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Reception: April 19th, 5-8pm

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DOCUMENT is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Greg Stimac in gallery 2. The exhibit opens on Friday, April 19th with a reception from 5-8pm and continues through June 1st, 2019.

“In Amulet, Greg Stimac presents a new body of photographic prints alongside his series of sculptures made from rifle-stocks. The imagery depicted in the new photographs—which recall Rorschach tests—reference the earth’s masses of land and bodies of water, and represent a kind of experimental cartography. In both the photographs and sculptures, Stimac creates, with simple moves applied to familiar subjects, something surprising and unfamiliar. Amulet offers a particular chance to reflect on the intimate proximity of processes that are typically experienced as foreign to one another. Namely: mundane, everyday thinking and wonder and imagination. In Stimac’s hands, rifle-stocks and landmasses—icons of purely material, modern existence—take on the semblance of something whose nature lies instead in imaginative reflection. 

 
Upon viewing the work: you look, and you find something…and you also find something else, something more. Here, the gun is always at the same time a body; and the landmass, a monster. An elemental creature, a whimsical silhouette, a haunting mask, an erotic organ—for Stimac, these can all be names for the same thing.” Scott Cowan

Erin Jane Nelson

Erin Jane Nelson (b. 1989, Neenah, WI; lives and works in Atlanta, GA) has had solo shows at Document Gallery, Chicago (2015, 2017) and Hester, New York (2015) and was included in ATLBNL: The Atlanta Biennial at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (2016) among numerous group exhibitions at Downs & Ross, New York (2017), Honor Fraser, Los Angeles (2016), Galerie Division, Montreal (2016), and Ellis King, Dublin (2015). Her work is currently included in group exhibitions at The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich and will be in a forthcoming solo exhibition at Atlanta Contemporary Art Center in 2019. She is co-director at Species, an artist-run gallery in Atlanta, and a curatorial assistant at the High Museum of Art in both the Photography and Folk art departments.

Erin Jane Nelson Slurp, 2018, Resin, pigment, shells, and pigment prints on glazed stoneware, 21h x 21 1/2w x 1 5/8d in

Erin Jane Nelson, Silt sieve, 2018, Resin, pigment, shells, and pigment prints on glazed stoneware, 19h x 21 1/2w x 1 5/8d in

Erin Jane Nelson, Badderlocks, 2018, Resin, pigment, shells, and pigment prints on glazed stoneware, 18 1/2h x 13w x 1 5/8d in

Erin Jane Nelson, Chauvin Garden, 2018, Resin, pigment, shells, and pigment prints on glazed earthenware, 18 1/2h x 15 3/4w x 2d in

Erin Jane Nelson, Ebos Landing, 2018, Resin, shells, and pigment prints on glazed earthenware, 11 1/2h x 13 1/2w x 1 3/4d in

Erin Jane Nelson, Fort Frederica, 2017, Resin, shells, enamel pin, pigment, and pigment print on glazed earthenware, 18h x 13 1/2w x 2 3/4d in

Erin Jane Nelson, Frenier, 2017, Resin, pine cone, glass, and pigment print on glazed earthenware, 10 3/4h x 11 3/4w x 3d in

Erin Jane Nelson, Isle de Jean Charles, 2018, Resin, pigment, and pigment prints on glazed earthenware, 17h x 12w x 3 1/2d in

Erin Jane Nelson, Jekyll, 2017, Resin, pigment, and pigment print on glazed earthenware, 21h x 15w x 3 1/4d in

Erin Jane Nelson, Kill Devil Hills, 2018, Resin, sea star, and pigment prints on glazed earthenware, 15 1/2h x 11w x 2 3/4d in

Erin Jane Nelson, Manchac, 2018, Resin, pigment, and pigment prints on glazed earthenware, 13 3/4h x 15 3/4w x 2d in

Erin Jane Nelson, Ocracoke, 2017, Resin, pigment, sand, and pigment print on glazed earthenware, 17h x 14 1/2w x 2 1/2d in

Erin Jane Nelson, Whispering River, 2017, Resin, feather, and pigment prints on glazed, earthenware, 18h x 12 1/2w x 1 1/2d in

