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Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, California, USA
June 1, 2019 – December 15, 2019
Palm Springs Art Museum presents Brave New Worlds: Explorations of Space. Curated by Mara Gladstone, Associate Curator, the exhibition features five women artists, Kelly Akashi, Gisela Colon, Victoria Fu, Karen Lofgren, and Adee Roberson, who work sculpturally to represent their unique understandings of the body’s connection to the external world.
Brave New Worlds occupies a series of galleries each devoted to a single artist which taken together create distinct yet interlinked aesthetic experience. This exhibition presents works that expand our understanding of how bodies can occupy space, and how that space can enrich the body with new energies. The museum invites the public to trace their own movements alongside these sculptures.
“Working in light-filled studios from San Diego to Inglewood and Duarte, Fu, Akashi, Colon, Roberson, and Lofgren come from a range of backgrounds, but all are acutely aware of art history, and all find rich possibilities through experimentation and self-teaching. They share a commitment to sculptural practice and to working with a range of media in order to create moments of reflection and interaction with their audiences. This approach, while also drawing from their own experiences as sources of inspiration and sites for creation, is truly representative of artistic practice today, and is what this exhibition seeks to capture,” says curator Mara Gladstone.
Kelly Akashi composes installations using glass, metal, and wood with surprising contrasts that emphasize the visual magic of natural forms. Recalling centuries-old cabinets of curiosity, her installation of handmade metal branches, oak shelves, glass objects, and photograms encourages viewers to consider different ways of seeing and feeling.
Gisela Colon has developed a vocabulary of organic minimalism, breathing lifelike and light-filled qualities into reductive forms. This exhibition presents two monumental monoliths, each standing 12–15 feet tall, as well as several iridescent wall works, all made using industrial processes. Colon’s forms embrace duality, and are both hard and soft, primitive and futuristic, phallic and feminine.
Victoria Fu uses film and video to create colorfully textured installations that expand the narrowness of contemporary vision into physical space. The immersive and lyrical video installations on view in this exhibition are made by collaging together analog and digital imagery to emphasize the tactile relationship between screens and bodies.
Karen Lofgren’s sculptures represent human relationships within cultural systems, medicine and wellness, and nature. In this exhibition, Lofgren presents an installation of works that reference the human body and extend, limb-like, from floor to ceiling, or ooze from the gallery’s walls.
Adee Roberson’s neon paintings and videos are markings of past and present events, expanded into space. Visitors are invited to sit, reflect, and feel the vibrations of color and ambient sounds emerging from her work, which visually and emotionally fill space while drawing from Afro-Caribbean aesthetics.
Motivated by the legacies of Southern California as a place of artistic experimentation, a site for selffulfillment, and a geographic zone of light and natural resources, these artists use their distinctive spatial languages to construct sculptural worlds through dialogues on material, process, and form. Featuring new works in a wide range of media, each also approaches three-dimensional space with a bold antimonumentality that presses against the modernist and predominantly masculine art histories that have established our understanding of 20th- and 21st-century abstraction.