A Journey

Blog, Curatorial

Ron and Ann Pizzuti have been collecting modern and contemporary art over the last 40 years. The Peninsula Chicago presents the exhibition, A Journey, which reflects the Pizzuti’s experiences in art collecting and features a global roster of artists. On view through June 2024.

Marina Abramović
(b.1946, Belgrade, Serbia)

Artist Portrait with a Candle C from the Series With Eyes Closed I See Happiness, 2013
Edition 3/7
Framed fine art pigment print
63 x 63 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Artist Portrait with a Candle B from the Series With Eyes Closed I See Happiness, 2012
Edition 7/7
Framed fine art pigment print
63 x 63 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Marina Abramović, Left: Artist Portrait with a Candle C from the Series With Eyes Closed I See Happiness, 2013 | Right: Artist Portrait with a Candle B from the Series With Eyes Closed I See Happiness, 2012

“Marina Abramović was born in 1946 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Since the beginning of her career in the early 1970s when she attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Abramović has pioneered the use of performance as a visual art form. The body has been both her subject and medium. Exploring the physical and mental limits of her being, she has withstood pain, exhaustion and danger in the quest for emotional and spiritual transformation. As a vital member of the generation of pioneering performance artists that includes Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci and Chris Burden, Abramović created historic, early pieces of performance art, and continues to make important durational works.” -Sean Kelly Gallery

“The title of the exhibition, which also describes the new state of the artist, comes from a rewarding and regenerating method of exercise: With Eyes Closed I See Happiness. It is an attainable truth which reveals infinite possibilities in its implied invitation to look inside yourself, leaving the world far behind.” -Liu Rumma

Derrick Adams
(b.1970, Baltimore, Maryland)

Floater 19, 2016
Acrylic paint and graphite pencil on paper
55 x 55 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Derrick Adams, Floater 19, 2016

“Derrick Adams (b. 1970, Baltimore, MD) is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. He received his BFA from Pratt University, New York, in 1996 and graduated with an MFA from Columbia University, New York, in 2003. Adams has held numerous teaching positions and is currently a tenured assistant professor in the School of Visual, Media and Performing Arts at CUNY Brooklyn College. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Maryland Institute College of Art.

Adams celebrates and expands the dialogue around contemporary Black life and culture through scenes of normalcy and perseverance. He has developed an iconography of joy, leisure, and the pursuit of happiness within a practice that encompasses paintings, sculptures, collages, performances, videos, and public projects. Adams synthesizes representational imagery with planar Cubist geometry to produce multifaceted figures and faces that address the richness of the Black experience.” -derrickadams.com

Anthony Akinbola
(b.1991, Columbia, Missouri)

Fantasia #2, 2022
Durags and acrylic on wood panel
96 x 96 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Anthony Akinbola, Fantasia #2, 2022

“Born in Columbia, Missouri, Anthony Olubunmi Akinbola, is a first-generation American raised by Nigerian parents in the United States and Nigeria. His layered, richly colored compositions celebrate and signify the distinct cultures that shape his identity. The artist’s signature Camouflage paintings, consisting of single and multi-panel works, utilize the ubiquitous du-rag as their primary material. Universally available and possessed of significant cultural context, the du-rag represents for Akinbola a readymade object that engages the conceptual strategies of Marcel Duchamp and other significant artistic predecessors. Throughout his work Akinbola unpacks the rituals and histories connecting Africa and America, addressing the power of fetishization around cultural objects.” -Sean Kelly Gallery

Diana Al-Hadid
(b.1981, Aleppo, Syria)

Dust Unsettled, 2014
Polymer, gypsum, fiberglass, steel, plaster gold leaf, pigment
80 1/4 x 108 x 3 1/2 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Diana Al-Hadid, Dust Unsettled, 2014

“Diana Al-Hadid examines the historical frameworks and perspectives that continue to shape discourse on culture and materials today. With a practice spanning sculpture, wall reliefs, and works on paper, the artist weaves together enigmatic narratives that draw inspiration from both ancient and modern civilizations. Al-Hadid’s rich allegorical constructions are born from art historical religious imagery, ancient manuscripts, female archetypes, and folkloric storytelling frameworks.

