Grimm Gallery is proud to present Trieste. A group show organized by Jay Heikes with works by Erin Shirreff, Huma Bhabha, Isa Newby Gagarin, Jay Heikes, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Johannes VanDerBeek, Karthik Pan- dian, Lisa Lapinski and Matthew Day Jackson.
Trieste has previously been exhibited at the Federica Schiavo Gallery, Rome and Marianna Boesky Gallery, New York. With every installment Trieste continues to develop and this third and final exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive catalogue documenting the various incarna- tions of Trieste.
On January 23, 1960, Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh boarded the Italian-built deep-diving bathyscaphe, Trieste, making history by descending as the first human beings into the deepest part of the ocean (the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench). Once Trieste reached the sea floor at 36.000 feet after a five-hour dive, Walsh and Piccard observed their surroundings, seeing for twenty minutes nothing but ‘diatomaceous ooze’.
Trieste concurrently is the name of a small port city in Italy. It is situated between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia and throughout history has been influenced by its loca- tion; at the crossroads of Latin, Slavic, and Germanic cultures.
The Trieste group exhibition metaphorically takes inspi- ration from these two ‘borderline’ realities; the artistic practice can be compared to a dive into the unknown and is influenced by many factors. It also draws to the idea of the unknown and the impossible. Each of the nine par- ticipating artist are attracted to these aspects and had extensive conversations around these themes with their fellow artists in the exhibition.
Jay Heikes, who has a leading role in organizing the show, says: “I can see in all of us a desire to harness the power of everything that has moved through our minds
into our works. Through them I can see a grappling with history and culture, a nod or something like an elaboration of the less traveled dead ends that have been lost. I think ‘explorers’ is a goofy word but perfect for all of us who leave ourselves open to explore those spaces as the only places where the possibilities lie. This is why my interest in the double, maybe triple meaning of Trieste is so great, because really it becomes an idea of a place or a space. In 2014 it would be foolish to think that a group of artists would mimic the method of movements a hundred years prior, but I feel so connected to these artists and their approach. My desire to bring them together under one roof is in itself a proclama- tion of kinship. So with any group show it is impossible to declare what the show will be doing, but more about setting up an environment for something special to happen. This is Trieste.”
Erin Shirreff’s (1975) sculptures trade on what is absent. Silhouettes of abstract, geometric forms and two-dimen- sional shapes hover in a temporally ambiguous zone, appearing both made and found. The effectiveness of Shirreff’s conceptual concerns hinges on her selection of subjects that are familiar to the point of becoming enig- matic, leaving us to grapple with how meaning is created in an anonymous visual landscape. Erin is represented by Sikkema Jenkins, New York.
Huma Bhabha (1962) has gained widespread recogni-
tion for her raw, sculptural forms, which evoke primeval, ritualistic personages or the post-apocalyptic inhabitants of a world gone awry. Constructed from such humble materials as air-dried clay, wire, mud, Styrofoam, studs and scavenged wood, her work explores the fertile ground where the amorphous and the material collide. Re-assem- bling architectural materials, junk and baubles into new beings. Huma is represented by Salon94, New York and Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam.
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Isa Newby Gagarin’s (1986) practice integrates the history of her name, early 20th-century astronomical photog- raphy, and formal motifs such as occultation (when one celestial body passes over another, blocking it from view). She works with a myriad of invented material processes (embossed reliefs on lead, long-term light exposure on paper) that reference or render abstract the images she appropriates.
Jay Heikes (1975) is known for his heterogeneous prac- tice. His work explores the artistic processes of evolution and regeneration as well as themes of stasis, corrosion, texture, and alchemy. In both nature and culture, Heikes is interested in the idea of life cycles and the notion
that mutation and change are essential elements of the creative process. Jay is represented by Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, Federica Schiavo Gallery, Rome and Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago.
Jessica Jackson Hutchins’ (1971) mixed media sculp- tures, ceramics, prints and works on paper are a curious combination of physical gusto tempered by great fragility. Her works act as containers for a wide range of themes – popular and personal, sad and humorous, but always grounded in the messy business of human relationships. Consistently able to transform data from daily life into shapes and images that can yield an intimate urgency. Jessica is represented by Laurel Gitlen, New York and Timothy Taylor Gallery, London.
In all of Johannes VanDerBeek’s (1982) work the senti- ment of searching is infused. In creating his own version of objects, the artist imposes a meaning onto the innate qualities of their forms. In this way the works become archeological archetypes, implying a place with no spe- cific origin but one that represents the passing of time. Johannes is represented by Zack Feuer, New York.
Karthik Pandian’s practice seeks to unsettle the contra- dictions at the heart of the monument. The universal and contingent, sacred and profane, proximate and distant confront one another in his work. Concerned in particular with the way in which history lurks in matter, Pandian often uses 16mm film to excavate sites for fragments of political intensity. Karthik is represented by Vilma Gold, London.
Lisa Lapinski delves into the history of symbols and place with the deadpan approach of a decorative anthropologist. Utilizing sculptural installation, photography and collage as her various mediums to present her findings, Lapinski is constantly revealing where the hilarious and mundane are located within cultural semiotic overlaps. Lisa is rep- resented by Johann König, Berlin.
Matthew Day Jackson (1974) is a multidisciplinary art-
ist working in New York. He works in a broad range of media, from sculpture to photography, video and painting. Layering multiple references, techniques and visual strat- egies. Matthew is represented by Hauser & Wirth, New York, London, Zürich and Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam.