Hales Online Viewing Room | Frieze Art Fair
Virginia Jaramillo, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Gladys Nilsson, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Maja Ruznic, Omar Ba, Sebastiaan Bremer
8 - 15 May 2020
Hales is delighted to present works by Virginia Jaramillo, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Gladys Nilsson, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Maja Ruznic, Omar Ba and Sebastiaan Bremer for Frieze New York’s 2020 Online Viewing Room. Bringing together historic and contemporary works, these artists draw on overarching themes of identity, politics, mythology and antiquity in aesthetic expressions of the human condition. Through powerful use of material, concept and colour these works range in subject and form. Reflecting the vision of the gallery’s roster and programme, these seven distinguished artists have exhibited globally, receiving much critical acclaim.
Virginia Jaramillo (b. 1939 El Paso, TX, USA) has forged a distinctive voice, experimenting with material and process to pursue her ongoing explorations of human perceptions of reality. These selected works, painted in the 1970s, are exemplary of the artist’s early use of Earth pigments and watermarking processes. This body of work sees a break from her previous endeavour to create smooth and pristine surfaces. Instead, thin washes of paint are applied, developing a process of embedding colour into the canvas, echoing the use of different materials Jaramillo began experimenting with in 1979. Jaramillo’s work has been included in recent blockbuster touring exhibitions We Wanted A Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85 and Tate’s Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, which will open at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX in 2020. Later this year Jaramillo will have a solo exhibition at the Menil Collection, TX, USA.
Trenton Doyle Hancock (b. 1974 Oklahoma City, OK, USA) has through painting, sculpture, video, installation and drawing, created a mythological world, one in which an ongoing epic battle rages between good and evil. These drawings are a continuation of Hancock’s ongoing grand saga portraying the birth, death, afterlife and dream-like states of a range of characters. Often Hancock will portray a version of himself in his drawings, placing himself in a comic, fantastical world. While simultaneously contemplating how we build and share faith, mythology, information, and community, Hancock’s narratives can be our memories, or minds, and, most importantly, our collective understanding. Hancock has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA; the Menil Collection, Houston, TX and Locust Projects, Miami FL, USA in 2019.
Gladys Nilsson (b. 1940 Chicago, IL, USA) first came to prominence as a member of the Hairy Who – a group of graduates from the Art Institute of Chicago - who amassed a cult following through a series of innovative exhibitions in the late 1960s. Nilsson’s work is masterfully executed in vibrant watercolour, characterised by densely constructed compositions. In these historic works, Nilsson’s unruly fantasy world is alive with energy, in which playful figures are full of humour. Gladys Nilsson has recently been included in exhibitions: Hairy Who? (Art Institute Chicago, IL, USA), Outliers and American Vanguard Art (National Gallery of Art, D.C., USA, toured to: High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA, USA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA, USA) and How Chicago! Imagists 1960s & 70s (Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, University of London, London, UK, toured to: De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill On Sea, East Sussex, UK).
Rotimi Fani-Kayode’s (b. 1955 Lagos, Nigeria – d. 1989 London, UK) black and white photographs from the 1980s present an intimate look at his subjects, primarily black men, whose postures and interactions with objects play between the hidden and the visible. Exploring themes of race, sexuality, spirituality and the self, the photographs are infused with a powerful subjectivity that distinguishes them from the sensationalist images of many of his predecessors and contemporaries. This year his work was featured in the major exhibition, Masculinities: Liberation through Photography, at the Barbican Centre, London, UK. In 2019, Fani-Kayode’s work was included in group exhibitions, Artist and Society: Intimacy, Activism and AIDS, Tate Modern, UK; Walkthrough British Art: Sixty Years, Tate Britain, UK; Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now, Guggenheim Museum, USA.
Maja Ruznic (b. 1983 Bosnia & Hercegovina) is predominantly a painter, drawing on personal and collective memories to create works that deeply connect with human psyche. Ruznic deftly weaves themes of trauma and suffering with mythology and healing, softening the darker subject matter in her work. Playing with ambiguity, her paintings lie on the threshold of form, which Ruznic compares to a thought or a feeling that precedes language. There is a timelessness that permeates the paintings, tracing journeys and rituals, histories and secrets. Nostalgic and empathetic, the works ultimately speak of human experience.Ruznic’s works were recently featured in The Moon Seemed Lost, at Hales New York and will be the subject of a debut solo exhibition at Hales London later this year. In 2019, Dallas Museum of Art, TX, USA and The US Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina acquired her work for their collections.
Omar Ba (b. 1977 Senegal) lives and works in both Dakar, Senegal and Geneva, Switzerland. Drawing on past memories and present experiences of both cultures to create works both deeply personal and politically resonant; works that, he suggests, tell the stories and weave a thread between African and European culture. His paintings fuse figurative and decorative modes, combining a masterful use of oil, gouache and crayon and delicately applied china ink with rough, readymade surfaces such as corrugated cardboard. In 2019, Ba was the subject of a comprehensive solo exhibition, Same Dream, which toured Canada to the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto and Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal.
Sebastiaan Bremer (b. 1970 Amsterdam, the Netherlands) delves into personal memories and cultural histories, registering thoughts and feelings in order to engage with universal concerns about family, the fragility of life, and time passing. These selected works, covered in Bremer’s signature meticulously applied dots, are from Bremer’s ongoing Bloemen series. Flowers, a symbol of Dutch identity, are taken directly from a 1948 book Bloemen, produced in the Netherlands as part of an effort to rebuild the nation’s spirit after the turbulent war years. For Bremer, the Bloemen works are full of hope and melancholia at the same time, as they exemplify the universal appeal and timelessness of flowers while also bringing back personal memories of home. Bremer has been included in numerous exhibitions, including a mid-career retrospective at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts at TCU in 2016.