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NANP 2014 2015

This publication documents NURTUREart’s 2014-15 exhibition season as well as some of our off-site projects. Founded in 1997 by George Robinson, NURTUREart Non-Profit Inc. is dedicated to nurturing contemporary art by providing exhibition opportunities and resources for emerging artists, curators, and local public school students. NURTUREart works at the intersection of art, curatorial practice and education. We support outstanding and provocative ideas in their early stages, helping underrepresented artists and curators take bold steps forward while promoting diversity in making, talking and sharing contemporary art. Above all, we value professionalism and accessibility while engaging broad, inter-generational audiences and encouraging their participation. Most of our gallery exhibitions, events, and off-site projects are selected from a yearly open call for proposals, free of charge. Final selections are made by a jury of experts (that does  not  include NURTUREart’s staff;) the members of this jury change every year. A smaller part of our program is curated inhouse, allowing us to include an even greater diversity of practices and topics and respond to exciting new ideas and opportunities.  

With a text by Daniel R. Quiles From September 5 to October 10, 2014

Yasi Ghanbari

YO! I’m Your C.E.O.



In the early 1990s, the Hungarian graphic designer Tibor Kalman began contributing to Benetton’s advertising campaigns, ultimately becoming art director of Colors, the company’s own magazine. _1 The ads and magazine incorporated documentary photographs related to dire global problems such as disease, hunger, and wars, turning on its head the notion that the last thing any business wants to remind consumers of is the crisis-ridden real world. Rather than proffering a safe space of desire and fulfillment, here the commodity and even the particular brand itself would be wedded to social consciousness. Benetton’s advertisements at this time used a double truck journalistic format (spread across two pages), assailing magazine readers with unexpected images: bloodstained clothes from a dead Croatian soldier, a baby born with the AIDS virus, umbilical cord still attached, etc. This made for a striking contrast with the “United Colors of Benetton” campaign begun in 1989, which presented multiracial groupings of models, often in amorous couplings. Given that Kalman had a hand in these also, they function like a flipside to the brand’s traumatic imagery: fashion’s vision of a tolerant world. In 1995, the company was sued by its German retailers for a drop in sales, said to be from a boycott against this groundbreaking advertising. The late 1990s saw a rise in authenticity-based branding inspired in part by critiques of capitalism such as Naomi Klein’s No Logo. _2 One trend in this wave of new products attempted to directly intervene


in given social or political problems by either donating a percentage of profits to a cause, or by making the product itself apparently part of the solution, as with “green” household products or “free trade” coffee. A critique of such products is now familiar to us: the commodity in this case provides a discreet unit of do-wgoodery, a momentary sense of having “done something” about the capitalocene, momentarily alleviating guilt over relative comfort in the global North. This advertising approach has had its most consistent antagonist in Slavoj Žižek, here railing against Starbucks Coffee in particular: What Starbucks enables you to do is to be a consumerist without any bad conscience, because the price for the countermeasure— for fighting consumerism—is already included in the price of a commodity. Like, you pay a little bit more, and you’re not just a consumerist, but you do also your duty towards the environment, the poor, starving people in Africa, and so on and so on. It is, I think, the ultimate form of consumerism. _3 There is an affective difference between the 1990s, as represented by Benetton, and our arguably even more ideological present. If Jade yoga mats or Warby Parker glasses aim to soothe a consumer’s conscience, it might be argued that Benetton answered guilt with castigation, in its images of suffering, or an overload of desire, in the United Colors ads. Benetton hitched its product’s desire to that jolt of the real, to suffering or eros,

both “out there” and for the buying subject (the latter being of course ubiquitous in fashion)—something of a Catholic economy. By contrast, contemporary “socially conscious” commodities tend toward “interpassivity”: outsourcing both feeling and action to someone else, so that purchase is not cathexis, but freedom. Yasi Ghanbari’s previous work has examined intersections between subjective experience—that which is increasingly difficult to refer to as “private life”—and sophisticated manipulations of affect in digital culture and advertising. Her project for NURTUREart similarly involves installations of manipulated or intermingled readymades that are calibrated to produce what could be called “generative insufficiency.” Their affirmative, desiring stance toward their appropriated objects is undercut by imperfection, raw need, or the pathetic. A mannequin garbed in “one-for-one” clothes and accessories (meaning that the company in question buys another such product for someone in need) sits before a slideshow of self-congratulatory publicity. Is this a standin for a rather pejorative conception of the gullible consumer, or could the situation be more complicated? The artist has frequently included herself in her work as a sort of character who grapples with questions—how to do something, how to make something, how to get along with someone else. Mundane moments pass; she argues with a boyfriend; she is back to “work,” watching, thinking, curious, desiring, engaged, exasperated. The ideological rub of first-world capitalism

is that it pulls levers already inside us. The way up the stairs and out, as it were, must thus traverse the self. _Daniel R. Quiles

