Sticky Fingers

Arsenal Contemporary New York

From July 14 to September 6, 2017

Opening : 14 July, 6-9pm

214 Bowery
New York, NY 10012
États-Unis

Meriem Bennani
Elizabeth Jaeger
Wanda Koop
Piotr Łakomy
An Te Liu
Elizabeth McIntosh
Caroline Mesquita
Louise Sartor

Curated by Martha Kirszenbaum

 

Sticky Fingers brings together eight international artists whose practices span sculpture, painting, film, and installation, and whose works evoke the fragile tangibility of the human body, intertwining materiality with theatrical playfulness. Challenging the viewer’s relationship to their own physicality, these artists ultimately disclose the vast disconnectedness and loneliness of modern existence.


Caroline Mesquita
’s sculptural and metallurgic experiments, made from rolled sheet metal, result in life-size figures interacting in a mise-en-scène. For the exhibition, Mesquita has produced a series of three oxidized brass characters who square off with one another and the viewer, their presence ultimately blurring the line between fiction and reality, humans and mannequins. In her video The Ballad, the artist appears alongside her sculptures, pushing and reinventing ways of living together through a deliciously perverse carnival. Through a similarly mischievous sculptural approach, An Te Liu’s bronze and ceramic pieces, carved and casted from Styrofoam packaging and domestic artifacts, activate a theater for the inanimate, replacing actors and the stage for objects and an archeological museum. Into the void is made up of a pair of two elegant hunks of bronze, recalling modernist abstractions of human skulls and intriguing with their apparent dissonant sensuality and morbidness.


Elaborating his practice around architectural, landscape-oriented installations and human-sized sculptural arrangements, Piotr Łakomy’s oeuvre conveys an apparent simplicity coalescing from formal choices, industrial material, and textiles. The ensemble of works presented here are inspired by disjointed parts of the human body—arms, legs, feet, and torso, or their armature, such as boots and coats made of aluminum honeycomb, insulation foam, and clothing. Inspired by feminist surrealism and ancient Greek sculpting techniques, Elizabeth Jaeger’s elegant body of work comprises figurative sculptures of female forms,
truncated torsos, greyhound dogs, or more abstractly, empty furniture or vases. Her series of blonde pots outline raw cream clay pieces covered with imprints of the artist’s hand. They sit at a child’s size, provoking the effect of an overly touched and cared for subject, and thus of human presence. Exploring scenes of industrialization, and robotic technology as it interfaces with the natural world, Wanda Koop’s painting practice lays at the intersection of portraiture and landscape. Composed of large ink and acrylic works, Koop’s paintings present surreal, if not mystical, images. In View From Here, Koop points to a landscape transformed over time—a view of Winnipeg from the banks of the Assiniboine River—finally redefined as a headscape. The size of this work itself mysteriously interacts with the viewers’ physicality, building a connection between our bodies and the skylines that surround them.


Elizabeth McIntosh
’s recent paintings are striking in their modernist approach to pattern and geometry, formal precision, with an extended palette of saturated colors evoking the likes of Matisse. Among the two paintings presented in the exhibition, Four Eyes reveals the artist’s concerns with collage enmeshing with her technique of priming the canvas with a base coat of white gesso, before progressively filling it in with colored shapes. Thirteen, however, employs feminine, if not girly, use of color—soft flesh, coral pink, and fauve purple—as it is based on an image of her teenage daughter. Tropes of girlishness, a certain feminine mystique, and an impression of solitude also infuse the work of Louise Sartor, whose portraits of young women, loosely inspired by Instagram snapshots, conceal the faces of their subjects so that their identification becomes relegated to their clothes or gestures. Bolo—a French nickname for spaghetti bolognaise—is a gouache painting on egg-box depicting a blonde silhouette ingurgitating a mouthful of pasta with tomato sauce, a sensual gesture not deprived of wry humor and irony.


Finally, Meriem Bennani’s shape-shifting practice of films captured on her iPhone and presented in immersive environments, interlaces references to globalized popular culture with the vernacular and traditional representation of her native Morocco. Composed on the edge of the misappropriation of clichés of Middle-Eastern culture, her site-specific installation Ghariba stages four video portraits depicting women from her family. In Arabic, Ghariba means “stranger” in its feminine form, and Bennani seems to reflect on identity and gender through the vantage of the foreigner, outsider, or alien in a country and society not their own, all the while furthering the notion of strangeness within the Self1.

