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Force Majeure

From January 18, 2020 to March 18, 2020
Force Majeure
398 West Street
New York, NY 10014
Eli Klein Gallery is proud to present "Force Majeure," a survey of 13 internationally renowned artists from China, featuring a wide range of works including painting, video, photography, installation, performance/action works created from 2010 to 2020. "Force Majeure" ("superior force" in French) invites the audience to reconsider what superior power means to individuals, in the context of nature, politics, gender and identity, mind and body, the worldly and the transcendent, etc.

Artists: Dai Furen, Future Host, Gong Jian, He Yunchang, Li Ming, Liu Qinmin, Shen Xin, Shi Jiayun, Tang Dixin, Wang Sishun, Xiao Kegang, Yang Zhichao, Zhuang Hui

"Force majeure" mostly appears in contrasting powers. Under common definition, "force majeure" covers events that include natural disasters, governmental orders, and political protest demonstrations. When certain circumstances arise, previously existing obligations are challenged because of the new generally admitted superior power. As a metaphor, "force majeure" also denotes a juggernaut, powerful and merciless. Coexisting with the superior power and sharing vulnerabilities, how could individuals respond, react, or even challenge the seemingly inevitable? What happens when one goes beyond his/her limit? Considering these questions, "Force Majeure" will display artistic interactions with the uncontrollable and the unavoidable, hoping to contribute innovative contemplations to today's social, political, and environmental discussions.

In a variety of circumstances of "force majeure," the selected group of artists adopts different attitudes, strategies, and methods in their practice. In Zhuang Hui, Tang Dixin and Li Ming's performances, the mere interaction between humans and nature creates a Force Majeure. In He Yunchang and Dai Furen's works, the political organization of humans create institutions and operate like "force majeure." In Wang Sishun's adventurous journey and Yang Zhichao's grass-growing performance conducted on his own body, the artists challenge the endurance of body and mentality. For Gong Jian, Xiao Kegang, and Shi Jiayun, painting in abstraction constructs the fight against "force majeure." As a contrast, for Shen Xin, Liu Qinmin and the performance art group known as Future Host, their characters of identity, gender, and religion have become "force majeure."

The curator, Lu Mingjun, concludes in his statement:

"Artists often act and practice in a relatively absurd way, while their seemingly ridiculous provocations may reveal the power dialectics between the subject of an irresistible force and humanity. With cases of 'force majeure' emerging from reality and history, this show comprehensively demonstrates human fragility and anxiety, wisdom and courage, and limited freedom and ease under an inexorable force."
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Exhibitions Closing Soon

