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.
Rewind Collective presents their work Remember Us IX celebrating the artist Artemisia Gentileschi. Digitally recreating nine of Gentileschi’s masterpieces, the work reminds viewers, over four centuries since the artist birth of her talent and the groundwork she put in for women of the future.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Rewind Collective are a digital arts collective aimed at addressing the gender and minority imbalances throughout the art world. They create original digital works, digital editions, and digital works in response to existing physical artworks. They aim to uplift women and minorities through their work, the largest groups of people who have been traditionally marginalised by the art world.