Festival of Political Pleasure
curated by Carol Bruns
Against a social-political background of global war against the people and the planet, and a cultural background of industrial scale art production, this exhibition is an exuberant festival, a conceptual shift, a seed bank of values such as human scale, humor, spontaneity, sensual use of materials, intuition—-creating a sense of hospitality and a utopian aesthetic. It puts these values back into play combining art works both figurative and abstract without false division or the idea that art history is a linear progress—it shows that differences are a resource, not a contest. Here, the art is setting up a situation in opposition to the global destruction going on around us, and implies a way to live now.
Mike Ballou (b. 1952), known for his multi-faceted activities, is showing sculptures made from terra cotta colored mud which are sometimes abstract while others suggest parts of the body. His recent exhibitions include Pierogi in 2016 and the Brooklyn Museum in 2013.
Nadine Beauharnois (b. 1986) makes sculptures that examine the nature of human experience as a combination of the awkward, painful, and humorous. On the imperfect, makeshift quality of some of her work, Nadine says: “These are humble objects. They sag and bend. Some may appear to be injured or have parts missing. I hope to create a sense of unsettled humor by incorporating elements suggestive of the body like nondescript appendages or eye or tongue-like shapes.”
Robin Bruch (b. 1948) first showed at the Bykert Gallery in 1971, and most recently at Matthew, New York in 2017. She is known for a radiant use of color and spontaneously wrought compositions which frequently contrast flatness with spatial depth.
Peter Williams (b. 1952) This group of portraits is a review of the various colors of negritude, race, class and fortitude. Its the ideal of an art that represents real people in all their diversity. It is the diversity that makes each ethnicity a beautiful individual. Within the construction race we fail to remember we are all brothers and sisters to each other regardless of distinctions. Welcome to my world of beautiful people.
Curator Carol Bruns (b. 1943) first exhibited at OK Harris Gallery in 1975, and most recently at the Parlour Bushwick in 2015. Influenced by primitive art and expressionism, her sculpture delves into the unconscious for primal roots, and the work takes form with papers, styrofoam, gesso, steel, and paints.