JONATHAN CHAPLINE • MARK DORF • PEDRO PEDRO • MICHAEL STAMM • LYNN TALBOT • ROBIN F. WILLIAMS • CRYS YIN
APRIL 6 – MAY 6, 2017
OPENING RECEPTION FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 6–9 PM
The centuries-old genre of the still life allows artists to set a stage, cast characters, and direct a scene, then freeze the frame as their rendering unfolds. In a world where the majority of content is consumed and shared through the screens of our devices, the continued vitality of the still life speaks to its power and resilience as an art form. The seven artists in Living Still laboriously portray symbolic objects, bringing their personal history to bear while commenting on contemporary society with a quiet framing uncommon in our digital universe.
Jonathan Chapline’s work depicts interior environments blurring the boundaries between analog and digital media. The result is a distorted, fractured space depicted in surreal colors that pulls the viewer into a familiar yet unsettling reality. From his Transposition series, Mark Dorf’s “Landscape 07” manifests his interests in natural ecosystems and technology as a three-dimensional assemblage of a deconstructed environment. While the elements of the installation, including living plants, UV prints of bark and digitally-manipulated exotic flowers, a glass pane, and a fluorescent light, appear thoughtfully arranged, the narrative function of each object is left unclear, prompting the viewer to infer metaphorical connections. Michael Stamm’s sequence of nine paintings, subtly shifting in color from dark blue to dull yellow and back to blue, depicts a view through a window pane of a glass of liquid in front of a spiral-bound calendar. The cropping of the still life image and the decision to meticulously represent it nine times evokes a sense of claustrophobia and longing for meaning in the banal. Pedro Pedro utilizes vibrant color palettes and flattened perspectives to portray intimate vignettes of food, flowers, skulls, and cigarettes. The objects reference classical still life subject matter, yet they relate to both personal and fictional narratives. Lynn Talbot, known for her hyperrealistic still-lives, incorporates text and surreal forms, resulting in scenes that reference complex psychological space. In “For Sale,” Robin F. Williams flawlessly renders a peculiar arrangement of gently folded colorful silk, crisp lettuce, a fresh pineapple, a matte black mannequin head, a cosmetic mirror, and stylish reflective glasses. The juxtaposition of such luscious objects framed by gritty cement and a crumbling exterior wall exemplify Williams’s investigation into material beauty, femininity, and consumerism within the contexts of art history and societal expectations of women. In Crys Yin’s “Ghostface Dumplings,” seven translucent anthropomorphic dumplings sit in soup spoons on a distorted and incomplete tabletop. Yin relies on memory to compose her scenes, and says that “by reconstructing [these] moments with humor and acceptance, embarrassing cultural misconnections and the eagerness for belonging have a space to comfortably live.”
Jonathan Chapline (born 1987, Georgia) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, and received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has exhibited at The Hole (NY, NY), Beers London (London, UK), Victori + Mo (Brooklyn, NY), and Canada (NY, NY), among others.
Mark Dorf (born 1988, Kentucky) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He has exhibited at FOAM Photography Museum (Amsterdam, NL), Division Gallery (Toronto, CA), and Galerie Philine Cremer (Düsseldorf, DE), among others, and is represented by Postmasters (NY, NY). He holds a BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design and is pursuing his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Pedro Pedro (born 1986, Florida) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. His current solo exhibition at New Image Art (Los Angeles, CA) explores a story of a couple plotting to steal a cow for sustenance but finding it too beautiful to slaughter. His work has been reviewed in Juxtapoz, Hyperallergic, and The Huffington Post.
Robin F. Williams (born 1984, Ohio) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and is represented by P•P•O•W. Her work has been reviewed in publications including the New York Times, New Yorker, and artnet, and she holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Michael Stamm (born 1983, Illinois) received his MFA from New York University and holds degrees from Columbia University and Wesleyan University. He has attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and is represented by DC Moore (NY, NY).
Lynn Talbot lives and works in New York. She holds an MFA from Syracuse University and BFA from the University of Kansas. She is a NYFA grant fellow, has received reviews in the New York Times and the New Yorker, and is represented by Pierogi (NY, NY).
Crys Yin lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She has exhibited at Park Place Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Victori + Mo (Brooklyn, NY), and Blanc Gallery (Quezon City, Philippines), among others. She holds a BFA from California State University and has attended residencies at the Lower East Side Printshop, Ox-Bow, and ACRE.