Brian Buckley, Rachel Frank, Oskar Landi, Alexis Rockman, Sasha Vinci
Curated by Sarah Corona
June 8, 2021 – August 27, 2021
Project ARTSpace: 99 Madison Ave New York, NY 10016
This we know. All things are connected, like the blood which unites one family… Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. – Chief Seattle
Art and ecology have been feeding each other for a very long time. Especially since the 1960s, the artistic practice that centered ecology and environment found its way in the modern discourse. This exhibition strives to follow the footsteps of artists and thinkers who long meditated on the connections between humans and their planet, between art and ecology, with 5 artists whose artworks deal with current ecological issues.
The artists in this exhibition, Sasha Vinci, Oskar Landi, Rachel Frank, Brian Buckley, and Alexis Rockman, offer via their creative processes a coherent, internally connected new ecological relationship between humankind and nature. As Murray Bookchin once noted, exploitation of nature usually arises from unjust social frameworks. Considering this nurturing relationship of social and ecological structures, these artists propose a new cultural way of being human as well, focusing on co-existence, sustainability, and healing. Visions of the future and the ecological and environmental problems of today are two themes that had to meet each other.
The works in this exhibition aim to open a window to the environmental crisis and spark up discourse about our current ecological issues, such as climate change, interspecies codependency, and pollution. As a visual marker, this exhibition visually adopts the “green,” ecologically conscious way of living by including works of art that physically follow this visual harmony.
Italian artist Sasha Vinci uses different creative languages to investigate humanity’s future, and emphasizes the bigger picture of human existence that slowly but steadily demolishes the Earth. Vinci’s drawings create an open space between order and chaos that enables to visualize a new existential condition for all the species that inhabit this planet. Growing up near the birthplace of American paleontology, where large fossils were found and changed American history forever, artist Rachel Frank draws inspiration for her sculpture practice from natural history, climate change, and non-human species. Oskar Landi’s work examines mankind’s relationship with the environment through experiential approaches both in the studio and in the field. Landi’s 2016 project at the root of his works in this exhibition, has evolved into a collaboration with NASA on a remote sensing study of microplastic pollution. The Voyage of Acceptance was a net tow apparatus deployed in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard to collect anthropogenic debris particles. Brian Buckley uses light to create his artwork, taking cyanotypes one step further and challenging the process. Buckley’s inspiration, the deep sea and its mysteries, is manifested in his art as octopuses, the extremely intelligent species with a sense of self, long-term memory, and very little information about. Finally, the celebrated New York artist Alexis Rockman, who has been merging science and history with his art for over three decades, reveals the conflicting relationship of nature and civilization with a fascinatingly ominous visual language. In his images, hints of humankind, who interfere and pollute, meet the serenity, or defensiveness, of the mysterious, untouched waters of our oceans.
Works will be for sale. For more info, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With special thanks to Sperone Westwater Gallery and ClampArt.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Sasha Vinci lives and works in Sicily, Italy. His art focuses on the continuous experimentations with different creative languages (from performance to sculpture, from sound design to writing and painting) and investigates the most problematic aspects of being in the world. The work of Sasha Vinci has been shown in many national and international exhibitions, and has been published in journals and magazines such as Hi-Fructose, Flash Art, and Artribune. http://www.sashavinci.it/
Rachel Frank grew up near Big Bone Lick, Kentucky, the birthplace of American paleontology, where large mammoth and other megafauna fossils were found, altering Western views on extinction and evolution. Her work uses sculpture, video, and performance to explore our relationships and shifting perspectives towards natural history, climate change, and non-human species. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. https://rachelfrank.com/
Oskar Landi was born and raised in Italy. He moved to New York in 1998 where he attended the International Center of Photography and studied cinematography at New York University while working as a photo assistant for legendary photographer Mary Ellen Mark. His work is informed by the environmental challenges of our time and our relationship with nature. https://oskarlandi.com/
Brian Buckley makes photograms: images produced by placing an object on a chemically treated sheet of paper and exposing it to light. A record of various mixed shadows and light remain. After his first solo exhibition of unique cyanotypes, Ghost Ship at ClampArt in 2017, the artist wanted to challenge the cyanotype process. Buckley finds inspiration underwater, especially in octopuses as a species, and how little is known about them. https://www.brianbuckleyphoto.com/
Alexis Rockman has blended science with informed speculation to deliver a prescient for over thirty-five years and, at times, an apocalyptic vision of the ecological state of the planet. Relying on scientific, as well as historic content, Rockman continues his vision of the collision between civilization and nature for these new works on paper. Focusing on the world’s waterways as subject matter, Rockman explores all the ways in which bodies of water have not only transported people and materials, but also helped to proliferate the spread of language, culture, art, flora and fauna, religion and disease. http://alexisrockman.net/
Image: Alexis Rockman, Hong Kong, 2020. Watercolor and acrylic on paper. 18 x 24 inches. Courtesy of Sperone Westwater Gallery.
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