Made by Dusk
Mette Tommerup, photo by Pedro Wazzan, courtesy of Locust Projects
“With this work, Tommerup encourages us to take advantage of our own current “great pause” to reconsider meaning and purpose in this deeply unsettling time.” – Eleanor Hartney
Made by Dusk is a new large-scale installation by Miami-based artist Mette Tommerup inspired by the Nordic Goddess, Freya, the untamed goddess of love, war, beauty, gold, and transformation. The exhibition opens to the public by appointment and walkins (capacity permitting) with extended hours Saturday, November 21, 2020, 11am to 7pm.
The exhibition reflects on the potentials of the liminal space of twilight with its enveloping atmosphere of warm glittering golds evoking diminishing rays of sunlight and smoky grays as the infiltrating night. In the world created by Tommerup, a Danish-born artist, dusk is a time of transition supportive of creation and transformational change intended to envelop and suspend the visitor in the timeless, magical, and ethereal space made by dusk.
Made by Dusk is the third and final work in a trilogy of recent installations in which Tommerup explores art’s ability to provide experiences of reflection, connection and restoration. For the final installment at Locust Projects she’s created a place of refuge where visitors can avail themselves of the healing potential of what H.G. Wells referred to as “the great pause,” that moment when time seems to stop and the possibilities of day melt into the stillness of the night.
Read the full essay on Made by Dusk by Eleanor Hartney here.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Mette Tommerup (born Denmark 1969) is a painter and storyteller who creates simultaneously earnest and satirical narratives to frame her production of objects, whether they are digital or made from canvas and paint. Tommerup has exhibited at The Bass, Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) and The FIU Frost Museum of Art and has work in many public and private collections, including work in the permanent collection of Wilmer Hale in Washington DC, the Lowe Art Museum, and Perez Art Museum Miami. Honors include acquisition of work through the Art Purchase Program at The American Academy of Arts and Letters in NYC. Publications include Miami Contemporary Artists, Miami Arts Explosion, 100 Degrees in the Shade and Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze and exhibitions have been reviewed in Art in America, Artnet.com, The Miami Herald as well as mentions in the New York Times. Made by Dusk is Tommerup’s first commission at a nonprofit alternative space. Tommerup received an MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 1995. Mette Tommerup is represented by Emerson Dorsch Gallery
Still from Living Monument 2017, Two-channel video, 1 min. Director of Photography: Vashni Korin (right channel) Editor: Vashni Korin (right channel) and Paula Wilson (left channel) Sound: “Speaking in My Native Tongue” by Jamel Henderson
“Looking at this work now, some three years after I made it, it has shifted. Today, in light of the current moment we find ourselves in, it feels aspirational, linking past and the present, ushering in the potentials of the future.” – Paula Wilson
On High at Locust Projects features Paula Wilson’s 2017 video Living Monument, a mesmerizing two-channel video with one screen depicting the removal of a confederate monument in New Orleans, the General Beauregard Equestrian Statue, in May 2017, and the second, depicting a covert performance by the artist, in which she dances at dawn atop the base of the statue before she was forced to leave the premises by law enforcement. Inspired by the vibrant tradition of second-line parades in New Orleans, Wilson employs the empty base as a pedestal to be acted upon—celebrating, in a hand-painted costume, the life force of the moment. The tunic the artist created and is wearing in the video is also featured in the exhibition.
Paula Wilson’s video, Salty + Fresh (2014) is also included in the exhibition and is accessed via a QR code as a nod to the act of looking through screens, which are ubiquitous as it is, but have predominated our lives since the start of the pandemic. Screens, cell phones, windows—the things we look at or experience things through, including each other—have been an ongoing theme in the artist’s work. Here and now, it serves to remind us of the elusiveness and intangibility of the virtual experience versus IRL, but also the intangibility of capturing the essence of something wonderous, such as art and the creative act.
Made on Miami’s historic Virginia Key Beach, in 2014, Salty + Fresh playful takes on Western art historical tropes and patriarchy with the artist appearing as a massive, towering goddess, rising from the sea draped in a long, turret-like colorfully painted skirt. She uses her giant palette and brush to paint three figures who resemble Grecian clay vases. As the Poseidon-like goddess paints faces onto the three nude derrières, picnickers—in a restaging of Manet’s “Déjeuner sur l’herbe”—observe and try to capture the scene through their cell phone cameras. Sarah Lewis, Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture and African and African American Studies, describes the encounter, “The beach dwellers saw a colossal painter with brushes and palette fit for a giant emerging from the sea to fill her canvas, the most primeval one of all—our bodies, our very selves. They tried, endlessly, to photograph what they were witnessing—Paula Wilson’s performative painting, Salty & Fresh—just as we do when we come to see the essence of the creative act—we stand mesmerized that it is always around, this fertile, eternal story. Wilson’s piece is a wondrous testament to the central narrative of the artistic process, a declaration that the essential, unbreakable story of the human creative act is one of which we, whether as spectator, creator, participant, are all a part.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Wilson’s expansive multimedia practice includes video, print, painting, and textiles. Unfolding through many layers and operating on many levels, her work characterized by lush patterns, vibrant colors, and illuminous representations. Looking at Wilson’s role in our contemporary culture, the artist considers it as a mash-up of traditional and contemporary visual forms. Aware of technology’s role in altering the way we see and alluding to it with prevalent imagery of cell phones, headphones, and virtual reality, Wilson reimagines art historical tropes such as Grecian vessels, monuments, self-portraiture and still lifes. Many of the works play with light as in interior scenes with windows bisecting rooms to illuminate multiple viewpoints. Wilson asks, “ What do we turn our attention to?”, and thereby reveals her own multifaceted reality.
Paula Wilson received an MFA from Columbia and a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Wilson first exhibited with Denny Dimin Gallery in a group exhibition called The Unhomely in 2017. Wilson’s most recent solo exhibitions were Spread Wild: Pleasures of the Yucca at Smack Mellon (2018), FLOORED at Williamson | Knight (2018), Salty & Fresh at Emerson Dorsch Gallery, Miami FL (2017) and The Backward Glance at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE (2017). She has been included in four exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem, exhibitions at Skidmore College (2015), Inside-Out Art Museum in Beijing (2014), Postmasters Gallery (2010), Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC (2010), Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2009), Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw (2007), Sikkema Jenkins & Co. (2013 and 2006), just to name a few. She has been featured in publications such as Hyperallergic, Artforum, The New York Times, the New York Observer, and The New Yorker. Wilson’s artwork is in many prestigious collections including The Studio Museum in Harlem, the New York Public Library, Yale University, Saatchi Gallery, and The Fabric Workshop. The artist is represented by Denny Dimin Gallery and Emerson Dorsch.