 

1. Julia Kristeva, Strangers To Ourselves, Columbia University Press, 1991
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Meriem Bennani (b. 1988 in Rabat, Morocco, lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) earned a BFA from The Cooper Union in New York and a MFA from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Her recent solo shows include: Ghariba, Art Dubai, Dubai (2017); FLY, MoMA PS1, New York (2016); Gradual Kingdom, SIGNAL, Brooklyn (2015); and Fardaous Funjab, Stream Gallery, New York (2015). Her work has also been shown internationally in group exhibitions including Commercial Break, Public Art Fund, New York (2017); Flying House, Shanghai Biennale (2016); Reality Bytes, Frank F. Yang Art & Education Foundation, Shenzhen (2016); We Dance, We Smoke, We Kiss, Fahrenheit, LA (2016); Unorthodox, The Jewish Museum, New York (2016); ARA-B-LESS ?, Saatchi Gallery, London (2015); Surface Support, SIGNAL, Brooklyn (2015); NEWD Art Show, The 1896, New York (2015); Kick in the Door, MANA Contemporary, New Jersey (2015); UOVO x NEWD, Freehand, Miami (2014); Paste, SIGNAL, Brooklyn (2014); and Humain trop humain, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014).


Elizabeth Jaeger
’s (b. 1988 lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Six-Thirty at Jack Hanley Gallery, Elizabeth Jaeger at And Now in Dallas, and Music Stand at Eli Ping, New York, MoMA PS1’s Greater New York, Sculpture Center’s In Practice: Fantasy Can Invent Nothing New and Mirror Cells at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Most recently, the artist exhibited in It Started With A Rose at 315 Gallery, New York, Idle Visitation at Plaza Mercado, Santa Fe, Too Much of a Good Thing at Hudson Basilica, Hudson, New York, Summer Reading at Fortnight Institute, New York, as well as Watermark at SIGNAL, New York, Fear of a Blank Pancake at White Flag Projects, St Louis, Weird Science at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, Le Musée Imaginaire at Galerie Lefebvre & Fils, Paris, Close to the Skin  at Company, New York and Dirty Linen at the DESTE Foundation in Athens. The artist has also participated in Elizabeth Jaeger at KINMAN, London, Got Tortilla with Butter on Phone. Think it’s the End?  at Rod Barton, London and Border Patrol at Loyal in Malmo, Sweden.


Wanda Koop
(b. 1951 in Vancouver, lives and works in Winnipeg, Canada) is a member of the Order of Canada and of the Royal Academy of the Arts. She has had solo exhibitions at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) and the National Gallery of Canada, as well as group exhibitions including Her Story Today: Six Painters from Quebec and Canada, a group exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Venice Bienniale (2001). Her work can be found in the collections of TD Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Air Canada, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, The Edmonton Art Gallery, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, The National Gallery of Canada, The Shanghai Museum of Modern Art, and The Reykjavik Art Museum, among others. An active member of her community, she is the founder of Art City, an inner-city youth centre for visual arts based in Winnipeg.


Piotr Łakomy
’s (b. 1983 Poland, lives and works in Poznan) recent solo presentations include The Pale House, Galeria Labirynt, Lublin (2017); Room Temperature, The Sunday Painter, London, UK (2016); Endless Room, BWA Zielona Gora (2014); Tomorrow will be smaller, Galeria Stereo (2014); Carl Kostyal, London (2015), and Art Basel Statements, under the auspices of Galeria Stereo (2016). Group exhibitions include Konrad Fischer Galerie, Berlin (2016), Mélange, Cologne (2015), Hester, NYC (2015), Fahrenheit, Los Angeles (2015), MoMA, Warsaw (2014). He was shortlisted for the Views Art Prize 2015, Deutsche Bank Foundation Award, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw. A monograph of the artist’s work will be published this year by Galeria Stereo.


An Te Liu
’s (b. 1967, Tainan, Taiwan, lives and works in Toronto, Canada) work has been exhibited in venues including the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Ursula Blickle Stiftung, the EVA International Biennial of Ireland, the Venice Biennale of Architecture, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Liu’s works are included in the permanent collections of The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Canada and The Art Gallery of Ontario.  In 2015, Black Dog Publishing released a monograph of his work with texts by Kitty Scott, Andrew Berardini, Pablo Larios, and Ken Lum.


Elizabeth McIntosh
’s (b. 1964 Simcoe, lives in Vancouver, Canada) solo exhibitions have been held at CANADA, New York (2016), Diaz Contemporary, Toronto (2014, 2012), Division Gallery, Montreal (2012), Exercise, Vacouver (2011). Her work has been exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery (2017), Venus, Los Angeles (2016), Logan Centre, Chicago (2014), Equinox Gallery, Vancouver (2014), Museum of Contemporary Art Canada, Toronto (2011). She is a professor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.


