posted by CAA — Mar 06, 2023
The CAA Committee on Women in the Arts (CWA) Spring Picks focus on exhibitions and literature that explore an interrelatedness of art and science. From the science of future technology to the science of biology, these artists utilize traditional and technological materials in their heterogeneous work.
Hayv Kahramen, February 6 – March 25
Third Line Gallery, Dubai
Occupying both gallery spaces, Hayv Kahraman presents a series of new paintings and drawings that continue her ongoing scientific research and exploration into the effects of trauma on the body, and the role of the gut in our healing process.
Kahraman’s practice is heavily guided by her refugee experience, where notions of gender and trauma are consistent themes throughout her work. Recently, the artist has directed her research towards neuroscience, human immunology and “neurosculpting” – the ability to restructure the neural pathways in our brain through the gut microbiome – and how they specifically relate to trauma, and our ultimate goal to heal and repair.
Often referred to as the body’s “second brain”, the gut is responsible for our somatic state whereby the bacteria inside our gut regulates the hormones that control our feelings. Kahraman became increasingly fascinated with this theory, and how neurosculpting offers the potential to heal through the process of unlearning and relearning. In this body of work, Kahraman applies this theory alongside her own lived experiences to highlight the puissant connection between the mind and the body. Exposed and tangled digestive organs act as a visual metaphor of unraveling the restorative process.
Delving further into the gut microbiome as a site for recognition and renewal, Kahraman addresses the notion of “otherness” through the medium in which she paints. We have learnt to consider the bacteria and foreign microbes found inside our gut as undesirable, but in fact they are fundamental to our human psyche. By incorporating into her paintings the lilac dye from torshi – fermented beetroot served in Middle Eastern cuisine which is believed to improve mental wellbeing via the gut, and jars of which are on view in the exhibition – Kahraman affirms that the microbial world is verification of our acceptance of difference. Physically painting with torshi – i.e. bacteria – serves as an allegory to how we sentient beings live in symbiosis with the “other”.
Sarah Sze, March 31 – September 10
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY
Organized by Kyung An, Associate Curator, Asian Art, and was conceived and contributed to by Nancy Spector, former Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will present a solo exhibition of Sarah Sze (b. 1969, Boston) featuring a series of site-specific installations by the acclaimed New York–based artist. Sarah Sze: Timelapse will unravel a trail of discovery through multiple spaces of the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright building, from the exterior of the museum to the sixth level of the rotunda and the adjacent tower level gallery. The exhibition will explore Sze’s ongoing reflection on how our experience of time and place is continuously reshaped in relationship to the constant stream of objects, images, and information in today’s digitally and materially saturated world.
Sze creates across multiple mediums employing painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, video, and installation. She is well known for her intricate constructions using a myriad of both fabricated and found objects and images. Whether an intimately scaled sculpture or a large, permanent public commission, her works possess a generative quality—as though in a cycle of growth and decay—and dynamically engage with the spaces they occupy.
In Sze’s reimagination, the Guggenheim’s iconic, UNESCO World Heritage architecture becomes a public timekeeper in a reminder that timelines are built through shared experience and memory. In the words of the artist, “Like the collective efforts used by humans over centuries to communally mark time, to measure and mark it in physical form—ranging from Jantar Mantar, to the Prime Meridian line, to ubiquitous minarets, clock towers, and animated or astronomical clocks around the world—the museum building will become a site to explore the idea of a public clock, and an experiment in collective timekeeping that all in the city can experience.”
Inside the museum, quiet gestures, such as a single pendulum hovering above the fountain on the rotunda floor and a small sculptural installation tucked into an interstitial space in front of the freight elevator, demonstrate Sze’s distinct engagement with unexpected spaces. Visitors will enter an immersive environment: a panoramic sequence of eight bays occupied by a new series of works comprising painting, sculpture, video, drawing, and sound. These will be connected by a river of videos—seen earlier on the building’s street-level facade—which slowly travels up the spiral expanse of the building’s interior, creating a horizon line of moving images. As it travels across, above, and behind the works on view, visitors will be absorbed into a generative experience, continually re-orienting themselves temporally and spatially.
Pamela Enyonu, February 28 – March 28
AKKA Projects, Dubai
What is Fear?
Why do we Fear equality?
How does this Fear of achieving equality express itself in and around me?
This artistic essay is an exploration of the phenomenon of fear, and the positions it is experienced from; the instigation of fear and the effects it has on individual bodies and entire communities. What are the elements that create fear, how do the instigators of fear experience it and weaponise fear to curtail autonomy, and how is this activity systemised because it grows in scope and effectiveness; mass hysteria.
