Art Basel Online Viewing Room

17 - 26 June 2020

P·P·O·W is pleased to present historical and contemporary works by Anton van Dalen, Kyle Dunn, Aaron Gilbert, Elizabeth Glaessner, Hilary Harkness, Joe Houston, Sanam Khatibi, Judith Linhares, Hew Locke, Guadalupe Maravilla, Carlos Motta, Aurel Schmidt, Robin F. Williams, David Wojnarowicz, and Martin Wong.

  • Aaron Gilbert, Conspirators, 2020

    Aaron Gilbert

    Conspirators, 2020

    In quietly charged, often domestic scenes, Aaron Gilbert unearths complex emotional terrains in the presence of societal crisis. Gilbert’s meticulously worked and reworked compositions are set against a backdrop of American wreckage and unbridled technological acceleration. Distilling meaning and love amid an age of mass incarceration and unchecked surveillance, Gilbert offers us one vision of the world in order to usher in the possibility of new ones. In Conspirators, 2020, Gilbert turns his gaze to essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Surrounded by all-too-familiar brown boxes, two Amazon employees appear to be holding a secret meeting. Catching these men in a private and potentially pivotal moment, Gilbert distills the economic, political, and social implications of the COVID-19 outbreak into a portentous and compassionate image. 

  • Hilary Harkness, Multi-Vortex National Disaster, 2020

    Hilary Harkness

    Multi-Vortex National Disaster, 2020

    Hilary Harkness meticulously renders reimagined histories that comment on sociocultural forces with a distinctly contemporary sensibility. Harkness’s work explores interpersonal dynamics through a lens that allow power struggles inherent in sex, race, and class system to play out on an uncensored stage. In conjunction with her ongoing Arabella Freeman series, which transforms Civil War Era painting into an alternative, multi-narrative story, Harkness has been creating US Issue, a series of miniature paintings atop vintage stamps and currency. Reimagining depictions of historical buildings and figures as burning to the ground, Harkness’s iconoclastic pictures offer a concise and potent rejoinder to prevailing narratives of American history and iconography. After completing her first alteration to a stamp commemorated Andrew Jackson, Hilary contended, “Whenever I hear about ‘the good old days,’ it makes me want to redirect the flames of racism and discrimination that are ravaging black communities today. I want to burn that fucking privileged nostalgic amnesia down to the ground."

    • Hilary Harkness, Dead Man Walking, 2020 US Issue series

      Hilary Harkness, Dead Man Walking, 2020

      US Issue series

    • Hilary Harkness, Backdraft, 2020 US Issue series

      Hilary Harkness, Backdraft, 2020

      US Issue series

    • Hilary Harkness, Plantation Coil, 2020 US Issue series

      Hilary Harkness, Plantation Coil, 2020

      US Issue series

  • Hew Locke, Columbus, Central Park, 2018

    Hew Locke

    Columbus, Central Park, 2018

    Hew Locke explores the languages of colonial and post-colonial power through a body of work which spans installation, photography, and sculpture. Recalling a formative childhood memory of a statue of Queen Victoria taken down in Georgetown, Guyana, Locke has long been fascinated by state-sponsored portraits and statues that seek to bolster national identities. Referring to his ongoing series of embellished photographs as “Impossible Proposals,” Locke’s uses symbolic found objects to create revisionist fetish figures saddled with the weight of history. Columbus, Central Park, 2018, was first presented in Patriots at P·P·O·W, an exhibition that explored the complexity of opinion and perspective surrounding historical landmarks in and around New York City. Crowned with a golden replica of a pre-Colombian figure in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, this work makes specific references to the Columbus’ chronically inaccurate historicization across the Americas. The figure is further adorned with a medal from the brutal and foundational American Indian Wars and the pedestal on which Columbus stands is emblazoned with a Liberty Dollar, a reference to the exclusionary practice of issuing commemorative currency.

