01: classic nouveau

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LatchKey Galleryis pleased to present Classic Nouveau, curated by Jenny Mushkin Goldman, on view October 27 – November 25, 2018 at the Chashama Space, One Brooklyn Bridge. 

With works by Russell Connor, Peter Daverington, Ryan Frank, Ashley Zelinskie, and Darryl Westly, Classic Nouveau explores notions of archetypes and innovation through a dialogue with “the classics” from antiquity up through the present. 

What does it mean for something to be “a classic?” The genesis of this concept can be traced back to Ancient Rome, when artworks from Classical Greece were looked back on as the apotheosis of culture and copied extensively.  Ryan Frank is in direct dialogue with Classical Antiquity,wrapping his wall and freestanding sculptural forms with photographs of ancient Greek and Roman art, deconstructing images from the past for an elevated consciousness of the present. His inclusion of mirrored copper surfaces reflects to the viewer’s their own image and places them within the context of history, thus confronting them with their own mortality. 

When Ancient Roman artists appropriated Classical Greek imagery, their work was simultaneously infused with other influences, from the Hellenistic period to their own native italic visual culture. The result of this eclecticism was artwork that transcended mere copying to become distinct and original. Russell Connorpractices appropriation, what he humorously describes as “creative piracy,” from the canon of western art history by juxtaposing imagery from two or more masterpieces to create entirely new compositions with complex narratives ranging in theme from scholarly to political while always brimming with wit. For instance, his work Club Tahiti combines Paul Gauguin’s depiction of Tahitian women with Renoir’s members of the European bourgeois to create a new work examining colonialism and the Western fascination at the time with what they considered “primitive.” Ashley Zelinskie’s reproductions of similar works by Gauguin reclaim the images of the women depicted from the predominantly male gaze by reinterpreting the works from her female perspective with new technology. Her laser cut works featured here reconstruct Gauguin’svahinepaintings with the hexadecimal computer code from their high resolution, digital images. The finished result are simultaneously accurate reproductions of the original and innovative, optically dazzling compositions that can be interpreted by humans and computers alike. 

From up close,Darryl Westly’s large painting appears to be an abstraction of earthy hued liquescent shapes. With some distance, however, the forms crystallize into an assemblage of elements from Peter Paul Rubens’Venus and Adonis, Paul Cezanne’sThree Bathers, and imagery from Westly’s memories of landscape of Lebanon. Westly layers pastiche with personal history to reflect on the similarities between history and the present.Peter Daveringtonimbues the old masters with a contemporary edge by embedding his meticulous reproductions with hard-edged details and finished with gossamer, graffiti like swirls.  By combining spontaneous gestures in a street art style and surprising, surrealist touches to classic imagery, such as the religious scene of angels in the featured painting, Daverington upends the customary notion that the masters must be approached with solemn reverence.

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Jenny Mushkin Goldmanis an independent curator and art advisor based in New York City. This past June, she presented En Caul, a solo show of paintings, drawings, and hybrid-sculptures by Adam Krueger, which was the inaugural exhibition of her gallery project Kin + Gold. In April 2017, she co-curated with Romain Dauriac the group show Singular Object, which was organized in celebration of the future New York City building, 53W53, designed by the renowned architect Jean Nouvel. Exploring the intersection of art and architecture, Singular Object presented works by Jean Baudrillard, Sarah Braman, Isabelle Cornaro, M.C. Escher, Hugh Ferriss, Adam Fowler, Katsumi Hayakawa, Nir Hod, Jenny Holzer, Rachel Lee Hovnanian, Iván Navarro, Francesca Pasquali, Jon Rafman, Evan Robarts, Will Ryman, James Turrell, and Dustin Yellin.

Goldman worked for Jeff Koons from 2011 - 2013 and then again from 2014 - 2017 in sales, auctions, and exhibitions, including Koons’s 2014/15 career retrospective for which she liaised with the Whitney Museum of American Art, Centre Pompidou, and Guggenheim Bilbao.  Other past professional experience includes Paul Kasmin Gallery from 2013-2014, where she worked in sales with such artists as Walton Ford, James Nares, and Les Lalanne.

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Chashama supports artists by giving them space to create and present their work, while fostering community development through the arts. 

Chashama was founded in 1995 in response to the lack of affordable space for emerging artists in New York City. Through partnerships with property owners we re-purpose unused real estate into space for artists. Chashama gives artists work and presentation spaces and provides free art workshops in underserved communities.