Cajun Document: Acadiana, 1973-74
New Orleans, LA
From September 09, 2020 to January 17, 2021
In 1973 and '74, two Chicago photographers spent more than six months documenting the southern Louisiana region known as Acadiana, as well as its coastal outposts to the east. The exhibition Cajun Document: Acadiana 1973–74, featuring images by Douglas Baz and Charles H. Traub never before gathered as a comprehensive exhibition, visits Louisiana towns from Welsh to Erath, Mamou to Golden Meadow, capturing everyday life in living rooms and dance halls, on fishing boats, and at rural Mardi Gras festivities, as well as a sweeping view of the region's industries and geography. The scenes Baz and Traub preserved comprise a relic of a time and place integral to the Louisiana story. With a foreword by John H. Lawrence and an introductory essay by the photographers, a large-format companion book of the same title, available for purchase at The Shop at The Collection, collects the images on view in the exhibition. (Learn how THNOC and The Shop at The Collection are supporting hurricane relief efforts in southwest Louisiana through sales of Cajun Document.)
Tony Vaccaro at 98
Santa Fe, NM
From November 11, 2020 to January 17, 2021
At the age of 21, Tony was drafted into WWII and for the next 272 days he photographed his personal witness to the brutality of war. Tony's transition from war and its aftermath was a deliberate one. As an antidote to man's inhumanity, Tony focused his lens on those who gave of themselves: artists, writers, movie stars, and the beauty of fashion. By focusing on the splendor of life Tony replaced the images of horror imbedded in his eyes. This exhibition illustrates his will to live and to advance the power of beauty in this life. Tony is one of the few people alive who can claim to have survived the Battle of Normandy and COVID-19. On December 20, Tony Vaccaro celebrates his 98th birthday, an inspiration to us all.
Unapologetic: All Women, All Year
Scottsdale, AZ
From February 15, 2020 to January 17, 2021
Unapologetic: All Women, All Year takes an in-depth look at works from SMoCA's collection, highlighting diverse women artists whose work boldly and unapologetically parses topics such as identity, beauty, violence, and equality. Artists include Dotty Attie, Melinda Bergman, Claudia Bernardi, Dominique Blain, Cristina Cardenas, Sue Chenoweth, Judy Chicago, Renee Cox, Lesley Dill, Bailey Doogan, Angela Ellsworth, Lalla Essaydi, Dorothy Fratt, Barbara Hepworth, Laura Korch, Barbara Krashes, Kyung-Lim Lee, Laurie Lundquist, Muriel Magenta, Louise Nevelson, Yoko Ono, Adria Pecora, Barbara Penn, Beverly Pepper, Monique Prieto, Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith, Kate Shepherd, Deb Sokolow, Beth Ames Swartz, Julianne Swartz, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, Melanie Yazzie and Asami Yoshiga. As a result of historically being overlooked within the structure of art history, women constitute an average of less than 15% of the artists in museum collections nationally. For the year, SMoCA presents a selection of women artists from its collection to bring awareness to this lack of inclusion. This exhibition's title conveys a sense of strength, signaling for systemic change within culture, where individuals of all gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, age, and ability see themselves represented within museums. On view during the 100th anniversary of the Women's Suffrage Movement in the United States, Unapologetic aims to create a space that recognizes the importance of equality within cultural institutions. This exhibition presents a variety of mediums and genres of art, including modernist bronze sculpture; large, abstract, shaped canvases; conceptual art; written word; photography; printmaking; painting; sculpture; and collage. It is the Museum's first yearlong collection show, and it includes a section for rotational highlights, as well as a gallery dedicated to rarely shown installation-based works.
Facing Fire
Riverside, CA
From February 22, 2020 to January 17, 2021
Fire as omen and elemental force, as metaphor and searing personal experience -- these are the subjects explored by the artists of Facing Fire. California's diverse ecologies are fire-prone, fire-adapted, even fire-dependent. In the past two decades, however, West Coast wildfires have exploded in scale and severity. There is a powerful consensus that we have entered a new era. The artists of Facing Fire bring us incendiary work from active fire lines and psychic burn zones. They face fire, sift its aftermath, and struggle with the implications.
Lenox, MA
From September 25, 2020 to January 18, 2021
In 1964, Norman Rockwell created the painting, "The Problem We All Live With". The artwork features a six-year-old African-American school girl (Ruby Bridges) being escorted by four U.S. Marshals to her first day at an all-white school in New Orleans. In the background is the word "nigger" graffitied on the wall alongside splattered tomatoes thrown at the little girl. In 2014, Pops Peterson created "The Problem Persists 1964 – 2014". The artist appropriated the image of Ruby from Rockwell's painting, but placed her walking through the crumbling landscape of the Ferguson riots. This piece is currently on view at Sohn Fine Art in the group exhibition, "Solidarity", and is also on view in a solo exhibit of the artist's work at Norman Rockwell Museum, "Rockwell Revisited". The current Black Lives Matter movement is making us further aware of the deep structural inequalities and systemic racism that continues to affect our communities. In a country that is free, the fight for equality still lingers. In an effort to battle systemic inequity, we are honored to provide a platform for artists' voices. Sohn Fine Art is proud to present "Solidarity", featuring photography by four emerging artists whose artworks beautifully illustrate current cultural narratives and the fight for civil rights. Freedom of expression is vital in helping us broaden our understanding and awareness of the issues at hand, as well as celebrate black beauty and culture in our modern society. Art has the power to voice what we cannot say, or may not even know yet. It can make us feel something beneath our skin, regardless the color. "Solidarity" is on view at Sohn Fine Art (69 Church Street, Lenox, MA) September 25, 2020 – January 18, 2021 (Martin Luther King Jr. day). A reception will take place on October 24th. RSVP is required for this event. A portion of proceeds from sales in this exhibition will be donated to the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).
An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain
Pittsburgh, PA
From January 25, 2020 to January 18, 2021
An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain is the first comprehensive survey of the politically charged work of photographer An-My Lê (American, born Vietnam, 1960). Featuring over 100 photographs, this exhibition presents seven of Lê's series, providing insight into her evocative images that draw on a landscape tradition to address the complexity of war. Intimate and timely, this expansive exhibition explores the intricacies of armed combat through the work of a photographer who lived through the Vietnam War. Through Lê's lens, viewers are exposed to military training, maneuvers, and reenactments, and are invited to question their own relationship to, and complicity in, conflict. An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain also presents new photographs from Lê's ongoing series Silent General. These new works grapple with the legacy of America's Civil War and connect to the complexities of our current socio-political moment. Taking inspiration from Walt Whitman's autobiographical Specimen Days, the photographs probe the ways in which past conflicts influence and shape the present landscape in America. While Lê is represented in many major museum collections, An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain is the first ever survey of her work in an American museum. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue featuring many never-before-published images. An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain is organized by Dan Leers, curator of photography at Carnegie Museum of Art.
New York, NY
From November 14, 2020 to January 18, 2021
Artists: Feng Lianghong, Li Shan, Li Xiaofei, Shen Chen, Shen Wei, Wu Yuren, Wu Ziyang, Zhao Jiawei​ Eli Klein Gallery is proud to present "Alienation?" - a group exhibition of 8 Chinese contemporary artists currently residing in New York, and features 16 works completed in a multitude of mediums including painting, video, photography, and sculpture. Whereas direct references to social phenomena tend to rise and fade quickly, it is the ideas and rules we extrapolate and derive from these events that actually guide mankind towards the future. "Alienation?" invites its audience to inquire beneath what lies on the surface, whether it's a pandemic or social justice movements, to investigate the relationship between individuals and what they have created. Regardless of its controversial reputation in the West, Karl Marx's theory is, for some, considered to be more relevant than ever. Marx first defined the term "alienation" in 1844, pointing out that the working class will first be alienated from what they produce, then the capitalists, and then the society in general. If we look at the process of labor-alienation from the standpoint of an artist who has constructed a product that has become a valued work of art, does the process of alienation still persist? Do Chinese artists living in America experience a higher degree of alienation? Or maybe the exercise of applying art as a product is flawed at the very beginning? With his long term project "Assembly Line," Li Xiaofei has been on the very frontier as he has filmed over 280 factories all over the world. His milestone video work "I Am the People_2" is an amalgamation of all parts that he has tirelessly gathered over the past 10 years. Different from Li Xiaofei's calm and observing perspective, the other video work in the exhibition, "Where Did Macy Go?" finished during the lock-down by the animation artist Wu Ziyang, offers an abundance of information, reminiscent of the digital-dominated world in which we are living today. The conflict between our eagerness to stay connected and our reluctance to be controlled by information-providers portrays the modern-day paradox faced by each individual. The two photographers in the exhibition, Shen Wei and Zhao Jiawei, each incorporated himself as part of the object, albeit in an unconventional self-portraiture way. In Shen's "Self-portrait (Burn)," the part of his body which had indeed been burnt from an automobile accident distances itself from Shen's body to uphold the qualities of an object (the fruits). Zhao Jiawei masterfully creates a hypothetical "third space" in between the viewer and the work by literally reaching into his photos with his arms in one instance and with himself (masked) in another. The uniqueness in Shen Chen's painting stems from repetition of a single gesture of brush rolling, which he has engaged in tens of thousands of times. Shen Chen and his paintings melt into a whole, his works injected with his very soul. He once claimed sarcastically, "I'm a boring man doing a boring job day in and day out." On the other hand, Feng Lianghong, who moved to New York in the 90s, doesn't hide the influence of western masters such as Cy Twombly and Brice Marden on his own work. He unleashes his ultimate individuality through abstract paintings following the formalities that had been created by preceding masters. Wu Yuren appropriated two blocks of granite from the pavement on Wall Street and turned them into liquid dispensers, but only ones that cannot be pressed and won't dispense, thus raising the question: maybe the process of alienation between producers and products are bilateral? Or referencing Martin Heidegger, when the thing is deprived of its functional essence, or the "thingness," how is it perceived? Li Shan is regarded as one of the most important artists in the domain of BioArt. His two "Bio Inquiry" works were executed as if he were a painter living in our organs and vessels when he painted "en plein air" on a cell level. However, these insights never solely belong to the biology world -- the microcosm -- they are, by all means, manifestations of human society -- the macrocosm.
It Was All a Dream
New York, NY
From November 19, 2020 to January 21, 2021
It Was All a Dream Artists viewing the real world through an abstract lens. With work by: Berenice Abbott, Nadav Kander, Jungjin Lee, Saul Leiter, Ray K. Metzker, and Bruno V. Roels.
Ansel Adams in Our Time
Portland, OR
From October 17, 2020 to January 24, 2021
Ansel Adams in Our Time celebrates the visual legacy of the acclaimed American photographer and includes some of his most iconic images, from a symphonic view of snow-dusted peaks in The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (1942) to the sublime Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park (1960). More than 100 photographs by Adams, displayed alongside images by photographers working both before and after him, will offer visitors a deeper perspective on themes central to Adams’s practice, demonstrate the power of his legacy, and spark conversation about the state of the American landscape of the 21st century.
Kenneth Hoffman, Thom O’Connor and Paul Stetzer
New York, NY
From January 02, 2021 to January 24, 2021
Soho Photo Gallery is open, with exhibitions in our four main gallery bays. We are thrilled to continue, in person, our rich fifty-year tradition as a cooperative gallery, showcasing the diverse work of our more than 100 member artists and other emerging photographers. We’d love to have you come and visit. We recommend that visitors make a reservation by clicking on the booking button below. Walk-in visitors will be welcomed when we can accommodate you.
Sze Tsung Nicolas Leong
Los Angeles, CA
From November 20, 2020 to January 30, 2021
Shoshana Wayne Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of over 30 photographs by the Los Angeles-based British-Mexican-American artist Sze Tsung Nicolás Leong, selected by the artist from his ongoing and iconic series Horizons, as well as a new image series Lookout Towers. Shown at a time when confinements and lockdowns have increasingly constricted us into looking near, these two series explore the opposite: the act of looking far. The exhibition opens online November 20 and runs through January. This will be the artist's second solo exhibition with the gallery. Sze Tsung Nicolás Leong's artistic practice focuses, he has previously written, "on how we see, understand, and belong to the world." His Horizons, begun in 2001, are a series of photographs taken throughout the globe of the line of sight separating ground from sky, and at the same time, on a more cognitive level, they are "an exploration of the horizon as the limit of what we can see and know, that questions the boundaries separating the present from the past, near from far, familiar from foreign." Mr Leong's Horizons presented in this exhibition again reiterate his exploration of the range of environments within which our lives and histories unfold, and highlight, in addition, connections between abstraction and landscape, the picture plane almost dissolving into vast fields of color. Among the works on display here are horizons taken this year at Playa del Rey in Los Angeles, capturing the turquoise light generated by bioluminescent algae found in the ocean-the algae absorbs light during the day and gives off a bright glow at night. Lookout Towers is a new series of black and white photographs of a building type particular to the Hoiping and Toisan regions of Canton, which emerged in the 16th century and reached an apogee of construction volume during the early 20th century. While these lookout towers served a defensive purpose against bandits and often functioned to represent social standing (whether of a family or a village), as a genre they are built expressions of diaspora-enabling, both literally and metaphorically, the act of looking out to distant horizons, and embodying the changing nature of living in and belonging to the broader world. Funded by remittances from communities in cities as dispersed as Mexicali, Lima, Caracas, San Francisco, Liverpool, Johannesburg, Kolkata, and Singapore, the towers symbolize an emerging form of global identity and cross-cultural melding that challenges ingrained assumptions about fixed borders and identities. Much like the contemporaneous Beaux Arts movement, these towers mined historical architectural styles to create new forms from an eclectic mixture of influences-from Greek and Roman columns, to medieval turrets, to Fung Seoi geomancy, to Spanish arches, to Han dynasty watchtowers, to classical Han script and iconography. Growing internationalism, aided by migration, cultural exchange and integration, education abroad, the rise of the World Fairs, along with the increased distribution of books, postcards and magazines, all influenced and encouraged this stylistic diversity. For Leong, Lookout Towers is also a personal exploration into ancestry, as his grandfather emigrated from Toisan to England during the First World War and sent money back to construct such buildings. Sze Tsung Nicolás Leong was born in Mexico City, where he spent his childhood as well as in London and Los Angeles, and has lived and worked in those cities as well as in New York, Rome, Houston, and Beijing. His visual practice has, over the past two decades, focused on creating new pictures of the world, whether by assembling together a new landscape that uncovers unexpected relationships, as in his series Horizons; by revealing how a society can be reshaped through the erasure of its history, as in his series History Images; or by surveying the newly unfamiliar terrains of a political map discolored by isolationism and nationalism, as in his series Atlas. His work has been exhibited internationally; reviewed, published, and written about extensively; and is included in numerous museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Galleries of Scotland, the National Gallery of Canada, the Getty Museum, and the Yale University Art Gallery. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and a recipient of the Abigail Cohen Rome Prize in Visual Arts from the American Academy in Rome. His books include History Images (Steidl, 2005), Horizons (Hatje Cantz, 2014), and the forthcoming Paris, Novembre (Steidl).
Martin Parr: World Tour
New York, NY
From December 19, 2020 to January 30, 2021
Can't travel? Can't bear or dare to take a plane trip? Passport currently of dubious value? Travel vicariously via these celebrated images by Martin Parr. JANET BORDEN, INC. is pleased to announce MARTIN PARR: WORLD TOUR, an exhibition of signature photographs by celebrated photographer MARTIN PARR. Parr has compiled images from various locales throughout the world, from Paris to Moscow, from Marrakesh to Dubai. Gatherings at horse races, art fairs (they're remarkably similar,) concerts and ski slopes, provide Parr with extraordinary opportunities for his observations. Parr is a formally sophisticated, humorous, and astute documentary photographer. Parr's essential tropes, including a cacophony of colors and a keen appreciation of the absurd, are on view in these photographs. The daylight flash, the dressing up and partying, the coincidental matching of patterns and colors in unlikely places, all commingle in this body of colorful and witty work. In a world limited by pandemic and economic concerns, these photographs are all the more revealing and poignant.
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