The artistic intervention aims to assess whether the effects of fear can be countered or even anticipated and to study the damage fear has on the quality of human expression. Pamela Enyonu was born in 1985 in Kampala, Uganda where she currently lives and works. Pamela studied Art and Design at the Kyambogo University Banda of Kampala, Uganda. Her artistic career started in 2017 with a 3 months residency at 32 degrees East, in Kampala, where she navigated the politics of identity, trauma, and healing. After her residency, she was invited to host a solo exhibition in June 2017. Another artist’s residency in Paris, France, followed in 2020, on the occasion of Africa 2020. In 2022, Enyonu has concluded her residency at AKKA Project in Venice, Italy, also being hosted by ProHelvetia, Zurich, Switzerland, in the same year.
Pamela’s style is inspired by stories, materials, and the process it takes to transform them into works of art. Her works present a tactile and 3-dimensional quality that richly layered textures exploring narratives on gender, identity, empowerment, and self-awareness. Pamela is particularly interested in the “untokenized” experiences occupying the intersection of empowerment, mental health, and identity. She continuously engages with the different communities through collaborations, workshops and seminars. Recently, some of Pamela’s latest works have been acquired by Africa First, and have become part of its private collection of contemporary African art.
Jennifer Chen , February 10 – April 30
Sci Arc, Los Angeles
No Evil imagines a long distant future when, after planetary scaled geoengineering systems have saved earth’s population from climate extinction, planet surviving events have become new creation stories: “machines that once filled the air, sown the seeds, fertilized the ocean, and dimmed the sun have long since been decommissioned.”
Exploring a world that was once on the brink of collapse, “saved only by the forgotten creatures of the past,” Chen is interested in using radical geoengineering processes as a lens through which we can investigate practical responses to climate restoration.
Using 2D and 3D data corrupting techniques to simulate the fading of memories across time and a mixture of analogue techniques including weaving, sewing, welding, and casting, as well as digital fabrication techniques including 3D printing and CNC milling, the exhibition combines decayed digital data and new cultural curiosities to imagine a world where new mythologies are created, giving rise to a new form of craft. Audiences will wander through an abstract forest landscape drawn from this future and encounter fragments of worship, shrines, tapestries, and stories told through film and objects. No Evil invites viewers to consider the forgotten tales, myths, and artifacts that once celebrated and revered these speculative relics of climate resistance as a reminder of what future could await us all if today, we turn a blind eye and cover our ears.
Chen is faculty at SCI-Arc and an architect and designer who works at the intersection of science and fiction, exploring themes of geoengineering, remote sensing, and climate change futures in projects that take the form of buildings, installation, film, and performance. Her new exhibition imagines a long distant future when, after planetary scaled geoengineering systems have saved earth’s population from climate extinction, planet surviving events have become new creation stories.
Tia Keobounpheng , July 22 – October 9
US Bank Gallery, The Minnesota Arts Exhibition Program
A Finnish and Sámi descendent, Keobounpheng uses her artistic practice to recognize her familial connections to both the colonizers and the colonized. “Revealing Threads” will feature her abstract tapestries, influenced by traditional Nordic handwork techniques but infused with contemporary interpretations and symbolism. The results speak to marginalized histories, heritage, and the complexity of personal identity. The works will be informed by a research trip to Sápmi, the traditional land of the Sami people, in fall 2022.
Keobounpheng is a designer/maker and artist living and working in North Minneapolis. She is a recipient of the 2017 and 2020 MN State Arts Board’s Artist Initiative Grant, 2018 McKnight Foundation’s Next Step Fund, and 2022 MN State Arts Board Creative Support for Individuals Grant. Her work has been shown at the American Swedish Institute, in Minneapolis; the Finlandia University Gallery, in Hancock, Michigan; the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul; and the Anderson Center, in Red Wing, Minnesota. Her laser-cut jewelry has been sold by design retailers across the country for over a decade.
Fran Siegel , January 14 – March 4
Wilding Cran Gallery, Los Angeles
Curated by Jill Moniz
Chronicle features 216 small drawings on paper that Siegel started at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fran visualized the discourse around the virus as extensions of her focus on pinwheel and maps, as a shorthand of place, and the aesthetics approaching abstraction. Moniz pairs these ephemeral works with Siegel’s painted tapestries that incorporate porcelain as armatures, structural hardware that deciphers colonial appropriation and cultural production.
The exhibition offers multiple entry points into dialogues that magnify how making transforms moments, from staged and beautiful, to essential and abject. Siegel’s works are intimate in scale, reflecting how the pandemic dictated her process and inspired introspective collaging of dreams, news and opportunities, unpacking and reassembling iconography that influences how we interpret and shape our worlds.
