ITOMARISM : Kaleidoscope

Mari Ito SOLO SHOW: ITOMARISM Kaleidoscope Oct. 18 –Dec. 1, 2018

Opening Reception Thurs. Oct. 18, 2018. The artist is present.

For press inquiries or general information: admin@jankossen.com or call at 631-903-5564.

Mari Ito. Untitled, 2018. Natural pigments on Japanese rice paper. 39×39 inches/100x100CM

September 28, 2018 (New York, NY) – JanKossen Contemporary is proud to present ITOMARISM:Kaleidoscope, the premiere solo show in the United States by Japanese contemporary artist Mari Ito. The exhibition will be held in New York from Oct. 18th to Dec. 1st 2018. The artist shall be present at the opening reception on Thursday, 18th Oct. between 6 – 8 pm.

Mari Ito (Tokyo, 1980, lives in Barcelona SPAIN), studied traditional Japanese painting at Joshibi University of Art and Design in Tokyo. Mari Ito’s oeuvre is based and influenced by the philosophical approaches found in Animism, Anthropocene and Animalism.

Animism finds its expression in long standing Japanese techniques where all objects, places and creatures are seen to have a spiritual existence, and are hence animated and alive. Ito’s work shows us her world that is post-human existence: when we are no longer an influential force on the environment. Her organic, alien plants affected by a nuclear disaster thrive and grow, despite humanity’s absence (or because of it).

Ito’s new work is a continuation her series entitled “The origin of Desire”, where the artist invites us to reflect on the origins of our needs; that is our most irrational and personal impulses. The Id or “das Es” (as Sigmund Freud would say) split off from the ego and the superego is the psychic – therefore the purest and most primitive expression of our drives and aspirations. The essence of what makes us “alive”.

Completely opposed forces that actually complement and react to one another are interpreted by Ito in the same way, for they have the same value and form a duality that exists in natural harmony. The Romantics pioneered the concept of the sublime, of humanity needing to succumb to the awesome force of nature, normally shown with a small figure or a person with their back turned towards the viewer, engulfed by their environment. Ito has completely excluded the figure, leaving only a representation of our base desires through personified flora.

Ito’s delicately formed creations come to life as they unfold into themselves, permanently striving to make their way towards awareness in their on-going search for the root of desire;

whatever its nature.

Mari Ito. Untitled, 2018. Natural pigments on Japanese rice paper. 38x51inches/97x130cm

About JanKossen Contemporary

JanKossen Contemporary, founded in 2009, is an international contemporary art gallery representing artists working across multiple disciplines. Its principal focus is working with artists from various countries whose diverse practices include painting, drawing, sculpture, and large scale installation. The gallery has exhibitions in New York and administration HQ in Basel, Switzerland.

FRESH! 2018 “ORDER AND CHAOS: THE WORLD OF THE ENLIGHTENED”

The annual summer group show FRESH! returns to JanKossen Contemporary, featuring works by 13 artists under the curatorial vision of “Order and Chaos: the World of the Enlightened”.

Artists have always played a role in voicing how the world is seen; they are critics disecting the concepts aesthetics, ideals of beauty, rationalism, tolerance and liberty. How do our artists see the world today? And what can we learn from their viewpoints ?

Artists were invited to explore and present their world viewpoints; to re-interpret what is considered truth (or not)and the realities around us. A diverse group of international emerging and established artists were selected, offering the viewers a range of distinct methods, media, materials and techniques.

Selected artists include Atsuko Chirikjian (USA), Eva Breitfuß (DE), Jarek Puczel (PL), Julie Rotblatt (USA), Leonid Filitsyan (USA), Matthew Mogle (USA),Michael Gatzke (DE), Michele Utley- Voigt (USA), Ryan Burns (USA), Soojin Choi (USA), Vanessa Kocking (USA), Ahron Weiner (USA), Mariela Lechin (USA)  and Trey Abdella(USA).

Abstraction has a strong presence in this show. Artists Vanessa Kocking, Eva Breitfuß, Julie Rotblatt, Mariela Lechin and Ryan Burns use various media to create landscapes and explore both espiritual and physical elements of the today’s world. While Kocking creates an alternative space to reality building silent landscapes and characters emerging from experience, fantasy and an eternal existential pursuit; Breitfuß’ central concern is to understand, explore, transform and transport realities and energies of time, space and nature through art. While Burns’ artistic practice investigates society’s relationship with the natural world and climate change; Rotblatt works with various media with the aim to explore multiple dimensions of both the spiritual and physical withing the mind-body connection. In a world that constantly attempts to choose between extremes, Lechin paintings reflect the idea that contradictions coexist harmoniously as one.