1_Maira Kalman and Ruth A. Peltason, eds., Colors: Issues 1-13: The Tibor Kalman Years (London: Thames & Hudson, 2002). 2_Naomi Klein, No Logo (New York: Picador, 2000). The irony of Klein’s book, originally of a piece with the rise of turn-of-the-century anticapitalist movements and the 1999 Seattle WMO protests, becoming a sort of guide for future advertisers has been noted by many; see the-revenge-of-the-brands. 3_Transcription from Sophie Fiennes’ film The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, BFI Films, 2012.






Curated by Chris Romero October 17 - November 21, 2014

Brain Scratch

Snow Yunxue Fu Ryan Whittier Hale Katie Torn Siebren Versteeg

Ryan Whittier Hale


We do not perceive the world as it actually is, but as the brain computes it most probably to be. John Smythies Space, Time and Consciousness

Brain Scratch observes an urge to interpret and find comfort in a world where an increasing amount of time is spent in virtual space. The exhibition title conjures a peculiar notion: it alludes to fervently scratching the head out of curiosity, to the point where scalp and bone are broken to reach the brain. The result is an etching that alters perception. The featured artists interpret a new way of being, one where reality and virtuality have converged, mutating perspectives of time, space, and body. The way the mind is hardwired has changed, Brain Scratch comments on what is, what may become. The exhibition finds Edwin Abbott’s novel Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions as a primary inspiration. Although the narrative, about a two-dimensional square swept into a three-dimensional world, comments on mathematics and Victorian culture, it also holds another implication. The novel is a reflection on the limited capabilities of the mind. Abbott’s reference to a line from Hamlet, “O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!” makes this clear. The “wondrous strange” is also explored within the work of each artist in the exhibition. Combining fantasy and mannerist aesthetics, Ryan Whittier Hale’s digital photographs and sculptures question the

emotional capacity of artificial beings. Hale depicts desolate yet tranquil environments populated with indeterminate humanoids. Their delicate bodies lay on the edge of organic and synthetic. Although posed with dramatic gesture and idealized form, the smooth plastic skin and vacant expression of each android-like being exposes a failed attempt at true human intimacy and empathy. In this way Hale questions our identity and behavior as we continue to move deeper into the labyrinths of virtuality. Emerging from Katie Torn’s animations are totems comprised of relics from consumer culture. Utilizing tools commonly employed in Hollywood films and commercials, Torn crafts hyper-real environments made of figures ranging from My Little Pony to bodiless Barbie dolls. The island-woman hybrid of Dream House appears as a landscape in which consumer debris continually accumulates, generating as if from thin air. Although the island contains elements of pop, it remains dystopian, surrounded by nothing but empty space. A monument to desire and waste, Torn comments on the value placed in materiality. The biomorphic and otherworldly installations of Snow Yunxue Fu address humanity’s confrontation with the metaphysical as manifested through digital forms. The Gap 3 is a window into a parallel dimension that stimulates both consciousness and space. Elements of traditional Chinese landscape painting are referenced as Fu creates expressive topographies that exude imagination and contemplation. Conjuring


Ryan Whittier Hale

Siebren Versteeg


Snow Yunxue Fu


spaces of billowing light and exotic matter, Fu’s hypnotizing and trance-inducing environments feel mysteriously familiar. As if depicting something organic within the body, or outward beyond Earth, the depths of The Gap 3 are truly unfathomable. Siebren Versteeg’s algorithmically generated paintings meld computerized and artistic process into one. The paintings of the Sequential Array series are created through custom software that determines elements including brush movement, coloration, and viscosity. Grappling with agency and chance, the series alludes to a passing of time. The program could paint endlessly, but in the exhibition Versteeg selects ten compositions to print, stretch onto canvas, and bring into the real world. Minute idiosyncrasies appear in each consecutive painting – new lines, paint drips, and strokes – but the beginning and end of the series contains an uncanny resemblance. Impressionistic in style, the paintings comment on sameness, completion, and mark making. Brain Scratch moves deeper into a new reality, scratching an irrepressible itch. For the artists of this exhibition the purpose is not to gain a relief or a complete understanding of the world. Rather, now that the physical and digital are sewn together the artists pick at the stiches in response to a strange moment in time. _Chris Romero


Katie Torn


PROGRAM Franck Lesbros presents: Dustracing Sunday, December 7, 1-6PM Sue Jeong Ka presents: Color Felt, Red Wednesday, December 10, 1PM In collaboration with NURTUREart’s Education Outreach Program Dave Musgrave presents: Hardware Hacking Video Mixers: Searching for the Unintended Saturday, December 13, 3-5PM Talia Link presents: Come do your Monica Lewinsky Nails with me! Live streamed workshop from my bed… =^.^= Monday, December 15, 7-9PM. Sean J. Patrick Carney presents: It’s Probably Already Online Thursday, December 18, 10AM-2PM In collaboration with NURTUREart’s Education Outreach Program JaeWook Lee presents: LunarmagmaoceanLove Thursday, December 18, 7-9PM. Organizing Actant: JaeWook Lee Proposing Actant: Sarah Demeuse Commentary Actants: Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Thyrza Nichols Goodeve Lyricizing Actants: Ali Van Assemblage Actant: Simone Couto Nonhuman Actants: various objects assembled by Simone Couto

Franck Lesbros Sue Jeong Ka Dave Musgrave Talia Link Sean J. Patrick Carney JaeWook Lee

Curated by Rachel Steinberg and Jacqueline Kuper December 7 - 18, 2014

Videorover 9: the workshop series

In this iteration of Videorover, we focused on process, collaboration, and engagement as we invited artists to stage workshops, lectures and events in NURTUREart’s gallery space. NURTUREart temporarily transformed its gallery into a pedagogical arena where visitors are encouraged to participate and observe. As an exhibition, Videorover: Season 9 existed cumulatively – each workshop leaving behind a video, installation, or artifact, building into the environment in the process. The works within the gallery space unfolded little by little, culminating in a closing reception on Saturday, December 20, when the entire space was in its final and fullest iteration. In addition to the events held at the space, the Videorover Archive from Seasons 3 through 8 were on display for the duration of the exhibition, re-activating the works which are the foundation of this program. For the rest of the season, starting January 2015, the videos which were made from or served as inspiration for the workshops will be on display in the Videorover project space, adjacent to the main gallery.



Sue Yeong Ka


Franck Lesbros

JaeWook Lee




Curated by Marco Antonini With an essay by Colby Chamberlain January 9 - February 6, 2015


Lands ARE Islands

Gabriela Salazar

Family Trees, Coffee Grounds Recently I bumped into Gabriela Salazar at a panel on “Sculpture in the Expanded Field,” the famous essay written by art historian Rosalind Krauss in 1979. I hadn’t expected to see her there, but it hardly came as a surprise, considering how well Krauss’s definition of sculpture as “notarchitecture” speaks to Salazar’s own practice. Since 2011, Salazar has developed a vocabulary of wedges, props, and shims—objects emblematic of moments when architecture fails or falls short, when the floor isn’t level, or the stairs are askew. They are the contractor’s quick fix, or the homeowner’s haphazard patch. That is, Salazar’s forms are architectural but not architecture, embedded in the wall but left off the blueprints. They achieve a relation to their surrounds even when placed on a plinth. Yet if Salazar occupies a position in sculpture’s expanded field, she also pressures its limits. Krauss compressed her argument into a Klein group diagram as a means of stressing that the sculpture of the previous two decades had constituted a paradigm shift. The target here was historicism, the attempt to assure art’s continuity by situating each new work within a genealogy. “No sooner had minimal sculpture appeared on the horizon of the aesthetic experience of the 1960s, than criticism began to construct


a paternity for this work,” wrote Krauss, “a set of constructivist fathers who could legitimize and thereby authenticate the strangeness of these objects.” The italics are mine, the sarcasm Krauss’s. The essay utterly disdains historicism’s familial dimensions. The synchrony of the Klein group suppresses the diachrony of the family tree. By contrast, Salazar’s work is deeply involved in the project of claiming parents. Her sculptures demonstrate that genealogy is no straight line. Rather, family trees are flexible; they can be bent back, looped, split sideways. Nor is inheritance a given; it must be worked for, and worked through. Salazar’s most recent sculpture began with an act of recovery: collecting the used coffee grounds from her parents’ kitchen. She mixed the grounds with flour and salt and shaped the resulting dough into a wedge, hoping it would solidify into an earthy brick. Indeed it hardened, but then it cracked, and eventually it crumbled. Salazar should have realized the wedge was doomed from the start, since coffee lacks a binding agent. Yet coffee is also the tie that binds. The discarded grounds were a direct inheritance from Salazar’s parents, and her mother’s family had operated a coffee plantation in Puerto Rico from the late 1930s to the early 1970s—back when Puerto Rican coffee was known as the finest in the world, before US control and migration-induced labor shortages pushed production to Colombia and elsewhere. As Salazar’s wedges collapsed,

