V1 Gallery proudly presents
A group exhibition with: Jenny Holzer, Sarah Braman, Elizabeth Peyton, Betty Tompkins, Alicia McCarthy, Hanna Liden, Katherine Bernhardt & Margaret Kilgallen.
Soundtrack compiled by Djuna Barnes.
It is a great honor and pleasure to present Independents, a selection of 8 prominent contemporary female, American based, artists working with different media and strategies, who are all innovators, independents and pioneers within their field.
Independents is a celebration of the free thinker, the avant-garde and the unique way that art can change our perception of the world.
Jenny Holzer, b. 1950 - lives and works in New York. For more than thirty years, Holzer has presented her astringent ideas, arguments, and sorrows in public places and international exhibitions, including 7 World Trade Center, the Reichstag, the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her medium, whether formulated as a T-shirt, as a plaque, or as an LED sign, is writing, and the public dimension is integral to the delivery of her work. Starting in the 1970s with the New York City posters, and up to her recent light projections on landscape and architecture, her practice has rivaled ignorance and violence with humor, kindness, and moral courage. Holzer has three bronze plaque works in Independents.
Sarah Braman, b. 1970 – lives and works in New York and Massachusetts.
In Braman’s work references to Gordon Matta-Clark’s cut buildings are spliced with Sol LeWitt’s minimal cubes, Cy Twombly’s emotional mark-making and anonymous graffiti from urban city streets. Her sculptural and painterly language combines clean and dirty, real world and spiritual in an almost effortless suspension. The works evoke an atmosphere that is heavy and light, tangible but also invisible. Personal references to transformation and abstraction are implied via the written language she develops for the titles and inscribes on the surfaces of the painted works. Days of the week, calendar months and greetings impart time and personality to the works, allowing viewers a narrative space in which to animate the abstract forms they are faced with. For the exhibition Braman has made 4 works that hovers somewhere between sculpture, assemblage and painting.
Elizabeth Peyton, b.1965 - lives and works in New York and Berlin. In the work ELIZABETH, (July 2013 – Self Portrait), watercolor on paper, 41 x 31 cm, from the exhibition, Elizabeth Peyton gaze upon us, or herself, with a sense of skepticism. Faced with Elizabeth you either return the stare or look for your shoes. The work is characteristic for Peyton’s practice, it is intimate, beautiful and strong. Since the beginning of her career Peyton has painted portraits of friends, royalty and a mixed group of celebrities. In her portraits we are often met by the eyes of the portrayed, we are scrutinized, while we think we lurk in peace. In this way there is a strong feeling of empowerment in her work. Elizabeth Peyton has exhibited extensively around the world; Kunsthalle Baden Baden, The Metropolitan Opera, New York, The New Museum, New York, Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, and DESTE foundation, Athens.
Betty Tompkins, b. 1945 - lives and works in New York. Betty Tompkins started painting large scale, photorealistic, detailed images of penetration, masturbation or the female genitalia in 1969. The works Betty Tompkins made between 1969 and 1974 were practically unknown when they were exhibited together for the first time in New York in 2002. Knowledge of Tompkins’ paintings immediately broadened the repertoire of first generation feminist-identified imagery. More significantly, their materialization made manifest an unacknowledged precursor to contemporary involvement with explicit sexual and transgressive imagery. Tompkins has 2 black and white canvases in the exhibition -Pussy Painting #10 and Cunt Painting #16 – both works are done in her distinctive style, which balances the figurative and the abstract with humor and sexuality for great impact. Betty Tompkins has recently showed at Marianne Boesky, New York, Galerie Rudolph Jansen, Brussels and Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York.
Katherine Bernhardt, b.1975 – lives and works in New York. Katherine Bernhardt negotiates pop and celebrity culture in her iconic large-scale figurative portraits. Stripping down the image to the raw essentials in a furious figurative painting style. A style that pays tribute to various expressionistic styles, from abstract over neo to German, but carries a distinct energy informed by pop, punk and the pace of New York City. Her paintings leave both subject and object in a state of disarray. The works are also a reflection on the individual’s role in the production of culture. For Independents Berhardt has created a series of 30 small-scale portraits of female models and performers. Removed from their original setting on the front of glossy magazines and without the Photo Shopped perfect skin and bodies, the women appear almost human again. Bernhardt’s compelling portraits are fragile and powerful at once, the emperor has no clothes on and only the essence remains.
Margaret Kilgallen, 1967 – 2001, lived and worked in San Francisco. Kilgallan’s work and presence was pivotal to the formation of the art movement, now known as the Misson School, that grew out of San Francisco’s Mission district in the 1990’s. But on a larger scale Kilgallan’s “craftwoman” approach to her art, helped fuel and inspire a global recognition for art that was formerly deemed “outsider” or “folk” art. There is a rare sense of humanism present in her work, an interest and recognition of the mundane. Kilgallen was a storyteller and her stories continue to inspire on murals, paintings and installations shown at museums and galleries around the world.
Alicia McCarthy, b. 1969, - lives and works in Oakland. Alicia McCarthy’s vivid works weave together color, pattern and occasional lyrical or understatedly profound phrases. The artist is a core figure of the Mission School. Her ever-honest artworks continue to evolve essential components of the School’s character. The artist is drawn to the discarded. Digesting the city’s landscape, ambivalent everyday items sheared from their original intent are re-appropriated into intimate art objects. Abandoned wood is scouted, and repurposed as a foundation. McCarthy applies found house paint, colored pencil, liquid graphite and spray paint transforming recycled materials into paintings with a lively folk and punk aesthetic.
Hanna Liden, b. 1976 – lives and works in New York. Liden’s artistic practice is informed by a myriad of influences; her suburban upbringing in Sweden, downtown New York, independent music, the work of artists like Munch, Friedrich, Werner Herzog and Ingmar Bergman. Her work in photography, sculpture, collage and installation, often has a dystopian, haunting, independent and confrontational feeling. You feel like you should watch your back when you are looking at Liden’s work. In Independents Liden is featured with a photographic self-portrait of the artist wearing a plastic shopping bag with a smiley face logo and the words “HAVE A NICE DAY” over her head. Two holes have been cut in the bag, balaclava style, and through the holes the artist is staring, wearing the classic Nirvana black smiley tee shirt, at the observer. The work is aptly titled Smells Like Teen Spirit. Hanna Liden took part in the Withney Biennial 2006 and has recently showed at Maccarone, New York, and Salon 94 (in collaboration with Nate Lowman), New York.
Djuna Barnes (Maria Gerhardt), b. 1978 – lives and works in Copenhagen. Djuna Barnes is an influential Danish writer, editor and dj. For the past 10 years she has had the most curious ears in Copenhagen. Barnes has compiled a soundtrack for Independents.