Press

Mette Tommerup in Artspace: 6 Artists to Watch

November 8, 2019

By Artspace Editors

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Here’s the artists and exhibitions we have our eye on this month:

METTE TOMMERUP | Emerson Dorsch, Miami, FL
November 29, 2019 – January 18, 2020

Originally hailing from Denmark, Tommerup is currently based in Miami, FL, where she settled after receiving her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Tommerup is an installation and performance artist, but the real magic happens at the intersection of those two genres. She’s a wizard at enlivening textiles with a distinct psychological charge, often delivered through bodily gesture or the promise of gesture. The interactive quality of her milieus raises questions about the physicality of art-making and the permeability of its ontological boundaries. In her upcoming solo exhibition at Emerson Dorsch, titled “Love, Ur,” visitors will animate florid, draped canvases through gamified scenarios, further underscored by planned interventions by the artist and her collaborators. This playful ethos dissolves the barrier between maker and witness, imbuing the environment of the show with a buoyant, ’60s spirit of experimentation. Tommerup has been living in Miami since the late 1990s, and has shown at the Bass, Perez Art Museum Miami, the FIU Frost Museum of Art, in addition to featuring in a variety of private and public collections both in Florida and the world over.

SASKIA NOOR VAN IMHOFF | GRIMM Gallery, New York, NY
October 17- December 14, 2019

Amsterdam-based artist Imhoff is primarily known for her site-specific installations that operate both as archeological commentary and institutional critique, and she’s honing her craft at GRIMM this winter with “#+40.00,” her first solo exhibition in New York. This strange, gentle amalgam of sculptures, found objects, and photographs remix the process of gallery documentation itself, culling from previous exhibition archives to create a visual poetics of feedback. Her spare, electrified assemblages underscore the material cost of art-making and question its constellative classifications, referencing linear time and virtual reality en route to a sparkling, inconclusive dreamscape. In her New York debut, the gallery floor is covered in snow white salt, punctuated by magenta fluorescent lights, typically associated with greenhouses. Filters quickly become a theme as the viewer peers through sheets of glass and shards of light to identify the root of Imhoff’s frictive moments, quiet, delicate, but aesthetically emboldened. Imhoff, who was born in Canada in 1982, studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and was a participant at De Ateliers (2010-12). Her work has been shown in various solo and group exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum and De Appel, Amsterdam, the Gwanju Biennale in Gwanju, South Korean, and Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam. She is apart of major private and public collections the world over and in 2017, she was nominated for the prestigious Prixe de Rome.

RACHELLE SAWATSKY | Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
November 9 – December 20th, 2019

Sawatsky, who splits her time between L.A. and Vancouver, cultivates unique and arresting surface texture in her watercolors, imbuing them with life, interior volume, and an enticingly ambiguous visual crunch. Her current body of work has morphed from pastel investigations on figure and form to more thorough, objective undulations; her canvases are often covered in traces of hay, gravel, or sand residue, evidence of contact between paint and the remnants of a foreign environment. There’s a slyness at play, here, and her expressive color palette, deployed with an expertly intuitive hand, balances chance against the shadow of touch. Sawatsky has explored the vestiges of memory in her work before, and that interest has never been more forward then in these new material explorations; each piece creates a chromatic palimpsest of accidentally captured space, guiding the viewer through crack, crevice and inconsistency en route to to a gorgeous affectual bloom. A graduate of USC’s MFA program, Sawatsky has exhibited her work internationally, including Del Vaz Projects, Los Angeles, Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna, the Tate St. Ives in Cornwall, Wales, and Vancouver Art Gallery. She’s gotten write-ups in Artforum and the L.A. times, and her critical writing has appeared in publications for BookWorks UK, Artspeak Gallery, and the Hammer Museum.

SABELLA DUCROT | Capitain Petzel, Berlin, Germany
November 23 – January 4, 2020

Isabella Ducrot via the artist’s website
Ducrot is an 88-year-old Neopolitan textile artist who has lived and worked in Rome for years. She frequently uses woven cloth as the basis of her painterly explorations. Her extensive world travels informed an interested in fabrics from Eastern Europe, inspiring her to study a variety of craft traditions native to China, India, Turkey and Central Asia. She amassed a wide collection of rare, historical textiles, and felt an urgent need to transform them into contemporary tableaus. Most of her substrates are pliable, raw, and bare, giving her images an opportunity for casual, poignant adaptability. Silks, pigments, and furtive gesture provide windows into domestic life, erotic desire, and the riddles of the cosmos. The pieces on view in her upcoming show at Capitain Petzel, “Big Aura,” will reflect Ducrot’s relationship with nature, one articulated with a cultured, breezy insouciance that belies its through-line to larger, more thunderous themes. The exhibition, which features works made this year, is an exciting venue to discover the work of this legendary artist. Throughout her long and storied career, Ducrot has completed projects for the Milan State Archives, had her pastels collected by the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, and represented Italy in the Venice Biennale.

ELIZABETH MALASKA
Russo Lee Gallery | Portland, OR
November 7 – 30, 2019

Malaska’s second solo exhibition with Russo Lee Gallery, Of Myth or of Monday, sees the artist building upon the index of feminine interiorities that have become her signature. In a suite of large paintings that depict heavily stylized women both interacting and morphing with their environments, mostly domestic and leisurely in description, Malaska walks a fine line between the invoking and undermining Surrealist tropes as they apply to women’s bodies. The art historical legacy of the erotic nude may be present in Malaska’s work, but it’s the narrative layers in her compositions, sometimes oblique, sometimes overt, in that provide viewers with real hot points of liminal friction. By abstracting the mundane and familiarizing the virtual, Malaska creates worlds in which anything and nothing can happen, a state that reflects the emotional core of contemporary womanhood. A Portland native, Malaska earned her MFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and has been included in exhibitions both regionally and nationally. Her work resides in the permanent collections of the Portland Art Museum, The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Collection in Portland, and the Schneider Museum of Art at Southern Oregon University in Ashland.

JOVA LYNNE | Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA
November 1 – December 15th, 2019

Detroit-based artist and curator Lynne is interested in the intersections of identity and narrative, braiding the historical, anecdotal and fictive together into colorful testaments to archival discovery. Her pieces subvert ethnographic and anthropological norms through a blend of performative and documentarian impulses, simultaneously mining and recombining Black culture into deeply touching forms of affectual communication. Her solo turn at Vox Popular, titled “Before I Let Go,” takes a multimedia approach to Black emotive phenomena, mapping the ways expression and tradition coexist. Lynne, a graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art’s photography MFA program, is a grantee of the Astraea Foundation’s Global Arts Fund and is completing her second year as a Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Art & Design, Detroit.

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