they didn’t deteriorate into mere dirt; they became soil, rich with the sort of personal associations that the white cube usually clears away. For My Lands Are Islands, Salazar has amassed sixteen wedges, each of which will gradually lose its form as entropy, gravity, moisture, and air all do their thing. This slow-motion performance will take place across several white-brick plinths stacked and arranged into shapes that recall the austere geometries of early Minimalism. The bricks are glazed, a type familiar to Manhattan residents from the cladding of numerous apartment buildings, most of them hastily constructed during the postwar housing boom. Here, Salazar connects a set of sculptural “forefathers” to the architectural vernacular of their era. It was Dan Graham who first drew this line, in his prescient magazine piece “Homes for America” (1966), yet Salazar, again, further complicates the genealogy. Her parents, both architects, were schooled in the same late modernist ideals and principles that these “white elephant” ceramic surfaces had first reflected. As Salazar’s wedges disintegrate, one set of inheritances falls into another. Lines of descent begin to twist and get tangled. Over sculpture’s expanded field, a layer of topsoil thickens. _Colby Chamberlain


Matthew Lange Michelle Leftheris Phoebe Streblow Adam Ryder

February 13 - March 20, 2015

Rational Formal

Rational Formal is a collaborative curatorial project developed by Matthew C. Lange, Michelle Leftheris, Adam Ryder and Phoebe Streblow. Ideas for this exhibition emerged through sustained conversations amongst all participants, regarding the subjects, intents, aesthetics, and strategies in each other’s approach to photography. At a passing glance, divergences in the artists’ field of action appear significant. While Matthew C. Lange repurposes mid-century information devices to theorize a cosmological social system referred to as The Plummet Machine, Michelle Leftheris interweaves photography, sculpture, and video to delineate or transverse corporeal and psychical spaces. Closer to Lange’s interest in generative systems, Adam Ryder’s work focuses on the creation of narratives combining authored and found images referencing the parafictional Renovatio Imperii organization. Phoebe Streblow uses photographs and collage to examine personal and collective unconscious through sibylline astrological perspectives. Differences notwithstanding, the conditions and means by which all artists employ photographic media converge around common values and a willingness to open artistic creation to public or interpersonal discourse. Using the perceived objectivity of image-making, presentation and reproduction devices to convey abstract notions or liminal states, Rational Formal consistently references informational or museological display. This mode of presentation combines artworks, sketches, inspiration boards, diagrams, props, related ephemera, and texts, offering them to collective re-evaluation while demanding that their conceptual underpinnings remain central.


♃♎︎ 0º29’ In A Collection Of Perfect Specimens Of Many Biological Forms, A Butterfly Displays The Beauty Of Its Wings, Its Body Impaled By A Fine Dart

“This cabinet card presents an image of an older man in his fraternal organization garb. Note the large star on his jacket. There is no information on the card to assist in identifying the gentleman in the photograph, nor to identify the photographer and location of the studio. Perhaps a visitor to the Cabinet Card Gallery can examine the clothing in the image, and identify the particular fraternal organization represented in the photograph. The card stock of this cabinet card is quite thin, making it likely that the photograph was produced in the early years of cabinet card photography (1870’s or early 1880’s)”

The Plummet Machine is a rational machine. It formulates a theoretical model for allocating power amongst a finite quantity of organic expressions.

6CO2 + 6H2O ------> C6H12O6 + 6O2

Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (582-565 CE) sought to reconquer the lost Western half of the historical Roman Empire through the ambitious but only partially-realized Renovatio Imperii or “Restoration of the Empire.”

☽♊︎ 4o33’ A Revolutionary Magazine Asking for Action

An Organization: 1. Archaeological site; 2. An artifact as aberration; 3. The evidence, rationalized; 4. Evidence, in situ; 5. The evidence for evidence to come; 6. Grounds for hypotheses; 7. The artifact as overarching evidence.

a dark shape that appears on a surface when someone or something moves between the surface and a source of light


A Synthesis: [Sidekick / The Sheriff (A Kin To Gregor Samsa)], [Plumb Bob / The Shadow of the Atomic Bomb (Sidekick / The Executive Board)], [A Gang of Desperadoes / The Executive Board (The Shadow of the Atomic Bomb)], [Plumb Bob / A Kin to Gregor Samsa (A Gang of Desperadoes / The Sheriff)]

History <> Eternity / Linear <> Cyclical / Dogma <> Ritual / Rationality <> Magic / Waking Reality <> Altered States / Science <> Art

Two forms moving continuously in front of each other interrupting vision in a constant eclipse of perception.

In American architecture, neoclassicism was one expression of the American Renaissance movement, ca 1890–1917; its last manifestation was in Beaux-Arts architecture, and its very last, large public projects were the Lincoln Memorial, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and the American Museum of Natural History’s Roosevelt Memorial. These were considered stylistic anachronisms when they were finished.

☊♌︎2o53’ A Middle-Aged Woman, Her Long Hair Flowing Over Her Shoulders And In A Braless Youthful Garment.

“Their power lies in the occult, (magic rituals) and in economy - money creates power. The Illuminati own all the International banks, the oil-businesses, the most powerful businesses of industry and trade, they infiltrate politics and education and they own most governments - or at the very least control them. They even own Hollywood and the Music Industry.” –Wes Penre

“I will tell, in fact, how this strange man carried with him, in his bag, instruments that I had never seen before then, which he called his wondrous machines. Machines, he said, are an effect of art, which is nature’s ape, and they reproduce not its forms but the operation itself.”

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”




R/F/A/V performance, Armory Art Night





‘And the rest?’ ‘And the rest?’ ‘Say it one more time.’ ‘Say it one more time.’ ‘2 times.’

‘Did you just call and respond to yourself?’ ‘I do this when I’m upset’. ‘You can’t call and respond to yourself.’ ‘I do it when I’m lonely’, ‘Shit, I do it pretty much all the time.’ ‘I even did it when they lowered my old man into the ground.’ #Cue rim shot (Clyde Stubblefield) -------------------------

‘Ok, so what Key do you want to do this in?’ ‘I usually do it in the morning.’ ‘So it’s a tone lower.’ ‘But that was in the key of F.’ ‘Yeah exactly!’ ‘What?’ ‘So’... ‘Ok so what key then?’ ‘Ask the drummer.’ ‘Ask the drummer, if he can play in the key of F?’ # Cue ghost notes


A few weeks ago I met Patrick. *Pause 0.5 sec


Up for the Down Stroke Ciarรกn ร“ Dochartaigh

March 27 - May 1, 2015

Patrick wears a silver bracelet on his right wrist. He wears a navy coloured silky bandana with a pen firmly inserted in it, right above his left eye; I’ve never once seen his hair. #Cue rim shot


‘Don’t you mean 4 / 4?’ ‘You mean the augmented fourth?’ ‘Oh no, that’s the devils music.’ ‘Ok, lets change it to 4/2.’ *Pause 0.8 sec.


At some point Patrick moved to New Jersey for a few years where he worked at a carpet factory. There he noticed Americans went crazy for his accent, coming back from lunch break with loads of phone numbers for potential weekend dates. *Pause look around (1 sec) -------------------------

Patrick climbed the pay scale and was put on the phones by the sheer force of his accent’s powers. He hated New Jersey. #Cue rim shot


His mother lives somewhere in Central Florida, I told him she would be considered a Snowbird by locals. Some times I stare at Patrick so much he starts looking like Trevor Nelson. He has strong arms although he’s not necessarily athletic. It looks like he worked out quite a bit on his upper body strength at some point in his mid twenties


He began telling a story during the entire carpet-folding marathon. The client, an Iranian version of Marlon Brando would sometimes interrupt Patrick to tap the rugs with his bare feet and get the perfect fold. Everyone kept folding, listening to Patrick in the background as if his voice carried the necessary rhythm to slot the rug into its perfect pleat. By then, Patrick started recounting Danny Ray’s arrest in 2009, for possession of crack he was 74 years old. His luck had taken a turn for the worse, you know after 40 years doing the same job then suddenly you are out of work because your boss goes and dies. I am not your valet.

‘And now of course he (Prince) is going around saying the Internet is over, that the Internet is dead’. ‘What does that even mean? ‘Like it’s a thing, with a life span?’ ‘The Internet is never over it’s bigger than all of us.’ ‘Not to mention the dark net, the deep net.’

Patrick said he doesn’t even believe in Backmasking anymore and had recently tried to get the CEO of the old record company to agree to reverse the material. Declaring the Internet over and abandoning sexual expression. ‘Sex and the Internet can never be separated they need each other’.

At this stage the client was gripping the mothballs, dropping them one by one across the tapestries punctuating Patrick’s account of the array of memorabilia in room 1002. He had all five of us pulling in unison with the extraction fan and once again removing his shoes and tapping the corners of the rug to get the sections perfectly aligned. Patrick had stopped talking to focus on the precision demanded of us, surprisingly though the client insisted on hearing the rest of the story.

We talked about the dirty dozen, 12 Angry Men, The Magnificent Seven, District 9, and Capricorn One. Patrick enjoys putting on accents, he did Dallas very well, tried some New York set it in a diner, a plummy South English accent and did his mother’s Jamaican when she’s pissed at him. He once raised the pitch of his voice to sound like a geezer.


Walking into climate control level 2 he joked about someone he had met in Kentucky that sounded exactly like Foghorn J. Leghorn. #Cue rim shot (Upsetting Dub 1.15 seconds) -------------------------

‘I said to him,’ ‘You sounded like Smiley Culture earlier’ He laughed telling me Smiley Culture lived on his street and that he was a Police informant. #Cue rim shot


The police came around to question him one day; at some point he went into the kitchen to make them tea and stabbed himself to death. #Cue rim shot


Patrick didn’t understand why Smiley Culture wasn’t handcuffed and had the opportunity to make them tea, #Cue rim shot

Opening Reception/Performance: Susan Conte.


Project Curate 2014-2015: Tinia Albert Mirta Lopez Angel Montes Destiny Perez Gesifed Paucar David Ortega Shanice Rodriguez Teacher Partner: Denise Martinez Lead Curator: Adam Parker Smith Part of NURTUREartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Education Program, Project Curate provides a class of students from Juan Morel Campos High School an opportunity to experience contemporary curatorial practices by working closely with a professional curator for the entire school year, culminating with an exhibition at NURTUREart Gallery. This year their mentor was artist and curator Adam Parker Smith.


What It Was

Curated by Project Curate with Adam Parker Smith May 8 - May 29, 2015

Avantika Bawa Brent Birnbaum Wyatt Burns Stephanie Dinkins Patrick Carlin Mohundro Scott Rogers

What It Was asks us to confront our pasts and explore the potential of alter-

nate and plural futures. In predicting what role art will have in our own lives and the lives of others, we wonder: where will the future be?



Stephanie Dinkins


Patrick Carlin Mohundro

Avantika Bawa

Wyatt Burns


Scott Rogers

Stephanie Dinkins

^ Brent Birnbaum >


What would you do after school today if there was no tomorrow? If there was no future (and you couldn’t get in trouble) and you had 10 cans of spray paint, what would you draw or write? What is your earliest memory? When you are old, will your favorite memory be from something you have done already or something you haven’t done yet? If you controlled your future, what future would you give yourself? If you controlled Adam’s future, what future would you make for him? What future would you make for each other? What is eternity? Would you want to live forever?

MOB: The curatorial process behind What It Was can be traced back to one class in February during which you asked the students a series of questions about the future. What was your objective with that activity? APS: The future is fun. It’s attached to us, and we control it maybe, but the reality of it is looser. We get to incorporate our dreams, hopes, fears, questions, and wishes into a vision that we may fulfill. The future was something we all had in common and somewhere we were all going, so it seemed like a good jumping-off spot. MOB: Did any of their responses to those questions surprise you? APS: I planned on being surprised by their answers, but I found many to be conservative, pragmatic, and grounded, which was more surprising. MOB: Why the future? What interested you and your collaborators about the future?

What will art look like in the future? What will artists look like in the future?

* A conversation between Adam Parker Smith and Molly O’Brien

APS: My collaborators seemed pessimistic about their futures in conversations they had with my co-teachers and me. I wanted to find out where that pessimism was coming from. I didn’t imagine that I would be able to ameliorate any of their outlooks, and I didn’t necessarily want to, but I thought by channeling our conversations and considerations we could all gain perspective. MOB: You took on the theme of the future


and didn’t end up with an exhibition of aliens and the apocalypse. How? APS: We framed most our discussions on a personal view fo the future...and I had some veto power. MOB: What are the different futures presented by the artists in the exhibtion? APS: Avantika Bawa; global future. Brent Birnbaum; personal future. Wyatt Burns; academic future. Stephanie Dinkins; distopic future. Patrick Mohundro; metaphysical future. Scott Rogers; fictional future.

the artworks would have and how they might interact with the others. Are they shy, loud, aggressive, funny? Each of us then became one of the works, assuming the personality of the work. We walked around the gallery interacting and rotating until we all found a spot we thought our work would be comfortable. And that’s where we installed the artworks. MOB: How did working with the high school students expand your notion of the future? APS: I think every time you meet somebody new, old or young, the future becomes a more interesting place. You want to find out what happens.