Framed by a host of references from antiquity, cosmology, cartography, and architecture, Al-Hadid’s work gives form to ghostly images abstractly rendered in materials as various as steel, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, wood, foam, plaster, aluminum foil, and pigment. The artist’s process-based explorations innovate from commonplace industrial materials. Their formidable presence sits steady in the lineage of creation and construction that we associate with empire, complicated by an often-elegiac tone.

On these architectural associations, Aruna D’Souza has said, “Though Al-Hadid is known for making work that is engaged with architecture—imagining the body as a kind of scaffold or superstructure, using materials commonly found on building sites—it is anti-architectural in one crucial way: it is a product of intuition, of responsiveness in the moment, of seeing what’s there and what needs to come next, of having a vision and allowing it to develop according to its own logic. Though she draws upon a deep understanding of what is possible given her long engagement with her chosen materials and methods, there is no set plan, no strict blueprint, no predetermined schematics.” -Paul Kasmin Gallery

Kevin Beasley
(b.1985, Lynchburg, Virginia)

Garden Window VII, 2023
Raw Virginia cotton, polyurethane, resin, sharpie transfer
52 x 36 x 1 1/2 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Kevin Beasley, Garden Window VII, 2023

“Kevin Beasley thinks a lot about objects. In particular, specific objects that relate to notions of American-ness and Blackness—and ones that are often linked, subtly or not, with violence. Whether with a Cadillac Escalade, a pair of Air Jordans, or an N.F.L. helmet, Beasley finds deep connections to each item he chooses to work with, rigorously studying their multifarious contexts, meanings, and histories. Happy to let artifacts sit in his New York studio for long periods of time, the 36-year-old artist allows them to slowly gestate in his mind until he feels ready to express whatever he has deciphered out of their nature. From there, he turns them into exquisite, alchemical works of art, from tightly packed “slab” sculptures—large, flat resin blocks that embody the density of the symbolic articles that comprise them—to evocative sound installations and performances.

Beasley’s work often draws from his personal history, which has included growing up in admiration of the handiwork of his mechanic father, deejaying at house parties at Yale University, and attending annual family reunions in rural Virginia. It was at one such reunion, in 2011, when Beasley came across a cotton field and picked the plant for the first time—an eerie experience that was, as he considered his ancestors and enslaved peoples who once performed the act, all at once distressing, pleasurable, haunting, and illuminating. “ -Time Sensitive Episode 47

Fernando & Humbero Campana
(Humberto: b.1953, Rio Claro, Brazil)
(Fernando: b.1961, Brotas Brazil – d.2022, São Paulo, Brazil)

Pirarucu Cabinet, 2013
Pirarucu’s leather and straw covering wood structure
76 1/4 x 49 1/16 x 29 3/16 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Fernando & Humbero Campana, Pirarucu Cabinet, 2013

“Co-founded in 1984 by brothers Fernando (1961-2022) and Humberto (1953) Campana, the Campana studio achieved international recognition for its ground-breaking design. Deeply rooted in Brazilian culture and traditions but also carrying universal values at its core, Campana studio created their identity through life experiences. By incorporating the idea of transformation and reinvention, their creative process raised everyday materials to nobility.” -Friedman Benda Gallery

“Humberto and Fernando Campana sought to keep traditional crafts alive in a contemporary way, and their most famous works were often a result of amassing found materials. The brothers sourced natural materials from far beyond the confines of São Paolo; the 2013 Pirarucu Cabinet is covered in leather made from the gargantuan Pirarucu fish, bred on Amazonian fish farms. Wanting to respect nature while remaining sustainable, the project was an opportunity to work with and help those communities working on the farms in the Amazon.