Barnumbiir thru the Wavelight, 2017, Pigment print on Jacquard Cotton, ink, and various fabrics, 46h x 44w in

Her Deepness Freyja, 2017 Pigment print on Jacquard Organza and Cotton, various fabrics, moss, cellophane, aluminum, and styrofoam amaranth, 50h x 58w in

Epona Jane, 2017, Pigment print on Jacquard Organza and Cotton, ink, and various fabrics, 64h x 38w in

SeaPersephone, 2017 Pigment print on Jacquard Organza and Cotton, various fabrics, aluminum, plastic wheat, and styrofoam amaranth, 65h x 55w in

Monsieur Xolotl, 2017, Pigment print on Jacquard Cotton, silk flowers, and various fabrics, 35h x 35w in

Jizo Feeler, 2017, Pigment print on Jacquard Organza and Cotton, various fabrics, aluminum, debris, and styrofoam amaranth, 88h x 75w in

Psychopompopolis (w/Jason Benson), 2017, Woven LED chandelier, digital audio, polyester rug, pigment on cotton, recycled foam and polyester batting

Raccoona Charon, 2017, Pigment print on Jacquard Organza and Cotton, 115h x 240w in

Stop Pollution, Eat Garbage, Inkjet on cotton, plastic, embroidered patch, grommets, Sudafed, cotton batting, and silk ribbon, 50 x 29 in, 2015

Monk Behind Bars, Inkjet on cotton, cotton, embroidered patches, wool batting, silk ribbon, garden lining fabric, grommets, 70 x 60 in, 2015

Poto ElleBelle, Silver Gelatin Print in Artist Frame, 20 x 16 in, 2014

Poto Lovevol, Silver Gelatin Print in Artist Frame, 20 x 16 in, 2014

Poto Glosh, Silver Gelatin Print in Artist Frame, 20 x 16 in, 2014

 

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Paul Mpagi Sepuya Mines the Queer
History of the Portrait Studio

What are the conditions for making portrait photography? These days, if you’ve got a phone and a face, you’re all set. Historically, though, taking a portrait meant having a studio. For much of the nineteenth century, the length of a camera’s exposure required sitters to hold their poses for as long as a minute; if they moved, they’d be rendered as a blur. The earliest known portrait (also the first selfie and the first scene staged for the camera) was made in 1840, by Hippolyte Bayard, a Parisian pioneer of the medium, whose rival was Louis Daguerre. Bayard posed as a corpse, in part because the process that he had invented entailed keeping still for twelve minutes. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, he spent the rest of his life shooting buildings.) Daguerreotypes, on the other hand, became wildly popular, and studios proliferated all over the world, from France to Liberia, where Augustus Washington, who was born a free man in New Jersey to a formerly enslaved man and an Asian woman, opened one, in 1853. By the mid-twentieth century, a portrait could be shot in a flash anywhere, but the private realm of the studio retained its allure.

“Model Study (0X5A3973),” 2018.

 

“Darkcloth (_2000142),” 2016.

The historical intimacies of the portrait studio and the agency of a black man behind the camera are among the subjects of the impressive pictures in Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s new show, “The Conditions,” at Team Gallery, through April 13th. The series continues an exploration that the thirty-six-year-old photographer, who is based in L.A., began as an undergrad at N.Y.U., from which he graduated in 2004. His subjects are typically lovely queer men—himself included—who pose alone or together, naked or clothed, in puzzle-like compositions, accompanied by such photo-studio staples as clamps, tripods, and lenses. Black and brown velvet backdrops are draped behind bodies, their lush expanses playing off—and standing in for—dark skin, although the bodies that Sepuya eyes are neither exclusively black nor always male. Mirrors and sliced segments of printed photos are incorporated into the pictures, heightening their visual complexity. Sometimes portions of the figures are cropped out of the frame, leaving hands and arms center stage, unencumbered by bodies. The results can appear so kaleidoscopic that it’s hard to believe that they’re not collages.