MOB: Which artist in the exhibition best aligns with your vision of the future? APS: That’s difficult to say. Other than aliens and dystopia, the future for me is a very personal place. I appreciated the insight that each artist had for their own futures, and the way they presented this to our collaborative group and the public, but my own future is a remote place equally far away from each of the works in the show. MOB: What strategies did you use to guide the students on making decisions as curators while simultaneously teaching them what that role means? APS: We did a fun activity when preparing for installing the exhibition; we imagined each of the works in the show as a person. We talked about what type of personality each of


Davide Zucco

Deep Time

Curated by Marco Antonini June 5 - July 11, 2015


Seven Paragraphs on Davide Zucco’s Deep Time

The cosmos and its many objects, textures, shades of black, gold and blue must have felt pretty crazy from a pre- or prototechnological perspective. So much so that, across cultures and geographies, any history of making sense of that immensity, ordering it in schemes and grand narratives, should be remembered as much as a history of the universe (as imagined in a particular place and time) as part of a larger, genuinely universalist and deeply sub-conscious pursuit. Wherever art, belief and scientific method coexist, new cosmic narratives and representations emerge, compete, overlap. The visible cosmos has no dark side but in our imagination and in documents produced by technology so far removed by our average understanding of its raison d’être that they fall flat; dead on our lap as most technology, these days. In our 2015, I often look at the moon and see a face, and so do billions of other human beings. It has soft features, an unnaturally rounded visage that would be monstrous among the rest of us, dwellers of the thinly layered strata of the biosphere. Some see the moon as more on the feminine side but who can really tell? It certainly displays humanoid features, similarly to one of those cloud formations photographed at just the right time and angle,

when a crooked smile, tribal mask or sharp profile are there. Just for a while. I first saw Davide Zucco’s work in his Bushwick studio a couple of years ago. It offered a refreshingly tangible connection to a cosmos too big to represent, too empty to inspire action or thought on our insignificant Earth. Zucco dwells in a symbolical cave lit by signs and symbols, haunted by mythical imagery and folklore as much as by personal narratives and memories. His paintings, drawings and sculptures (presenting dramatic shifts in intensity: one as thin and frail as spiderweb, the other stretching its muscles over the facade of a remote hiking shelter on the Italian Dolomites...) were in and of another time. The scientific notion of deep time refers to the time scale of geologic events preceding humanity. The “discovery” of pre-human time in western science is credited to James Hutton (1726 - 1797). A timeline so infinitely extended before and after humanity’s passage can bring the most vivid imagination to the point of paralysis. Deep Time, Davide Zucco’s first New York solo exhibition, presents a remarkably cohesive body of work. Metal surfaces transitioning from tarnished to polished, flowing over structurally rigorous, symbolic drawing and



composition. Sweeping gestural inserts, striated by finely detailed plumes inspired by the kaleidoscopic patterns found in petrified wood. Where lush, prehistoric forests used to be, thickets of splintered matter reveal a psychedelically colorful core. Inside Zuccoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s weave, millions of years accumulate in dense, layered abstraction. Roughly treated surfaces suggest aggressiveness and violence, contrasting with the subtle lines and delicate structures defining a unique vocabulary of archetypical shapes and symbols. Mining collective subconscious cosmologies, Zuccoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s use of industrial materials connect the impossibly remote moods of crystallized prehistoric time to the historically tangible decay of urban ruins. His works foreground autonomous, never ending processes of creative destruction, energy flows permeating life in a timeless continuity, transcending the historical forms of human expression while reconnecting us to the universe via mediated experience and reflection, evoking a mood we can all directly experience by raising our eyes to the sky for a moment. On a clear night, when we can catch a glimpse of it, the moon we can see (high in the sky or creeping its way up through the clouds and the rooftops) is forever smirking back. And so are the stars. Flickering. Possibly dead and gone, millions of years ago. Taken in via a pair of human eyes, the whole universe is a triumph of inner space over deep space. Such internalized notions of evidence, translated and flourished ad li-


bitum by conscious and unconscious processes of visual and cultural metabolization, become human matter, leaving the cosmos and entering our shared experience and existence. _Marco Antonini