“We like the time it takes to make a piece,” said Fernando, reflecting on the sustainability and process that weaves it way through the exhibition. Humberto elaborated: “materials allow us to investigate different concepts,” before adding, “we like the poetry, the instant, the moment, not the mathematics…process is much more important than the result.” –Whitewall, 6 June 2013

Wendell Castle
(b.1932, Emporia, Kansas – d.2018, Scottsville, New York)

Crossroads, 2014
Stained ash
38 1/16 x 65 3/16 x 41 1/8 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Wendell Castle, Crossroads, 2014

“Throughout a celebrated career spanning six decades, Wendell Castle introduced ground-breaking ways of looking at, thinking about, and making furniture. In doing so, he created a new sculptural vocabulary that became the cornerstone of his practice and established him as the father of the American studio furniture movement. Up until his death, Castle continued to defy categorization through his sheer creative drive.

Born in Emporia, Kansas in 1932, Castle received a Bachelor’s Fine Art in Industrial Design from the University of Kansas in 1958 and a Masters of Fine Art in Sculpture in 1961. He moved to Rochester, New York to teach at the School for American Crafts, Rochester Institute of Technology, and established a permanent studio in the area which would remain active for almost 60 years. In 1963, Castle pioneered the use of stack lamination, enabling him to compose volumes without being constrained by the inherent limitations of his signature material, wood.” -Friedman Benda

Nick Cave
(b.1959, Fulton, Missouri)

Soundsuit, 2014
Mixed media including buttons, vintage sifter, bugle beads, and mannequin
77 x 27 x 24 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Soundsuit, 2018
Mixed media including vintage textile and sequined appliques, metal, and mannequin
101 x 27 x 18 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Nick Cave, Left: Soundsuit, 2018 | Right: Soundsuit, 2014

“Nick Cave (b. 1959, Fulton, MO; lives and works in Chicago, IL) is an artist, educator and foremost a messenger, working between the visual and performing arts through a wide range of mediums including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance. Cave is well known for his Soundsuits, sculptural forms based on the scale of his body, initially created in direct response to the police beating of Rodney King in 1991. Soundsuits camouflage the body, masking and creating a second skin that conceals race, gender and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment. They serve as a visual embodiment of social justice that represent both brutality and empowerment.” -Jack Shainman Gallery

“Nick Cave first came to Chicago in 1990, when he was hired to teach fashion design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a department he would later direct. He has lived and worked in the city since then, developing a body of work that merges costume, performance and social action. He is perhaps best known for his Soundsuits, a series (now numbering in the hundreds) of wearable works that serve as both adornment and armour, built from found objects and materials, and often activated through whirling dervish-like performances. The first Soundsuit was created in 1992, as a response to Rodney King’s beating by Los Angeles police; his most recent ones were made after the killing of George Floyd in 2020.” -Helen Stoilas for The Art Newspaper, 2 May 2022

Timothy Curtis
(b.1982, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Peace Recycle, Neon, 2019
Italian hand blown coated aquamarine neon glass by Let There Be Neon
37 3/4 x 30 x 2 1/4 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Timothy Curtis, Peace Recycle, Neon, 2019

“Timothy Curtis is a self-taught artist from Philadelphia, where he was first introduced to the arts via graffiti writing as a young child. Following his release from a lengthy prison sentence Curtis moved to New York City where he established a focused studio practice in 2015. While incarcerated he threw himself into studying art history, drawing, and painting and was able to use his studies to form a mural painting crew consisting of artists sentenced to life in prison, painting educational murals around the prison campus to teach, motivate and add color to the otherwise drab environment.” -Almine Rech

Oli Epp
(b.1994, London, United Kingdom)

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, 2019
Oil and acrylic on canvas
39 5/8 x 35 1/2 x 1 7/8 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Oli Epp, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, 2019

