental rug. Dimensions variable.