New YorkNADA Miami 2020
For the reimagined format of NADA Miami, Halsey McKay presents all new work by Elias Hansen, Denise Kupferschmidt, Maysha Mohamedi, Hilary Pecis and Miranda Fengyuan Zhang on view at the gallery.
Glass, steel, hardware, CFL and LED bulbs
68 x 48 x 58 inches (172.7 x 121.9 x 147.3 cm)
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With emphasis on bold color, pattern and flatness Kupferschmidt, Mohamedi, Pecis and Zhang extrapolate their everyday experience into vibrating compositions. Hansen’s hand blown glass and light sculptures seem to have emerged from the worlds of the surrounding wall works. Each artist finds solace in the repetition of their daily routines amidst the chronic uncertainty of our times.
Elias Hansen’s Light Sculptures are a dedication to the simple idea of creating an object that glows with light and pulls you in. These singular glass and light works are a meditation on materials and forms that Hansen has been experimenting with for the last decade. Pared down to their most basic moment, these are the things that keep him going, the reason he keeps returning to the studio and turning the lights on. He uses these objects to calm and invite us to “reset our own perspective and find a way to deal with the harshness of life”.
Denise Kupferschmidt’s Day Night Repeat paintings depict the cycle of the sun as it fades in and out of her urban environment. She uses painting this repetition, the comfort of a routine, the stability of a normalized existence to speak to current collective feelings of sadness and loss. Kupferschmidt cites science journalist Zoë Schlanger writings on ‘Solastalgia’ (a word coined by philosopher Glenn Albrecht to describe the feeling of ‘the pain or sickness caused by the loss or lack of solace and the sense of isolation connected to the present state of one’s home and territory’). Her paintings depict ‘watching the earthly elements of home morph into something that feels remote, while we stay put’.
Maysha Mohamedi sources her color palette for each painting from images in the 1972, multi-volume Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking. Published by the staple women’s magazine Family Circle, the cookbooks embody a dominant strain of 20th-century American domesticity and visual culture. Sweeping shapes of color are extracted from hues of vegetables and fruits in the illustrated recipes. Atop these washes the artist applies sporadic and repeating line work, drawing across the canvas with a lyrical intensity. The gestural, thin marks at times resemble the calligraphic script of Farsi, the artist’s native tongue; she often turns to her Persian-English Dictionary as an associative guide for mark making.
Hilary Pecis uses her surroundings as inspiration and paints outtakes from snapshots of dinner parties, friends’ homes, gardens, collections and libraries. Each are granted saturated life in visually stunning, modest memorials. The process of translating these photographs into paintings allows Pecis the opportunity to meditate on the specific moment and memory captured, helping her to create sincere translations of her own experiences. These are portraits without figures through which we glean an understanding of the artist herself.
In Miranda Fengyuan Zhang’s work, the material goes first, then come the ideas. She follows the lead of her wool and cotton thread, giving its path mystical enlightenment. Every piece is woven or knit in a trance-like state, where she gets lost in a land of colors, chosen to fit the feeling of a night in the desert or an afternoon on a lake. Figures reveal themselves with each stitch, driving her representations. Then she stretches her knittings and weavings on frames, creating the flatness of a canvas. A humble thread becomes pure color matter and doing so, ennobling the thread using the common language of knitting and weaving.
Courtesy of the artists and Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton