Last Rites Gallery in New York City opened two solo shows — Richard J. Oliver’s “Elements” and Stefano Alcantara’s “Waqayñan,” two concurrent interpretations of a journey — this past Saturday. Oliver’s works, which sprawled across the longest of the gallery’s walls, mark a personal evolution of the artist’s practice, specifically, as a departure away from his former foreboding narrative paintings and closer to the ebullience that has come over him in recent years.
As an artist, Natalie Shau wears multiple hats, so to speak, and this shows in her process. Aside from her personal projects, she has worked in fashion photography and designed artwork for theater productions, the music industry and advertising. Her personal work is similarly interdisciplinary: She makes props and set designs, stages photo shoots and then puts her photos under the (digital) knife, transforming her models from realistic women to warped, surreal vixens. Shau’s latest body of work will debut at Last Rites Gallery in New York City on May 31. Her first solo show with the gallery, “Forgotten Heroines” brings mythological influences into Shau’s vignettes of solitary, tragic protagonists. There is as much Shakespeare in these pieces as there is Marilyn Manson. “Forgotten Heroines” will be on view May 31 through July 5, but before the show opens you can get a first look after the jump.
Last Saturday at Last Rites Gallery in New York City, Menton J. Matthews III — known as menton3 — opened “KATABASIS,” a solo exhibition that journeys through the folds of the psyche, manifesting the artist’s internal struggles through a haunting collection of paintings and drawings. During the intimate talk that the gallery hosted on Friday evening, the Chicago-based artist shared the meditative process behind his practice to a private audience.
Last Rites Gallery recently moved into a new location on W 38th St in New York City, and for their inaugural show in the space, they hosted an exhibition that hearkens back to the gallery’s roots and while acknowledging its evolution. For their current exhibition, “Last Rites,” owner Paul Booth and director Erika Berkowitz asked 40 artists to interpret the gallery’s namesake. Some of the works, like Chris Haas’s haunting bone sculptures and Xiao Qing Ding’s mixed-media work on paper, focus on the physicality of death with their chilling portrayals of decomposition. Other artists like Gerard Di-Maccio and Hannah Yata presented surreal paintings with a much lighter mood, portraying the last rites before death as a sort of induction into another realm, or even a glorious rebirth. Take a look at the work in the show and some opening night photos by Paola Duran.
While not everyone regularly submits themselves to tarot readings, the symbols of The Major Arcana served as the basis for New York-based Last Rites Gallery’s current show, “Tarot Under Oath,” an exhibition dynamic enough to inspire even the skeptics. Guest curator Aunia Kahn, who has released several tarot-inspired exhibitions and projects, invited the artists to reimagine the tarot card symbols. Kahn herself got The High Priestess, while Jeremy Hush interpreted The Chariot, J.A.W. Cooper’s theme was Strength, Tom Bagshaw got the Ancient Babylonian Goddess of Love and War, Ishtar, and Ransom & Mitchell titled their work Temperance. The exhibition is on view through March 1. Take a look at the artworks in the show after the jump.
As the tides turn and more people adopt tablets to consume their reading materials, guest curator Michael Mararian envisioned the current show at Last Rites Gallery in New York, “Bound Requiem,” as an examination of the current identity crisis of the printed page. The extensive line-up of artists in the show — including Naoto Hattori, Sas and Colin Christian, Lola, Luke Chueh, Elizabeth Winnel and many more — was invited to create works using books as a starting point. While some painted directly on book covers, others used pages for collage material. All in all, the show included as wide a range of technical approaches as it did attitudes. Some artists lamented the book’s demise while others looked hopefully into the future.