  • Hew Locke, Stuyvesant, Stuyvesant Square, 2018

    Hew Locke

    Stuyvesant, Stuyvesant Square, 2018 c-type photograph with mixed media
    72 x 48 ins.
    182.9 x 121.9 cm
  • Carlos Motta, Erasure is the True Virus of a Society, 2020

    Carlos Motta

    Erasure is the True Virus of a Society, 2020

    Working across numerous disciplines, Carlos Motta creates installations, films, photographs and sculptures that investigate political histories from alternative perspectives, proposing counter-narratives that celebrate alterity in gender, sexuality, race and religious practice. His new photographic triptych Erasure is the True Virus of a Society functions as a multi-layered self-portrait wherein the artist is gradually revealed from behind a ceramic death mask. Made in isolation for Artforum’s recent issue grappling with the wide-raging effects of COVID-19, this work allegorizes the complexity of personal and political identities, as well as the need to assert one’s presence within political systems of tactical obfuscation. The central portrait of this new triptych makes this clear by issuing a sadly evergreen maxim: Erasure is the True Virus of a Society.

  • David Wojnarowicz, Untitled (Face in Dirt), 1991/2018

    David Wojnarowicz

    Untitled (Face in Dirt), 1991/2018

    David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) channeled a vast accumulation of raw images, memories, and lived experiences into a powerful visual language that was an undeniable presence in the New York City art scene of the 1970s, 80s, and early 90s. Through his several volumes of fiction, poetry, memoirs, painting, photography, installation, sculpture, film, and performance, Wojnarowicz’s legacy affirms art’s vivifying power in a culture he viewed as alienating and corrosive. One of his last and most well-known works, Untitled (Face in Dirt), was taken just a year before the artist’s death from complications with AIDS in 1992. In it, Wojnarowicz lies in a shallow grave, his face just barely emerging from the dry, crumbling earth. The photo was taken by one of Wojnarowicz’s closest companions and artistic collaborators, Marion Scemama, during their last road trip together to Death Valley. Untitled (Face in Dirt) exemplifies an artistic career based in personal fortitude and defiance in the face of death, transforming his own HIV positive diagnosis and the deaths of many friends, into an honest portrait of mortality at the hands of government corruption, greed, and hate. Wojnarowicz is at once disappearing peacefully into the American landscape and is being violently suffocated by it, exemplifying a voice of protest a corrupt political system that wished to silence both him and the communities for which he stood.

  • Martin Wong, Puerto Rican Day Parade II, 1998

    Martin Wong

    Puerto Rican Day Parade II, 1998

    After having painted New York’s Lower East Side throughout the 1980s, Martin Wong (1946–1999) broadened the scope of work to document specific ethnic communities, as well as his own experience as a person of complex intersectional identities. Puerto Rican Day Parade II, 1998, illustrates the annual summer festival celebrating Puerto Rican immigrants and their contribution to American culture. Self-dubbed the “Human Instamatic”, Wong’s canvases are often documentary in subject and suffused with highly personal subtext. Made concurrently with his final body of work, The Chinatown Paintings, this richly detailed painting dovetailed with Wong’s investigation into Chinese-American culture while simultaneously paying homage to his mentor and friend Miguel Piñero, who passed a decade before this canvas was completed. Piñero was a famous figure in the Lower East Side and a co-founder of the now-legendary Nuyorican Poets Café, where Wong was introduced to many forms of art and culture that figured prominently in his mature work.

    • Martin Wong, Essex Street, 1988
      Martin Wong, Essex Street, 1988
    • Martin Wong, X, 1992
      Martin Wong, X, 1992
  • Guadalupe Maravilla, Disease Thrower #7, 2019

    Guadalupe Maravilla

    Disease Thrower #7, 2019

    Combining histories of pre-colonial Central America, personal mythology, and collaborative rituals, Guadalupe Maravilla traces the multi-layered narrative of displacement in performance, drawing, and mixed-media objects. Grounding his practice in the historical and contemporary contexts of immigrant culture, particularly those belonging to Latinx communities, Maravilla explores how systemic abuse of immigrants manifests in the body, reflecting on his own battle with cancer, which began in his gut. Maravilla’s large-scale sculptures, titled Disease Throwers, function as headdresses, instruments, and shrines through the incorporation of materials collected from sites across Central America, anatomical models, and sonic instruments such as conch shells and gongs. Described by Maravilla as “healing machines”, these Disease Throwers ultimately serve as symbols of renewal, generating therapeutic, vibrational sound.

  • Guadalupe Maravilla, Tripa Chuca 2, 2020

    Guadalupe Maravilla

    Tripa Chuca 2, 2020 Ink and paint on dehydrated tortillas, and mixed media on inkjet print
    framed
    30 x 20 ins.
    76.2 x 50.8 cm
  • Anton van Dalen, N.Y.P.D. New York Order, 1991

    Anton van Dalen

    N.Y.P.D. New York Order, 1991

    Anton van Dalen has pursued a lifelong visual investigation informed by the influences of war, religion, migration, nature, and technological evolution. Growing up in Holland in the 1940s, van Dalen witness firsthand the terrors of both technological and human destruction. Since moving to New York City’s East Village in the early 1970s, van Dalen has been documenting the vibrant diversity of New York City, but also its greed, violence, corruption, and stark inequality. Van Dalen finds his process both political and imaginative, and fervently believes artists have a responsibility to leave the studio for the streets to reflect on issues plaguing society.

    • Anton van Dalen, N.Y.P.D. New York Order, 1991
      Anton van Dalen, N.Y.P.D. New York Order, 1991
    • Anton van Dalen, N.Y.P.D. New York Order, 1991
      Anton van Dalen, N.Y.P.D. New York Order, 1991
    • Anton van Dalen, N.Y.P.D. New York Order, 1991
      Anton van Dalen, N.Y.P.D. New York Order, 1991
  • Robin F. Williams, Stalkers (Study), 2020

    Robin F. Williams

    Stalkers (Study), 2020

    Robin F. Williams juxtaposes a variety of techniques, including oil, airbrush, poured paint, and staining of raw canvas to create deeply textured and complexly constructed paintings. In pastel works on paper bursting color and emotion, Williams creates a universe of stylized women, fusing early modernism, pop culture, and the staged informality of advertising to challenge systemic conventions of representation of women. In Stalkers (Study), 2020, Williams personifies what she called the “feminine shadow”, a reflection of the cultural matrix of demonized female desire, fed by centuries of patriarchal mythology meant to suppress it. These sentient female beings act as windows through which the monstrous prism of phrases such as “she’s totally obsessed with me, bro” emanate. By harnessing this monstrosity, Williams’ phantoms expose the myths that made them.

  • Judith Linhares, Source, 2020

    Judith Linhares

    Source, 2020

    Rooted in the California Bay Area counterculture of the 60s and 70s, Judith Linhares composes dreamlike, folkloric, figurative paintings from confident, abstract brushwork, utilizing broad strokes and brilliant fields of color to gradually develop her subjects. Harnessing both portentous and quotidian symbols, her uniquely irradiant paintings celebrate the female body and communal experience. In her new painting, Source, 2020, Linhares confronts and transforms our understanding of the mythological creature, the Siren. Written by men since antiquity as dangerous female creatures, who lure nearby sailors with their enchanting music and singing voices to shipwreck on the rocky coasts, Linhares’ figures are at peace without a man in sight. These sirens are not looking for lonley sailors to seduce or turn into farm animals. Like deep sea divers looking for the occasional pearl, these women are focused and serene in their solidarity with the salty water and the pleasure of the sun and the sea.

  • Aurel Schmidt, Trash Doll (Rich Banana), 2020

    Aurel Schmidt

    Trash Doll (Rich Banana), 2020

    In her ongoing Trash Doll series, Aurel Schmidtcreates collage-drawings combining hand-drawn elements, found objects, and personal mementos from friends, exes and crushes. These intricately detailed drawings pull together the physical and emotional detritus of downtown NYC, where the artist lives and works. While hairy, dirty, and feral, Schmidt’s dolls are also precious and personal, teeming with a self-conscious intimacy. Using the leftover garbage of downtown nightlife as the building blocks for her subjects, Schmidt’s work reflects on the contemporary New York City social scene and acts as a memento mori—a reminder of our own vulnerability and mortality.

     

    • Aurel Schmidt, Trash Doll (Squirt), 2020
      Aurel Schmidt, Trash Doll (Squirt), 2020
    • Aurel Schmidt, Trash Doll (I <3 the Big Apple)
      Aurel Schmidt, Trash Doll (I <3 the Big Apple)
    • Aurel Schmidt, Trash Doll (Tramp Stamp), 2020
      Aurel Schmidt, Trash Doll (Tramp Stamp), 2020
  • Kyle Dunn, Reading, 2020

    Kyle Dunn

    Reading, 2020

    Drawing upon various artistic traditions such as bas-relief sculpture and trompe l'oeil, Kyle Dunn reveals the vibrancy of the masculine emotional landscape often repressed in popular visual culture. Imbuing his sculptural paintings with liquid eroticism and cinematic drama, Dunn’s bowed, bent, and arching figures, set in deceptive architectural spaces, ache with delicate and sensual desire. Reading, 2020, exemplifies Dunn’s skillful blurring of comedy and tragedy. Dunn’s muscular figure is frozen, wrapped around an unmarked book, in an absurdly contorted pose. The figure’s vanity ultimately betrays him and exposes his true and more desperate desire to be seen reading. In such works, Dunn creates space for men to be seen as self-conscious, embarrassing, desperate, and desirous. 

  • Kyle Dunn, Window, 2020

    Kyle Dunn

    Window, 2020 acrylic on epoxy resin and foam panel
    48 x 54 x 2.5 ins.
    162.6 x 137.2 x 6.4 cm
  • Elizabeth Glaessner, Eating the Moon, 2020

    Elizabeth Glaessner

    Eating the Moon, 2020

    Elizabeth Glaessner creates brightly hued paintings and works on paper that depict a grotesque utopia teeming with life and decay. This universe, which Glaessner has been expanding and repopulating for over a decade, features theatrical and celebratory rituals that blur the line between dreams and nightmares. Using pure pigments dispersed with water and various binders, her saturated and intricately layered scenes champion amorphous and evocative forms, inviting us into a surreal universe populated by androgynous beings, tricksters and changelings. Such figures reflect an unrestricted range of forms in states of ecstasy or hysteria, celebrating the purity of emotional expression that most are too afraid to confront.

    • Elizabeth Glaessner, Professional Mourners, 2020
      Elizabeth Glaessner, Professional Mourners, 2020
    • Elizabeth Glaessner, Satyr Seder, 2020
      Elizabeth Glaessner, Satyr Seder, 2020
  • Sanam Khatibi, Seymour, 2020

    Sanam Khatibi

    Seymour, 2020

    Sanam Khatibi both captivates and repels in her bold interrogation of personal and political power structures within alluring, ambiguous, impartial, and sometimes cruel settings. Reframing allegorical scenes within highly detailed imagined landscapes, Khatibi creates worlds where primal impulses and unrestrained judgement rein. Here nymph-like figures conquer and are conquered in equal measure by the flora and fauna around them, ambiguous in their relationship to power, violence, ritual, sexuality, and each other.

  • Joe Houston, Ruin XIII, 2020

    Joe Houston

    Ruin XIII, 2020

    Joe Houston continues to distill complex social themes into iconographic paintings with his new series focused on fractured male anatomy of Greco-Roman sculpture. Confrontational and ubiquitous, these close-cropped images engage a wide range of historical and contemporary questions related to masculinity and sexuality, religion and censorship, desire and shame.

    • Joe Houston, Ruin I, 2018
      Joe Houston, Ruin I, 2018
    • Joe Houston, Ruin X, 2019
      Joe Houston, Ruin X, 2019