Portland, Oregon-based artist Kate MacDowell (first featured in HF Vol. 15) will present a new series of ceramic sculptures at Miami’s Mindy Solomon Gallery on April 10. A reflection on the toll human activity has taken on the environment, her solo show “Completely Exposed” features porcelain sculptures of various species. “My newest work explores our physical and psychological relationships to the animal kingdom,” MacDowell writes. “Whether as proxy, trophy, raw material, or mythic symbol, animals currently occupy a space in our subconscious which layers history, fable, and an awareness of species fragility.” With species going extinct at alarming rates over the past 40 years, “Completely Exposed” is a timely and urgent rumination on the state of our planet.
Chris Mars’s paintings engross viewers in a dark and macabre world where exaggerated humanoid characters of different colors and sizes find themselves in a dark inferno. Mars’s painting style has a sculptural quality to it. The forms he paints appear so convincingly 3D, it’s easy to suspend disbelief and immerse oneself in the scenes he depicts. On March 21, Copro Gallery will debut “Chris Mars & Friends,” which features a selection of Mars’s new paintings as well as work by Dan Quintana, Dan May, menton3, and Erik Alos. Based on disturbing events Mars witnessed while visiting a relative at a mental hospital, his new work explores the dark crevices of the mind, approaching this classic horror trope with sensitivity and nuance.
As of 2014, Contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei (previously covered here) remains under restrictions of movement- but he continues to criticize the Chinese regime through his art. Opening tomorrow, the Faurschou Foundation Copenhagen in Denmark will showcase some of his most notable pieces to date, including new sculptures, with “Ruptures.” The exhibition is named for the rupture in Weiwei’s career by the Chinese government, while showcasing the staying power of his work.
Artist and illustrator Ty Derk’s work has roots in fantasy illustration, but his personal projects stray far from the conventions of the genre. Monochromatic and set against clean, white backgrounds, Derk’s drawings present viewers with scientific sketches of alien specimens. Marine life fuses with elements of the human anatomy and even architecture. His creatures are armed with barbs, pincers, and armor-like exoskeletons — definitely not something we’d want to approach in the wild.
Margarita Sampson turns ordinary furniture into alluring fabric sculptures made up of organic shapes and sumptuous textures. Inspired by the scenery of her native Norfolk Island, a small island near Australia, Sampson is interested in the ways that invasive plant species can take over a landscape. For her Salon series, she turned antique chairs into growth sites for forms that resemble expanding coral reefs, barnacles, and sea anemones. “The recent ‘Salon’ series pitches overweening growths onto a host chair, which begins to succumb or bend under the weight,” writes Sampson. “Poised at a juncture, there are many scenarios that could evolve… the chair is buried in soft forms? They outgrow themselves and die out? They take over an entire room? You? That’s the excitement and the tension I seek when working on a piece.”
After closing his former gallery, Mighty Tanaka, last year, curator Alex Emmart is preparing to embark on his next endeavor. He has now partnered with One Art Space in Manhattan and has his first curated group show there opening on March 20. Titled “Forces of Nature,” the exhibition celebrates contemporary figurative painting, with work ranging from the classically-inspired to the occult and surreal. Martin Wittfooth (the cover artist of our forthcoming issue, HF Vol. 35), Hannah Faith Yata, David Molesky, and Jean Paul Mallozzi are just a few of the many artists in the show. Check out our preview below.