Artists Leonid Filitsyan, Michele Utley- Voigt, Matthew Mogle explore the human condition in relation to personal experiences, emotion, fate and form. Utley- Voigt’s powerful paintings is a visulisation of our complex sense of self, which she translates into a claidascope using complex and intelligent technique of multiple layerered imagery. Mogle romanticizes narratives of the past, fused with his cynical and melancholic views of the present to explore the effects of chronic Lyme disease on the artist´s body. By contrast, the sculptor Leonid Filitsyan transforms and reforms what is given as the human form offering a new perspective of interpretation.

Jarek Puczel and Sooji Choi introduce a strong psychological component in their artwork creating ambiguous moments of dimensional perception. Puczel has a emotional but calming style reduced in shaped in color. Choi plays with the true character of objects, exploring its instability, its errors, or by being dismantled.

As artists of the 21st century Mitchel Gatzke,  Ahron Weiner and Trey Abdella analise society current issues. Using a monochromatic palette, the viewer is invited to participate in Gatzke’s atmospheric scenes; while Weiner uses newspaper and journalistic media as a medium to reflect and open a window into our collective consciousness. Conjoining relism and cartoons, Abdella creates cohesive scenes where cartoons are real and reality is distorted; offering us both an amusing yet disturbing interpretation of what is ailing in our society today.

Paying homage to cultural heritage, Atsuko Chirikjian works are steeped in tradition with a background working in materials. A canvas is for Chirikjian a three-dimensional construct; building her own canvas through the layering materials such as thread, wire, net, bamboo, twigs, and cheesecloth.

MONOCHROME

Monochrome, a curated group exhibition showcasing selected artists from JanKossen Contemporary’s international program, will be on view from May 31 – July 14, 2018 with an opening reception from 6-8pm on May 31, 2018. The exhibition will feature artworks by Troy Simmons (USA), Dieter Kränzlein (Germany), Antonio Marra (Italy), Park Byung-Hoon (South Korean/France), Alex Rane (USA/Italy), Hannah Quinlivan (Australia), and Ye Jin-Young (South Korea) which explore the concept of monochromatic abstract art. An online catalogue will accompany the exhibition.TroySimmons_Evolve_2016_JanKossen

Troy Simmons. Evolve, 2016. Concrete, aluminum, acrylic. 60x36x18 inchesMonochromatic art has expanded since its inception in the early 20th century painting. The exploration of value and tonal changes are used to convey a wide variety of emotions and meaning today. Beginning in Moscow with Russian Suprematist artist Kazimir Malevich with his Black Square on a White Field (1915), monochromatic art works have seen a rapid growth, particularly in New York with the likes of abstract expressionists such as Ad Reinhardt in the 50s, to minimalism with artists such as Agnes Martin and Frank Stella in the 60s. Monochrome continues this tradition and pushes the boundaries of not only the physical materials used, but the range of emotions that they are able to express.

HannahQuinlivan_It started with a spark, 2017. 35x46x7in_88x116x18cm. LED light and anodised aluminium.

Hannah Quinlivan. It Started with a Spark, 2017. LED light and anodized aluminum. 60x36x18 inches

The abstraction of form, however, does not equal a simplification of thought. By removing the chromatic range of an object, the artist encourages the viewer to fully absorb the subtle nuances in surface texture and shade, as seen in Troy Simmons’ mixed media works, as well as Alex Rane and Dieter Kränzlein’s marble sculptures. Even comparing two monochromatic abstracted sculptures, the viewer is presented with two radically different works, from the geometric abstractions of Kränzlein to the surreal abstracted figures of Alex Rane. Without the distraction of colors, viewers are also able to see the subtle surface quality as well as the artists’ application and control of materials. Although nostalgic of Frank Stella’s vibrantly colored geometric works, Antonio Marra further enhances the experience of abstraction by injecting a shock of unexpected color in an otherwise monochromatic piece.

Black and white are not true colors, but shades meant to distinguish tonal value. Traditionally these shades were made by using paint. However, even this aspect is expanded in “Monochrome” group show. Instead of mixing paints, Hannah Quinlivan employs LEDs to create shades generating through the interaction between lights and shadows. Troy Simmons and Ye Jin-young put a stronger emphasis on what can be seen from the expressive, energetic shapes to the delicate, hand-pulled clay petals.

