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Large Diagram of A Work-Life Balance, 2023, Woodblock prints on archival paper, Japanese r

SNOWDROPS 

KATSUYO AOKI, SERWAN BARAN, DEBRA CARTWRIGHT, YASHUA KLOS, EDEN AUERBACH OFRAT, KAZUMI TANAKA

MARCH 13 – APRIL 27, 2024

Snowdrops is a multidisciplinary exhibition highlighting the work of six contemporary artists dealing with themes of remembrance, resilience, and renewal. 

 

Extract of snowdrop flowers has been used since ancient times to counteract memory loss and traumatic injuries to the nervous system. The plant’s poisonous bulbs procreate underground and bloom, through frost, in late winter. According to a Greek myth, Persephone, the goddess of spring and nature, was forced by her uncle Hades to inhabit the underworld for the fall and winter months, while nature withered, mourning her absence. Each spring she returned to Earth, bringing snowdrops with her. The exhibition is a meditation on death, growth, and transformation. 

Large Diagram of A Work-Life Balance, 2023, Woodblock prints on archival paper, Japanese r

Yashua Klos

Large Diagram of A Work/Life Balance, 2023

Woodblock prints on archival paper, Japanese rice paper, muslin, acrylic, spray paint, colored pencil, and wood on unstretched canvas, 61 x 104"

Yashua Klos’ intricately crafted assemblages of woodblock prints represent African-Americans’ relationship to labor. The
large-scale mixed-media work in this exhibition references Art-Deco facades of early-20th century Detroit – home to generations of Black autoworkers. A woman’s hand, entwined with a flowering vine, breaks through the barrier.

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Kazumi Tanaka sculpts miniature musical instruments from animal skulls, and draws with tea and inks handmade of wildflowers. The drawings in the exhibition focus on Kiku, a flower known in Japan for its medicinal properties and given as an offering to the deceased. Feelings of loss of ancestral and childhood memories give way to new connections with nature.

Kazumi Tanaka

She Shall Mandolin, 2016

Channeled whelk shell, wood, metal string, mother of pearl, old piano key, brass, 11.5 x 4 x 3"

I felt the existence of living creatures so close - their lives and deaths are very much near us... For some reason, the process helped me heal from some of the difficulties I encountered as if [the instruments] carry the healing power somehow. Perhaps their message can be picked up when we are open to listening within the silence.
–– Kazumi Tanaka

Kazumi Tanaka

Kiku #2, 2023

Blueberry tea, Highland green tea, coffee, 10 x 10"

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Kazumi Tanaka

Kiku #5, 2023

PG tips tea, 10 x 10"

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Kazumi Tanaka

Kiku #4, 2023

Rooibos tea, 10 x 10"

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Kazumi Tanaka

Kiku #3, 2023

English breakfast tea, 10 x 10"

Katsuyo Aoki is best known for her intricately formed and complex ceramic skulls. Working almost exclusively in white porcelain, Aoki evokes a feeling of spiritual tranquility and awe. Her labrynthine objects are hand-sculpted in bone-white porcelain whose bright simplicity underwrites the works' complex, bourgeoning details.

Katsuyo Aoki

Predictive Dream LVI, 2018

Porcelian, 12 x 12 x 16"

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Serwan Baran

Locusts II 2021

Acrylic on canvas, 57 x 45"

Serwan Baran’s paintings center on the turbulent history of his native Iraq, often referencing his experiences serving in the military. He depicts the camaraderie of his fellow soldiers using a palette drawn from the landscape, mythology and visual culture of ancient Babylon which stood in stark contrast to modern Iraq’s decades of instability and warfare. 

Eden Auerbach Ofrat

Project Melissa (clip), 2022

Video projection, 04:26 Minutes

In Eden Auerbach Ofrat’s video trilogy, the artist-priestess completes a nocturnal voyage to the place where the moon surrenders to the sun. She constructs a flying machine from skeletons of bulls (symbols of masculine aggression). When their ribs turn into mechanical wings, thousands of bees (messengers of the gods) are released. The sacrifice begets ascension of the spirit. 

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Debra Cartwright’s recent practice is based on research into the abhorrent practices of the “father” of American gynecology, J. Marion Sims, who performed experimental surgeries on enslaved Black women. Transcending violence and theft of selfhood, Cartwright’s paintings create space for re-embodiment, myth creation, and intimacy. 

Debra Cartwright

Untethered, 2022

Oil on Canvas, 48 x 48"

About the artists:

Katsuyo Aoki (b. 1972, Tokyo; lives and works in Tokyo) studied ceramics and painting at Tama Art University in Tokyo. She has exhibited in numerous museums, including the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her work is featured in many museum collections, including those of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Toledo Museum of Art, and the RISD Museum. 

 

Serwan Baran (b. Baghdad, 1968; lives and works in Beirut) studied at the University of Babylon in Hillah, Iraq. He represented Iraq at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019, and has participated in numerous international solo and group exhibitions. Baran’s works are in many public and private collections.

 

Debra Cartwright (b. 1988, Annapolis; lives and works in New York City) studied at Rutgers University, Parsons School of Design, and University of Virginia. She has received a number of awards and participated in several institutional exhibitions. Her work is in the collection of Raclin Murphy Museum at Notre Dame University.

 

Yashua Klos (b. 1977, Chicago; lives and works in New York City) studied at Northern Illinois University and Hunter College. He has had solo shows at the Wellin Museum of Art and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, and took part in group exhibitions at the Frist Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, among others. His work is in the collections of Seattle Art Museum, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Wellin.

 

Eden Auerbach Ofrat (b. 1979, Jerusalem; lives and works in Jerusalem) studied at Bezalel School of the Arts and Goldsmiths College. She has participated in numerous museum exhibitions, and her video and installation works are in the collection of the Israel Museum and private collections worldwide.

 

Kazumi Tanaka (b. 1962, Osaka; lives and works in Beacon) studied at Osaka University of Arts and the New York Studio School. She has had solo shows at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, and the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. In 2019, she participated in the Venice Biennale.

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