Pablo's Birthday, New York
Alice Quaresma (Rio de Janeiro, 1985)
My work confronts the limits of photography as I confront my life as an outsider. The photographs register my journey over the years and reveal the encounters and losses over time. As an immigrant, I rely on my memory to feel a sense of worth and identity. Today, my stories are my identity. In a world filled with so much information, I bring to my work the condition of imagination; I create images that are escapes over places I have visited and revisited; I study subjectivity in a photograph. Over time, my memory of my roots fade away and gain emotional meaning.
Our imaginations give us strength for what is to come. In my studio practice, I have explored with concepts around “mental object” from Susan Sontag’s book “On Photography” and the idea of “punctum” in Ronald Barthes’ “Camera Lucida.” I have been experimenting with utopian sceneries formed by images from my past that I overlap with lines, shapes and colors.
Geometry is a simple and universal way I found to play with objectivity in photography. The work surprises the viewers and invites them to use their imagination, to rescue their memories. To feel as an outsider. I want to bring a sense of discovery and discomfort in my work; I am always learning something new. Life around me continues to get more complex and hectic. Within my work, the horizon is a constant in my one-of-a-kind painted photographs. It is a place of departing. It is a place of discovery. It is the place of the unknown. This is the place I wake up in every day.
My work experiments with the physicality of the photograph. By painting and drawing lines over the photo paper, I reveal the paper’s fragility and limitation. The work reveals a moment of discovery through the unexpected way the material exists on top of the photograph. To me, the process of making the work is fascinating, and as a photographer, I let materials like acrylic paint, gouache, oil pastel, pencil, and tape take the foreground. As I work over my photographs, I observe images from my past and deal with the nostalgic factor of remembering a moment that is gone and will not come back. A moment, regardless private or not, as soon as I share with the public, is not mine anymore; it’s part of the world. My work deals with the condition of memory to find a sense of belonging.
Eckart Hahn (Freiburg/Breisgau, 1971)
In his paintings, Hahn sets a stage wherein, by combining elements of underlaying narrative tension, and a physical tension evoked from an arresting representation of materiality, pressure, gravity, and restriction, he creates a synergy of form and semantics that transcends a literal reading of his work. A kind of dialectic between the “real” and the “unreal” is left unresolved like a riddle meant to point us to a paradox, or a question left hanging in our imagination. The artist leaves us no answers; rather, these paintings as agents of his inquiry.
Eckart Hahn was born in 1971 in Freiburg, Germany. From 1990 to 1991, he attended a year of basic education in photography. He studied Art History at the University of Tübingen from 1991 to 1993 and Graphic Design at the Johannes Gutenberg School of Stuttgart. The German artist currently lives and works in the city of Reutlingen.
Henrik Eiben (Tokyo, 1975)
Responding to minimalism with sculptures of more expressive qualities, Eiben resonates with the strain of the post minimalism occupied by artists such as Richard Tuttle and Eva Hesse.
When asked about his art, Henrik Eiben responds, "What makes a painting a painting?” He is not asking a question; rather, he is describing a stance implicit in his work. A sculpture may have qualities of a drawing, and a painting may have qualities of a sculpture. In Eiben's view, these distinct terms make us unnecessarily rigid and narrow minded, and thus he seeks to break them open in pursuit of something new, moving the minimalist/abstractionist notion forward by emphasizing the innovative idea-based nature of his practice along with an acute awareness of the viewer’s aesthetic experience.
While he is always moving ahead exploring new avenues, consistently inspired by new materials, spatial relationships, and concerns of scale, the language of his individual works remain connected to each other through the clarity of his process driven practice. By way of his inclusion of an unconstrained array of materials and his active disregard of categorization, Eiben embraces uncertainty to arrive at surprising new places. While his sensibility conveys a certain freedom and even eccentricity, evident in the unfettered lines, color, and structure of the pieces, never does one feel they are anything but deliberate in their narrative elements and exacting execution.
Born in 1975 in Tokyo, Japan, Eiben lives and works in Hamburg, Germany. He was a student at The State Academy of Fine Arts, Karlsruhe, where he studied under Silvia Bächli, and later was in residence at Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP) in São Paulo, Brazil, where his art began to adopt a South American-esque embrace of sensuality, lightheartedness, and liberal use of color, bringing it into conversation with the more reduced formal minimalist disposition from which he came.
Thorsten Brinkmann (Herne, 1971)
Art history for Thorsten Brinkmann, like his collected material, is something to work with. He plays freely with codes of a common memory evoking tropes with sly feints and nods to what signifies “Portrait” or “Still Life.” Working with found objects, one could say he gives a “new life” to these objects, and that by using them in a completely new context, these objects take on a different meaning — a curtain rod becomes a weapon; a tin bucket becomes a head; a trunk, becomes the body of a dragon. Through this process, he points to the story of representation itself.
Using the armature of our expectations, Brinkmann works the historically dialectic relationship between photography and painting backwards, staging photographs that deconstruct photographic representation into fields of shape and color that nonetheless “represent” the narrative he is telling. In this way, the story of perception and representation simultaneously becomes the story in and of itself.
Known internationally for his unconventional photographic portraits and still life, Thorsten Brinkmann was born in Herne, Germany in 1971, and lives and works in Hamburg. He studied Visual Communication at Kunsthochschule Kassel and Fine Arts at Hochschule für Bildende Künste. In 2011, Brinkmann received the Finkenwerder Art Prize, “awarded to artists who have made an extraordinary contribution to contemporary art in Germany.” Brinkmann has had solo exhibitions in Belgium, Germany, The United States, and Mexico. His work is represented in museums throughout Europe and was included in Beyond Borders, The Fifth Beaufort Triennial, Belgium (2015), and Dress Codes: The Third ICP Triennial of Photography and Video, International Center for Photography, New York (2009).
Shawn Kuruneru (Brooklyn, 1984)
Employing a wet-on-wet technique, Kuruneru layers water, acrylic and ink on the canvas; balancing design and chance the painting forms in the midst of swift brushstrokes on a shifting surface. Vertical lines made up of various tones, transparent and opaque colors, manifest as stripes in flux. The spaces in-between the lines reveal glimpses of light as if emitting from within the canvas. Ink is dripped by hand onto the surface the pulled by gravity in a synchronized motion across the perpendicular lines. The accumulation of ink dots oscillates between nearness and distance, establishing a warped sense of space, inflection and uncertainty.
Shawn Kuruneru lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Recent solo exhibitions include Shawn Kurneru, Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy (2015); Rotator, Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto, Ontario (2015); Landscapes, David Peterson Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2014). His work is in the permanent collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Special Collections of the Frances, Mulhall Achilles Library in New York, NY; The National Gallery of Canada Library Collection, Toronto, Canada.
Peter Mohall (Löddeköpinge)
Mohall examines the defining factors and material properties associated with painting. In the Brushstrokes paintings series, casts of brushstrokes are places on the surface of the painting resulting in compositions consisting of a plurality of identical shaped brushstrokes. Recently, the series has evolved to include multiplied identical brushstrokes, but also transformed. Through simple techniques, such as stretching of the molds, the identical brushstrokes differ in form and length, but share a mutual starting point in shape. This resembles the process of digital painting, where you control the gesture but are limited to a constant brush-tool.
Peter Mohall was born in Löddeköpinge, Sweden. He lives and works in Nesoddtangen, Norway.