BLURRED HORIZONS: Contemporary Landscapes, Real and Imagined
Catherine Opie, Clifford Ross, Filipe Rocha da Silva, Graham Nickson, Il Lee, James Turrell, Mary Heilmann, Myong Hi Kim, Richard Tsao, Seokmin Ko, Yojiro Imasaka, Zhang Jian-Jun
Art Projects International is pleased to open the gallery’s 25th anniversary with Blurred Horizons: Contemporary Landscapes, Real and Imagined, a special exhibition featuring works by 12 artists: Catherine Opie, Clifford Ross, Filipe Rocha da Silva, Graham Nickson, Il Lee, James Turrell, Mary Heilmann, Myong Hi Kim, Richard Tsao, Seokmin Ko, Yojiro Imasaka and Zhang Jian-Jun.
The exhibition presents a selection of works created within the past twenty years, featuring landscapes with a strong abstract quality, abstract works evoking landscapes, and artificially-constructed landscapes. The exhibition is accompanied by an essay by Kathryn Calley Galitz that contextualizes these contemporary landscapes within the landscape tradition, with an emphasis on the sublime.
Blurred Horizons reveals the idea of landscape as a powerful force of attraction and influence that affects artist and viewer alike. In bringing together a diverse range of works by an international and multigenerational group, the exhibition allows audiences to be exposed to strong artworks in a symbiotic, thoughtful, and, at times, surprising conversation that elevates beyond theme.
James Turrell and Mary Heilmann, two of the artists featured in Blurred Horizons, are recognized trailblazers in creating abstract works that strongly evoke the natural world. The large-scale ballpoint pen works of Il Lee similarly present bold, monochromatic abstractions often suggestive of mountains, forests, and skies. In contrast, Richard Tsao‘s color saturated, multi-layered paintings extend beyond their supports to create relief-like terrains.
The exhibition also presents watercolors by Graham Nickson whose vibrant plein air sunrises and sunsets embrace abstraction. Myong Hi Kim‘s oil pastel on chalkboard landscapes depict expansive skies on an intimate scale.
Four photographers in Blurred Horizons similarly push the limits of their medium to explore abstraction. Clifford Ross, who began his career as an abstract painter and sculptor, creates monumental seascapes that seek to capture the sublime power of nature, while Catherine Opie‘s iconic landscapes blur toward abstraction and unrecognizability. Yojiro Imasaka‘s painterly photographs explore landscapes through ambiguities of scale and space, and Seokmin Ko incorporates elements of artifice in his landscape series.
The exhibition also features innovative landscapes in unique formats, including a “wool drawing” by Filipe Rocha da Silva and an ink scholars’ rock by Zhang Jian-Jun.
The exhibition will be on view from January 18 to March 31, 2018, at 434 Greenwich Street, in Tribeca, with an opening reception on Thursday, January 18, 6-8pm. Many of the exhibition’s participating artists will be in attendance at the opening reception. Additional programs are planned through the run of the show, including guided curator walkthrough conversations in February and March.
About the Artists
Catherine Opie (b. 1961, Sandusky, OH; lives in Los Angeles) is known for her powerful and dynamic photography that examines the ideals and norms surrounding the culturally constructed American dream and American identity. Opie has traveled extensively across the country exploring the diversity of America’s communities and landscapes, documenting quintessential American subjects—high school football players and the 2008 presidential inauguration—while also continuing to display America’s subcultures through formal portraits. Using dramatic staging, Opie presents cross-dressers, same-sex couples, and tattooed, scarred, and pierced bodies in intimate photographs that evoke traditional Renaissance portraiture—images of power and respect. In her portraits and landscapes, Opie establishes a level of ambiguity—of identity and place—by exaggerating masculine or feminine characteristics, or by exaggerating the distance of the shot, cropping, or blurring her landscapes. Opie received a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 1985, and an MFA from CalArts in 1988.
Clifford Ross (b. 1952, New York, NY) received his BA in Art and Art History from Yale University in 1974. Following an early career in painting and sculpture, Ross began his photographic work in 1994, and in 1996 he began the Hurricane series, capturing the striking ocean waves by wading into the surf, tethered to shore, during severe storms on the East Coast. Ross has since been the subject of solo exhibitions at Austin Museum of Art; BRIC House, Brooklyn; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; George Eastman House, Rochester; Guild Hall, East Hampton; MADRE/Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples; and Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou. In 2015, MASS MoCA presented Landscape Seen & Imagined, a mid-career survey of Ross’s large-scale photography and Digital Waves, and published two fully illustrated companion volumes, Hurricane Waves and Seen and Imagined. In 2017, Parrish Art Museum on Long Island presented Light | Waves, a solo exhibition of Ross’s wood wave triptychs and monumental Digital Wave LED installation.
Filipe Rocha da Silva (b. 1954, Portugal) completed undergraduate studies in Arts Plastiques et Sciences de l’Art at the Sorbonne, Paris, France (1973), Fine Arts, Lisbon, Portugal (1980) and Studio Art Centre International, Florence, Italy (1982), earned his MFA at Pratt Institute, New York (1985) and his PhD in Visual Arts at Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal (2005). Recent solo exhibitions include: Textile Drawings, Fundação Arpad Szenes Vieira da Silva, Lisbon, Portugal (2016) and Wool Drawing, Art Projects International, New York, NY (2015). His work is represented in major collections, including Centro de Arte Moderna do Funchal, Madeira, Portugal; Centro de Arte Moderna, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal; Museu da Cidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal; Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Fundação de Serralves, Porto, Portugal; and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Unión Fenosa, A Coruña, Spain.
Graham Nickson was born in England and completed his studies at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts (BA) and his Master’s degree at the Royal College of Art in London, 1972. He is the recipient of the Prix de Rome (1972-74), The Harkness Fellowship at Yale University (1976-78), the Guggenheim Fellowship (1989), and the Ingram Merrill Fellowship (1993). His work is in the permanent collections of many institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, NY; Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, MA; The Albright-Knox Gallery, NY; the Neuberger Museum of Art, NY; the Frye Art Museum, Seattle; The Lillehammer Art Museum, Norway; and the Boca Raton Museum of Art, FL. He has been a faculty member and Dean of the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture since 1988.
Il Lee (b. 1952, Seoul, Korea) is a New York-based artist whose pioneering work with ballpoint pen that he began nearly 40 years ago has received worldwide recognition. His work has been the subject of numerous major solo exhibitions including his critically-acclaimed mid-career survey at the San Jose Museum of Art in 2007. His work has been exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum, The Vilcek Foundation, Queens Museum, Crow Collection of Asian Art, Palms Springs Art Museum, Arkansas Arts Center and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea. His work is represented in major collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Leeum Samsung Museum of Art (Seoul), National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea, San Jose Museum of Art, Vilcek Foundation, Palm Springs Art Museum, Société Bic (France), and Minneapolis Institute of Art (promised).
James Turrell (b. 1943, Los Angeles) uses light and indeterminate space—not objects or images—to extend and enhance perception. His work has been the subject of over 160 solo exhibitions worldwide since 1967, including the three-venue museum exhibition presented concurrently at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2013. In addition to permanent installations at institutions such as Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, New York, and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Turrell’s work can be seen in over 70 international collections. Since 1968, when Turrell received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the artist has been the recipient of numerous awards including a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1984); Chevalier, L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France (1991); Commandeur, L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2006); and National Medal of Arts, Washington, D.C. (2014).
Mary Heilmann lives and works in Bridgehampton, New York and New York City. Her works are included in the permanent collections of many museums worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco MoMA, and the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht, Netherlands. Most recently, Craig Starr Gallery presented the exhibition RYB: Mary Heilmann Paintings, 1975-78, and Heilmann’s exhibition Painting Pictures will be at the Dia Art Foundation Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton, NY through May of next year. Heilmann is represented by Hauser & Wirth and 303 Gallery, New York.
