16 FEBUARY - 12 APRIL
AMAR GALLERY, LONDON
Amar Gallery is proud to present Eve, an upcoming exhibition of contemporary art that celebrates the female
form and the fateful origins of womanhood. Incorporating mythical themes from the Genesis story - with
particular focus on The Fall, heavenly wrath, nature and rebellion - Eve brings together a collection of drawings, installations and photographs inspired by nature’s first heroine, as well as showcasing female empowerment within the context of modern society. The exhibition will be on display from January 23rd 2018, at 48 Penton Street, London.
Each artist included within Eve carefully reimagines the Creation story through the prism of their own
unique craft. Renée Cox, known for her provocative photography that positions historic subjects in
tension with her African-American heritage, assumes the title role of Eve in her Adam & Eve series,
using her naked body as a symbol of strength in a culture constantly in conflict with gender and race.
Cox delves further into this socio-political dialogue with Girl in Da Bush, placing Eve within a jungle
that exudes not only a preternatural state of innocence, but also an undertone of impending struggle.
This theme is mirrored in the equally-controversial contributions of the Guerrilla Girls, a collective of
feminist activists famed for their unashamedly outrageous visuals that seek to address equality for
women in politics, commerce and culture. Interpreting Eve as a rebel with a cause, works such as Do
Women Have To Be Naked To Get Into The Met. Museum? and Women In America Earn Only 2/3 Of
What Men Do challenge the viewer to assess whether the fight against institutional male favouritism
has yet been won.
Sonja Braas, whose otherworldly photographs are investigations of tempestuous landscapes and the
romantic sublime, channels Eve as an agent of powerful change - both in resistance and embrace to
the forces of nature that followed The Fall. Charged with a thunderous sense of biblical grandeur, the
gaze of the disembodied camera in Eclipse, Lava Flow and Wave capture the wondrous violence of
Eve’s banishment, cast off into a world of flood, smoke and flame. This fearless interplay between
nature and technology also manifests in the connective art of Jenna Burchell, whose tortoise skeleton
from her Cradle of Humankind collection is reactive to the human touch - in this piece, both a
performative songsmith and a timely relic of the natural world, Burchell is the creator of harmony and
music within our own personal Eden.
Indian artist Mekhala Bahl views the theme of Eve through the prism of abstract colour and design.
Known as an interdisciplinary artist whose creations defy label or fixed reason, Bahl weaves together
tapestries of light, dream and meditative self-inquiry. These evocations of luminosity and intangible
memory take us back to the dawn of womankind - before the world was seen through the restrictive
lens of structure and form. This break from the predictable is echoed in the work of Antony Gormley,
the only male artist on display in Eve. Known for his defining imagery in the public realm, Gormley
fittingly contributes The Fall of Man, a powerful drawing that repositions Adam as the harbinger of
original sin and mankind’s ill-fated fall from grace. It is this level of forensic investigation into the human
condition that defines all the pieces in Eve - experienced through the female body, mind and soul.
The visual aesthetic of Sonja Braas (born 1968, Siegen) is one of dazzling paradox. Viewers see
clearly recognisable natural phenomena and forces, such as icy alpine regions, thundering
avalanches, tempestuous surf, or urban centres and cities flooded or in flames. Yet nature’s essence
seems alienated. The images look artificial, for they are only partially based on actual nature and
landscape photographs. Many of the images are of models built by the artist, lending them a
characteristically uncanny atmosphere. While Romantic painting assigns the viewer a fixed viewpoint,
generally represented by a figure in the picture, from which he or she can perceive the sublimity
behind the terror of nature from a safe distance, Braas rejects any foothold whatsoever. Only the
disembodied camera seems immersed in the events taking place in the photographs.
One of the most controversial African-American artists working today, Renée Cox has used her own
body, both nude and clothed, to celebrate black womanhood and criticise a society she often views
as racist and sexist. Cox continues to push the envelope with her work by using new technologies
that the digital medium of photography has to offer. By working from her archives and shooting new
subjects, Cox seeks to push the limits of her older work and create new consciousnesses of the body.
Cox's new work aims to "unleash the potential of the ordinary and bring it into a new realm of
possibilities". "It's about time that we re-imagine our own constitution," states Cox.
Guerrilla Girls is an anonymous group of feminist, female artists devoted to fighting sexism and
racism within the art world. The group formed in New York City in 1985 with the mission of bringing
gender and racial inequality into focus within the greater arts community. The group employs culture
jamming in the form of posters, books, billboards, and public appearances to expose discrimination
and corruption. To remain anonymous, members don gorilla masks and use pseudonyms that refer to
deceased female artists. According to the Guerrilla Girls, identities are concealed because issues
matter more than individual identities, "Mainly, we wanted the focus to be on the issues, not on our
personalities or our own work."
Mekhala Bahl trained at the Rhode Island School of Design, after which she returned to India in
2003 to pursue her individual art practice. Mekhala has never restricted herself to single techniques or
media. She has worked with materials as diverse as glass, wood, silk, paper, plastic and quilting. Her
technical oeuvre extends from block -printing, etching and lithography, to drawing, painting or simply
marks scratched on to the matrix. Mekhala creates endless possibilities; blurring and divesting
watertight categories of their legitimacy in her art making. The scale of her work too, ranges from
small intimate images to vast canvases, neither, adhering to a practiced formulae.
Jenna Burchell is an anti-disciplinary South African artist. Her practice weaves together various
forms of technology, science, anthropology, sound, and art. Burchell builds responsive sculptural
objects and large-scale interactive environments for exhibition visitors to play with. People call them
‘memory harps’ or ‘empathy machines’. She creates them to connect people, communities, and
places around the world to each other. Burchell’s work explores the integration of emotive intelligence
and technology as she believes that the combination of these elements has the potential to inspire the
future of human experience. Her work explores themes of memory, land, home and belonging.
Antony Gormley is widely acclaimed for his sculptures, installations and public artworks that
investigate the relationship of the human body to space. His work has developed the potential opened
up by sculpture since the 1960s through a critical engagement with both his own body and those of
others in a way that confronts fundamental questions of where human beings stand in relation to
nature and the cosmos. Gormley continually tries to identify the space of art as a place of becoming in
which new behaviours, thoughts and feelings can arise. Gormley’s work has been widely exhibited
throughout the UK and internationally.