In her consideration of patterns and pinwheels, Siegel draws out form, emphasizing how we record our relationship to each other and the landscape, and how intricately and intimately connected we are. Siegel’s pinwheels represent for Moniz a fulcrum of visual language that expands and focuses our attention on both specificity and plurality of experiences that benefit from collective empathy. Chronicle explores Moniz and Siegel’s shared commitment to the depth and complexity of cultural associations foundational to place, and meaning making through art practice.
The Art of Gilah Yelin Hirsch
curated and edited by Donna Stein
A retrospective survey of the Canadian American artist’s career.
Characterized by a search for meaning, Hirsch’s oeuvre connects psychological, scientific, and philosophical implications of form, bringing together ideas in art, science, ecology, and human consciousness.
The artworks in multiple and mixed media provide an evolving history of Hirsch’s ideas and craft as they illustrate the progression of her original research on the origin of all alphabets. Her elegant theory about five fundamental shapes in nature that reflect forms of neurons and neural processes of perception and cognition as the source of all letterforms in alphabets ancient to modern has gained acceptance in scientific circles. Her evidence shows that while cultures and languages bring unique beauty and richness to the world, we, as humankind, are more alike than different.
Since the 1980s, Hirsch has also been a pioneer in the field of mind/body healing, developing a type of visualization practice that serves as an instrument toward wellness. By organizing seemingly disparate information into a far-reaching scientific theory, Hirsch is recognized internationally for these techniques and has advanced healing practices through the arts.
Archaeology of Metaphor connects the artist’s visual themes to her philosophy and ideas, simultaneously encouraging greater awareness of pattern recognition, social dynamics, and interconnectedness.
The Arts Club of Chicago
February 16-May 20
Jessi Reaves combines iconic modernist design with an irreverent aesthetic in sculpture that toys with functionality. Reaves often begins with found furniture, which she dismantles, converts, remakes, enhances, pads, and embellishes in ways that still allow the suggestion of physical contact or use. By breaking things open, she proposes that they be examined visually and in terms of their purpose in life. The exhibition at The Arts Club of Chicago centers on the work Personal Heat, 2021, a deconstructed étagère with accompanying video that explores themes of renovation and rebellion. The sculptural aspect features a pop punk aesthetic of hot pink animal stripes, as if Reaves had been locked in a room in her great aunt’s house with a can of paint, a saw, and some wood glue. The funk and humor of this work and other of Reaves’s sculptures and wall reliefs belie a mastery of complex composition, color, and the ability to integrate disparate materials. Reaves brings to her seemingly off-handed works a range of manual skills that she uses to both humorous and unsettling effect. Jessi Reaves: all possessive lusts dispelled offers a sensuous installation of works that allow the abject to infiltrate the ontology of the object.
March 9–April 28, 2023
Glass Curtain Gallery—Columbia College Chicago
1104 S Wabash Ave, 1st Floor, Chicago, IL 60605
The Taxonomy of Peggy Macnamara features an immense array of artwork that has been created during Macnamara’s tenure as the only artist in residence at the Field Museum. This exhibition focuses on her relationship to observing and working among the collections over decades where practice as an artist, teacher, and collaborator has developed a process of long looking that has created a taxonomy of its own.
Macnamara has traveled across the world, geared with her pencils and watercolors, investigating the fascinating intricacies of nature alongside scientists and peers from the Field Museum. Although her work uses the academic approach of illustrating, her savvy is evident in her loose handling of her art materials to document plants, animals, and related conservation work. Macnamara’s work artfully captures living things (or in some cases—once living), educates us, and sparks interest in the complexities of the natural world.
This exhibition hones in on a tapestry of works that inspire curiosity and deep looking at plants, animals, and the dynamic relationships between them. Macanamara’s attention to detail, and skilled hand at analytically dissecting plants and animals is revealed through the works that leave the stages of the development of a piece visible. We engage with her work for the love of looking, but inevitably discussions about nature, extinction, conservation, and collections permeate its surface. Come take a peek behind the scenes of the Field Museum’s collections through Macnamara’s work, and through special tours accompanying this exhibition.
February 11-June 5th
Art Institute of Chicago
This exhibition brings together nearly 100 rarely seen woodblock prints by Pape, some of which have not been shown publicly since the artist exhibited them in the 1950s and 1960s. Composed of overlapping geometric and linear elements, they at times suggest the clash of atomic particles, rudimentary city plans, or slides of microscopic specimens.