Myong Hi Kim (b. 1949, Seoul, Korea) lives and works in New York and an abandoned schoolhouse in a tiny mountain village in Kangwon Province, South Korea. She graduated from Seoul National University and studied at Pratt Institute, New York. Her recent solo exhibitions include: Art Projects International, New York (2015, 2012) and Gallery Hyundai, Seoul (2012). Her work has been exhibited at the American University Museum, Washington, DC; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea; Seoul Museum of Art, Korea; Ho-Am Art Museum, Seoul; and Whanki Museum, Seoul. Her work is represented in major public collections including the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea; National Assembly, Seoul; Whanki Museum, Seoul; Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Korea; and Seoul Museum of Art, Korea.
Richard Tsao (b.1954, Bangkok, Thailand) is known for using a process oriented, labor intensive approach and particular aesthetic of beauty in creating paintings and works on paper. In his signature paintings (multi-layered works created in his specially designed paint flood room), the physicality of brilliantly colored paint also becomes architecture; in contrast, his works on paper are the distillation of the spirit of color. Recent solo exhibitions: Richard Tsao: Works from Industry City, Art Projects International, New York (2014); Richard Tsao: Nam Wan, Art Projects International, New York (2010); Richard Tsao: Flooding, Art Link, Seoul, Korea (2008); Flood, Chambers Fine Art, New York (2005); Portraits, 100 Tonson Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand (2004). His work is represented in major collections including the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection and Montefiore Fine Art Collection, New York.
Seokmin Ko (b. 1984, Gunsan, Korea) lives and works in South Korea. Recipient of many prestigious awards including the 2012 SongEun ArtCube Artist award, Ko’s first U.S. solo exhibition The Square was presented in 2012 at Art Projects International, New York. Other solo exhibitions include Seokmin Ko: Strip Show, Art Projects International, New York (2014) and Seokmin Ko: The Square, SongEun ArtCube, Seoul (2012). Recent exhibitions include Summer Love, SongEun Art Space, Seoul (2015) and 2014 FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA, San Antonio, Texas (2014). His work is represented in major collections including the Fidelity Corporate Art Collection, Boston; SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation, Seoul; and Montefiore Collection, New York. Reviews and feature articles about Seokmin Ko have appeared in major publications including CNN Photos, Artnews, and Photo+.
Yojiro Imasaka (b.1983, Hiroshima, Japan) lives and works in New York City. He received a BFA in photography at Nihon University College of Art in Tokyo, and went on to study at Pratt Institute in New York from which he earned an MFA in 2010. Imasaka’s work has been exhibited in North America, Asia and Europe, including Minneapolis Institute of Art, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, ISE Cultural Foundation Gallery (New York), Gymnasia Herzliya (Tel Aviv), Recycleart (Brussels), ITS#Four / International Talent Support (Trieste), and VT Artsalon (Taipei). Solo exhibitions were held at Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery (New York) in 2013 and 2016. His work is in the permanent collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Mead Art Museum at Amherst College.
Zhang Jian-Jun (b. 1955, Shanghai, China) is among the first generation of Chinese contemporary artists to gain international recognition. His “Scholar Rock” sculpture was exhibited as part of Ink Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2014. His recent solo museum exhibitions include: Jian-Jun Zhang: Between Then and Now, OCAT, Xi’An, China (2017) and The 1980s: Early Works by Jian-Jun Zhang, Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2015). His work has been exhibited at the Shanghai Art Museum; Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland; Today Art Museum, Beijing; Power Station of Art, Shanghai; and Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland. His work is represented in major collections including M+ (Hong Kong), Uli Sigg Collection (Switzerland), Frederick R. Weisman Foundation of Art, Djerassi Foundation Permanent Collection, Shanghai Art Museum, Yuz Museum (Shanghai), and White Rabbit Collection (Australia).
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