“Oli Epp was born in 1994 in London, England where he continues to live and work. He circulates a number of themes to do with the tragicomic element of living in the 21st century society, dealing with the complexity of identity and anxieties living in the digital age; consumerism and consumption which leads to control and addiction, anxiety and conflict.” -Streetartnews.com

Beverly Fishman
(b.1955, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Opioid Addiction, 2015
Urethane paint on wood
60 x 60 x 2 1/4 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Beverly Fishman, Opioid Addiction, 2015

“Beverly Fishman is best known for her powerful, abstract paintings whose formal qualities reference the art historical traditions of hard-edge abstraction and minimalism, while addressing the impact of technology and the pharmaceutical industry on human life. In her continually evolving practice, Fishman uses a wide array of different materials such as wood, paper, blown glass and aluminum, as well as more unconventional media, including cast resin, mirrored Plexiglass, and powder-coated metal infused with vibrant colors.

In her relief paintings Fishman transforms wood and urethane paint into shapes that evoke the design and aesthetics of pharmaceutical medications. Fishman draws inspiration from the increasingly complex combinations of medicines individuals take, particularly as they age. She connects these different forms through color, using Urethane paint, a coating that is usually employed in industrial processes, to create a smooth and shiny surface with a strong visual appeal.” -Moody Center for the Arts

Theaster Gates
(b.1973, Chicago, Illinois)

An Orientalist’s Defense of Color, 2018
Multimedia installation
76 1/4 x 78 x 36 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Theaster Gates, An Orientalist’s Defense of Color, 2018

“Theaster Gates (b.1973) currently lives and works in Chicago. Gates creates works that engage with space theory and land development, sculpture and performance. Drawing on his interest and training in urban planning and preservation, Gates redeems spaces that have been left behind. Known for his recirculation of art world capital, Gates’s practice focuses on the possibility of the “life within things.” His work contends with the notion of Black space as a formal exercise – one defined by collective desire, artistic agency, and the tactics of a pragmatist. Gates is a professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Visual Arts and the Harris School of Public Policy.” -Richard Gray Gallery

Ori Gersht
(b.1967, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel)

Trees Through Lace Curtain
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Ori Gersht, Trees Through Lace Curtain

“Ori Gersht was born in Israel in 1967, but has lived in London for over 30 years.

Throughout his career his work has been concerned with the relationships between history, memory and landscape. He often adopts a poetic, metaphorical approach to explore the difficulties of visually representing conflict and violent events or histories.

Gersht approaches this challenge not simply through his choice of imagery, but by pushing the technical limitations of photography, questioning its claim to truth. Frequently referencing art history, Gersht’s imagery is uncannily beautiful; the viewer is visually seduced before being confronted with darker and more complex themes, presenting a compulsive tension between beauty and violence. This has included an exploration of his own family’s experiences during the Holocaust, a series of post-conflict landscapes in Bosnia and a celebrated trilogy of slow-motion films in which traditional still lives explode on screen.” -origersht.com

Jacob Hashimoto
(b.1973, Greeley, Colorado)

Untitled, 2005
Bamboo, paper, nylon string, acrylic and wood
78 3/4 x 118 1/8 x 12 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2005

“Jacob Hashimoto’s layered compositions are deeply rooted in art historical tradition while exploring contemporary themes, referencing video games, virtual environments, and cosmology. The multi-disciplinary, atmospheric installations treat traditional landscape-based abstraction, modernism, and handcraft as leaping off points. Meticulously constructed with delicate materials, Hashimoto’s three-dimensional constellations incorporate pigment-coated rice paper, bamboo, and cotton thread, combined with heavier metals, paint, and resin. The resulting kaleidoscopic worlds traverse and transcend the boundaries of conventional abstraction. These organic and complex works, spanning the vast context of the gallery space, invite viewers to reflect on the natural world and human existence within the ever shifting, intricate universe.