For press inquiries or general information, please contact the gallery office at admin@jankossen.com or call at 631-903-5564.

UnBreakable – Ceramics Redefined

JanKossen Contemporary is pleased to present UNBREAKABLE: CERAMICS REDEFINED, an exhibition of figurative and figurative abstract contemporary ceramics with work by Penny Byrne, Kathy Stecko, Claire Curneen, Cathy Lewis, and Keun Woo Lee.

The connotations surrounding the medium of ceramic have historically been associated with concepts of craft and vessel. This exhibition however, brings together five contemporary artists who break down these confines to create haunting, political, religious, and poignant sculptures. Their historical consequences, contemporary conceptualism and social relevance, adhere to and break historical molds of craft while standing on the forefront of trends in contemporary sculpture.

Australian artist Penny Byrne’s sculptural works are politically charged, highly engaging and often disarmingly humorous. Using materials such as porcelain figurines, bronze, glass, vintage and found objects, Byrne’s work presents an ongoing inquiry into popular culture and international politics. Though the themes of her work are dark and heavy, the lightness and treatment of the porcelain contrasts this, formulating a new perception of these themes.

P.Byrne.Putins Poodle.2017_13x4x4in view 2 low res

Penny Byrne. Putin’s Poodle, 2017. Trump bobble head, antique porcelain figurine, epoxy resin, enamel paints, 13 x 4 x 4 inches.

Kathy Stecko’s humanoid porcelain sculptures resemble a party thrown at a haunted circus.  The elongated yet truncated limbs recall elements of 16th century mannerism, while the bulging bellies and hallow eyes resemble the psychological undertones of an Edvard Munch. These tiny sculptures hang on the wall or stand on their own pedestals to create tiny clusters of figures both affecting and endearing. Stecko lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

KathyStecko_Fracture_2017_14.5x3.5x3in_porcelain

Kathy Stecko. Fracture, 2017. Porcelain, 14.5 x 3.5 x 3 inches.

UK-based artist Claire Curneen’s androgynous figures have always been a convergence of art history, ceramic history, and religious symbolism. Her single standing modeled figures, serve as a developed response to traditional ceramic objects such as the standing Vase, however draw upon medieval and renaissance approaches to depicting the human figure in painting. Often also referencing Medici Blue, Dutch pottery, or Japanese ceramics in her work, you will also often find gold fingers and lips recalling the important Japanese tradition of Kintsugi – the art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Taking one step further, Curneen often comments on religious concerns such as symbolic references to Christ, biblical interpretations, concepts of soul, and questions of mortality.

Claire Curneen_Untitled 1 (Bird Figure) _2017_28.25x8.75x8in detail 2

Claire Curneen. Untitled 1 (Bird Figure), 2017. Ceramic, 28.25 x 8.75 x 8 inches.

Cathy Lewis, trained at the Glasgow School of Art, Falmouth School of Art and The University of the West of England, is most known for her beautifully modelled life-sized figures of children with strong urban or tribal identities. Her work is concerned with ideas about culture, social history and self, and she often combines several ideas into one piece each influencing each other and asking and answering questions. Lewis’ work examines the importance of a cultural heritage and how this may be learnt and shared. Encouraging her audience to examine links between the past and the future, her works call into question how the future is consistently propped up by the past.

JanKossen ContemporaryUnBreakable - Ceramics RedefinedJanuary 11, 2018

Cathy Lewis. Mainly Porcelain I (Left) and Mainly Porcelain II (Right), 2017. Ceramic, 47 x 14 x 6.5 inches.

Figurative abstraction is courted, yet ultimately tempered in the work of Keun Woo Lee. Traces of plants, flowers, and other elemental features of landscape remain visible in Lee’s creations. These forms, however, serve as a mere framework for the “nothingness” that holds the artist’s true interest. Lee has developed a keen sensitivity for the exploration of absence’s impact on depth, successfully immersing the viewer’s attention in the concave reductions of the final image. Keun Woo Lee was born in Korea and currently lives and works in Kiel, Germany.

Keun Woo Lee. Wave Series, 2015-2017. Glazed stoneware.

For questions or more information, please contact Karen Gilbert at Karen.gilbert@jankossen.com or at 631-903-5564.