Caroline Mesquita
(b. 1989 Brest, France) lives and works in Paris, where she graduated from École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 2013. Solo exhibitions include The Visitors, SALTS, Basel (2017), The Ballad, Fondation Ricard, Paris and 221A, Vancover (2017), Pink everywhere, Kunstverein Langenhagen, Germany (2016); Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh, Scotland (2016); Les Bains- Douches, Alenc
̧on, France (2014), and 1m3, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2013. Group exhibitions include Europe, Europe at Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway (2014); The Space Between Us, Fahrenheit, Los Angeles (2014); Memory Palaces, Carlier-Gebauer, Berlin (2014); La Vie Materielle, 15ème Prix Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris (2013); and Rob Pruitt’s Flea Market, Monnaie de Paris, Paris (2012). Mesquita also attended the Mountain School of Arts in Los Angeles in the spring of 2014.


Louise Sartor
(b. 1988, lives and works in Paris) is a graduate of École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. Her work has been presented at Crèvecoeur, Paris (2017, 2016), Fondation d’enterprise Ricard, Paris (2016), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dole, France (2017), François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles (2016). She was the co-director of Shanaynay Paris.


Martha Kirszenbaum
(born in 1983, Vitry-sur-Seine, France) is a curator and writer based in Los Angeles, where she was the Director and Curator of Fahrenheit, an exhibition space and residency program (2014-16). She graduated from Sciences Po in Paris and Columbia University in New York, and worked at the Media Department of MoMA in New York (2006-07), the Photography Department of Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (2007) and at the New Museum in New York (2008-10). She collaborated with the Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw (2010), the Belvedere Museum/21er Haus in Vienna (2012), the Marrakech Biennale (2012), Palais de Tokyo (2013) and the Kunsthalle Mulhouse as an Associate Curator (2013). Kirszenbaum is a regular contributor to Flash Art, CURA, Kaleidoscope and Mousse, and has led seminars on curatorial practice at the Université Paris VIII and Parsons, Paris.

 

Press:
Editors’ Picks: 14 Things to See in New York This Week – Artnet
           Critics’ Picks – Artforum

Views of the exhibition

Louise Sartor, Bolo, 2017, gouache on egg box.

Installation view, Sticky Fingers, Arsenal Contemporary NY, 2017.

Installation view, Sticky Fingers, Arsenal Contemporary NY, 2017.

Elizabeth Jaeger, Blonde Pots, 2017, ceramic.

Installation view, Sticky Fingers, Arsenal Contemporary NY, 2017.

Elizabeth McIntosh, Four Eyes, 2016, oil on canvas.

Elizabeth McIntosh, Thirteen, 2016, flashe and oil on canvas.

Installation view, Sticky Fingers, Arsenal Contemporary NY, 2017.

Caroline Mesquita, Installation view, Sticky Fingers, Arsenal Contemporary NY, 2017.

Caroline Mesquita, Installation view, Sticky Fingers, Arsenal Contemporary NY, 2017.

Installation view, Sticky Fingers, Arsenal Contemporary NY, 2017.

Piotr Łakomy, Installation view, Sticky Fingers, Arsenal Contemporary NY, 2017.

Piotr Łakomy, Installation view, Sticky Fingers, Arsenal Contemporary NY, 2017.

Piotr Łakomy, Sleepwalk, 2017, aluminium honeycomb, fabric (sleeves), plaster, ostrich eggs.

Piotr Łakomy, Untitled (Winter Feet), 2016, aluminium honeycomb, jacket (tyvek, feathers), insulation foam.

Piotr Łakomy, Land, 2017, aluminium honeycomb, insulation foam, paint.

Piotr Łakomy, Untitled, 2016, aluminium honeycomb, fabric (cap), insulation foam, paint.

Installation view, Sticky Fingers, Arsenal Contemporary NY, 2017.

Installation view, Sticky Fingers, Arsenal Contemporary NY, 2017.

Wanda Koop, Untitled (View From Here Series), 2015, inkjet print on paper, gouache.

An Te Liu, Into the Void (the shape of things to come) and Into the Void (vita ante acta), 2017, cast bronze.

An Te Liu, Into the Void (the shape of things to come), 2017, cast bronze.

Meriem Bennani, Ghariba, 2017, digital video, 22:45 min.

Meriem Bennani, Ghariba, 2017, Digital video, 22:45 min.