All of this fragmentation serves a conceptual purpose and also a compositional one, underscoring the marginalized position that L.G.B.T.Q. figures have occupied for most of art history. Sepuya’s frankly queer eye also unlocks a hidden history of the studio as a safe space for free expression. The social stigma of gay desire in the age before Stonewall may be unimaginable now, but, not so long ago, pictures like “Drop Scene (0X5A8165)”—in which the artist steadies his camera against another man’s naked haunch—were distributed surreptitiously. The modernist fashion photographer George Platt Lynes believed that his most important contribution to art was his male nudes, but they were also a secret that he kept until his death, in 1955. In an interview last year, Sepuya spoke of his interest in “queer modernism” like Lynes’s and said that he hoped that his own work would lead viewers “to think about the structures of photography, portraiture, and of queer sociality in new ways.”

“A Portrait (0X5A6109),” 2017.

 

“A Portrait (0X5A2258),” 2017.

 

What is perhaps the most tender portrait in “The Conditions” is one of the simplest. A beautiful young man is seated, with a dancer’s grace, in front of a black backdrop, in a white shirt and a black skirt, unless it is simply the backdrop behind him wound chicly around his waist. The fabrics merge too seamlessly to discern. The figure, who has pale skin and a curly mop of black hair, coupled with holes in his socks, suggests an urchin straight out of Caravaggio. Like all of Sepuya’s increasingly sophisticated work, the reference unites ideas of identity and mechanics. The Italian painter was not only a master of the homoerotic but an artist whose studio tools likely included a mirror, a lens, and dark fabric—the conditions of a camera obscura.

“Studio (_1000021),” 2018.

 

“A Portrait (0X5A8325),” 2018.

 
Andrea K. Scott is the art editor of Goings On About Town and has profiled the artists Cory Arcangel and Sarah Sze for the magazine.

 


Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s “Darkroom Mirror” (2017) in his show “The Conditions” at Team Gallery.

New York Art Galleries: What to See Right Now

March 28the, 2019| by Martha Schwendener

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Through April 13. Team Gallery, 83 Grand Street, Manhattan; 212-279-9219, teamgal.com

Paul Mpagi Sepuya is experiencing a flush of success right now, and his new show — “The Conditions,” at Team Gallery — demonstrates that it is well deserved. His work appears on the cover of Artforum’s March issue and will be included in the 2019 Whitney Biennial . Mr. Sepuya is not an overnight sensation, however; over a decade of working, exhibiting and returning to art school to study with the great photographer Catherine Opie at the University of California, Los Angeles helped him to arrive at a distinctive and timely amalgam of portraiture and conceptual photography.

Mr. Sepuya’s photographs are like visual puzzles. He appears in many of them, but in fragmented form and usually with a camera in hand. Some of the works show multiple hands holding cameras, suggesting that authorship is always some sort of collaboration. Pushing that out further, you, the viewer are reflected against the dark backdrops in the picture and if you photograph Mr. Sepuya’s works (as I of course did), your hand and camera end up nestled surprisingly amid the gesturing fingers of him and his subjects.

“The Conditions” could refer to lighting, studio setups, or social conditions. Mr. Sepuya’s photographs have often been categorized as “queer” (that is, within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender cosmos), but they feel more universal to me: Multifarious shades of melanin are represented, and he has included images of women in this show. And while the history of representing bodies in photography — particularly nude ones — is fraught, Mr. Sepuya charges intrepidly into the mire, offering what feel like new, smart conclusions on how to represent power or vulnerability, as well as the unwavering desire to look at such images. MARTHA SCHWENDENER

Full coverage here: Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Press for The Conditions at Team Gallery (March 7-April 13, 2019)

Owner
Aron Gent
aron@documentspace.com
Director
Sibylle Friche
sibylle@documentspace.com
Gallery and Print Studio Assistant
Renata Cruz Lara Guerra
info@documentspace.com

Gallery hours:
Tuesday-Saturday: 11am-6pm

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DOCUMENT is a commercial gallery located in Chicago that specializes in contemporary photography, film and media based art. The gallery has organized more than 40 solo exhibitions since its opening in 2011 and actively promotes the work of emerging national and international artists. Operating conjointly as a professional printmaking studio, DOCUMENT facilitates the production of works by artists from Chicago and the US. At this time we do not accept unsolicited submissions.