Keren Benbenisty Jessica Cannon Calum Craik Maria Kondratiev Andrea Nacciarriti Igor Ruf Nikola Uzunovski This exhibition brings together works of art that function as orientation marks, cardinal and/or vanishing points inside the gallery space. Focusing the viewer’s attention on natural, artificial and fictional elements, leading beyond their real and perceived confines, into uncharted territory. The title pays homage to the nautical instrument that first allowed astral navigation, an ingenious optical/mechanical device to calculate the distance between objects/landmarks on land or at sea. Smart, simple and timelessly beautiful, a sextant is a powerful reminder of how connected to the universe we actually are. In Sextant, present-tense experience and poiesis reconnect us to the tangible (and symbolical) infinities informing our understanding of the sensible world. The exhibition’s artist list is almost entirely culled from NURTUREart’s Online Registry of Artists and Curators, a free place to share, see and talk art. www.nurtureart. org/registry


Curated by Marco Antonini July 17 - August 30, 2015



Andrea Nacciarriti

Igor Ruf

Keren Benbenisty

Nikola Uzunovski


Jessica Cannon

Maria Kondratiev



Calum Craik

Keren Benbenisty


Special Projects This page: Raul Valverde’s Cata de Agua, one of NURTUREart’s contributions to JustMad Art Fair, Madrid. March 2015. Opposite page: NURTUREart’s booth at JustMad, featuring works by Davide Zucco, Raul Valverde, Claudia Weber and Gabriela Salazar (not pictured) + Interior and exterior shot of Just Mad’s location, COAM Madrid.




NURTUREartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s booth at NEWD art fair, featuring works by Brian Edgerton, Gary Pedersen, Lior Modan and Jennifer Lauren Smith. June 2015, Brooklyn NY.


NURTUREart is supported by

Board of Trustees



The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

Karen Marston, President

British Council of Northern Ireland

Carol Salmanson, Vice President

City Council Member Antonio Reynoso

Lawrence Mascera, Treasurer

City Council Member Stephen Levin

Benjamin Tischer, Secretary

Con Edison

Heather Bhandari

Greenwich Collection, Ltd.

Ian Cofre

The Joan Mitchell Foundation

Katherine Chapman

Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation

Elizabeth Dimmit

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

Asya Geisberg

New York City Department of Education

Christopher K. Ho

New York State Council on the Arts

Stephen Scuro

The Walentas Family Foundation Many generous individuals. We are grateful for significant past support from

NURTUREartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Inner Circle (as of January.2016)



The Greenwall Foundation

Catherine Behrend

The Leibovitz Foundation

Brooklyn Fire Proof Inc. Deborah Brown and Eric Ploumis

Generous donations and support

Alma Egger and Orlando Diaz


Ann and Lee Fensterstock

Blick Art Materials

Marianne and Ted Hovivian


Barbara Salmanson


Supreme Digital

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

Susan Swenson and Joe Amrhein NURTUREart relies on the support of individuals, businesses, and institutions who are able to make significant recurring gifts. These generous patrons make up our Inner Circle, and we feel fortunate to consider them among our supporters and friends.

Advisory Board




Sayaka Araki

Marco Antonini, Executive Director and Curator

Catherine Hannah Behrend

Louise Barry, Development Director

Deborah Brown

Cody-Rae Knue, Education Coordinator

Bill Carroll

Molly Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien, Education Director

Christine Dobush

Nick Joyce, Gallery Manager

Richard Fisher

Rachel Steinberg, Assistant Director

Ann Fensterstock Susan Hamburger


David Harper


Jennie Lamensdorf

Kevin Chen

Julie McKim

Virginia Cimino

Sarah Monteleone

Kara Cox

Fraser Mooney

Ben Crothers

Lee Pacchia

Elana Grossman

Alexander Palmer

Jacqueline Kuper

Barbara Paley

Emma Laramie

Alexander Rahul

Lisa Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Donnell

Sara Reisman Richard Stewart

Special thanks to

James E Wei


Katarina Wong

All the artists who, along the years, have donated their works to our annual Benefit and supported our programs and activities.

Book design, editing and production: Marco Antonini. All images courtesy the Artists. Jan 2016, New York City.

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NURTUREart 2014/15  

This publication documents NURTUREart’s 2014-15 exhibition season as well as some of our off-site projects. Founded in 1997 by George Robins...

NURTUREart 2014/15  

This publication documents NURTUREart’s 2014-15 exhibition season as well as some of our off-site projects. Founded in 1997 by George Robins...