Jacob was born in 1973 in Greeley, CO. He studied at Carleton College and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996. He lives and works in Ossining, New York.” -Miles McEnery Gallery

Jim Hodges
(b.1957, Spokane, Washington)

Constellation of An Ordinary Day, 2002
Wood and metal panel, ceramic sockets and lightbulbs
31 3/4 x 31 3/4 x 9 and 31 3/4 x 31 3/4 x 8 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Jim Hodges, Constellation of An Ordinary Day, 2002

“Hodges’ work explores themes of fragility, temporality, love and death in a highly original and poetic vocabulary. He frequently deploys different materials and techniques: from ready-made objects to traditional media such as graphite and ink.

Jim Hodges was born in 1957 in Spokane, Washington, USA. He now lives and works between Milan, Italy and New York, USA.

Often disarmingly simple or executed with minimal means, Hodges’ works express a sentiment of deeply felt experience and encourage a visceral and communal response. Whether working in materials such as curtains woven from artificial silk flowers, metal chains, glass, or using saliva to create ink transfer impressions on paper, Hodges’ works are inhabited by the presence of the body. Incorporated in his choice of media and articulated in text and image is a narrative of human experience, one of life and death and of the proximity of contingency that affects us all.” -Stephen Friedman Gallery

Wang Jin
(b.1962, Datong, China)

A Chinese Dream, 2006
PVC with embroidered fishing thread
82 1/2 x 67 x 5 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Wang Jin, A Chinese Dream, 2006

“Wang Jin is a Beijing-based artist, whose powerful conceptual work reflects both his own personal experiences and the transformations of Chinese culture. His poetic oeuvre reverberates with history as it encounters the contemporary world.

‘A Chinese Dream’ presents a garish robe, for example, fabricated out of cheap-looking clear polyvinyl chloride (pvc) and which has the appearance of being mass-produced, hanging suspended at eye-level.  Sinuous dragons are embroidered into it with fishing line, and the robe is vaguely reminiscent of court attire from the Qing Dynasty.  Artist Wang Jin calls his series of pvc robes “high-tech rubbish,” and they humorously comment on the cheapening and trivializing effect of consumerism and industrialization on culture.

Wang Jin studied traditional figurative painting at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts, graduating in 1987. He taught fine arts at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Design until 1992, when he began his work as an independent artist.” -Friedman Benda Gallery

Misha Kahn
(b.1989, Duluth, Minnesota)

Saturday Morning Series: Wall Mirror, 2014
Resin, vinyl, glass, and foil
22 1/4 x 14 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Misha Kahn, Saturday Morning Series: Wall Mirror, 2014

“Misha Kahn has emerged as one of the leading creative voices of his generation. Through a wildly imaginative approach that embraces spontaneity and non-conformity, Kahn allows the illogical and the irreverent to take over his process. He employs an entire spectrum from lo-fi and ad hoc techniques—such as improvisational molds and collage—to virtual reality.

Kahn graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2011 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Furniture Design. Early in his career, he gained recognition when he was featured in the Museum of Arts and Design’s Biennial (2014).

Unafraid to push boundaries, Kahn is driven to self-invent, adapt, and further processes in a myriad of mediums including metalwork, glass, wood, textiles, ceramic, casting, fiberglass, resin, and cement. Embracing an unorthodox result, he seeks the opportunity to learn from masters in their respective crafts. Working at the intersection of design and sculpture, Misha Kahn creates exuberant furniture that embraces color, maximalism, and gestural expression. With a highly experimental approach to media and process, the artist has incorporated craft and industrial materials into his pieces, as well as found objects.” -Friedman Benda Gallery

Hayv Kahraman
(b.1981, Baghdad, Iraq)

Kawliya.2., 2014
Oil on linen
96 x 48 x 2 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Hayv Kahraman, Kawliya.2., 2014

Iraqi artist Hayv Kahraman’s personal history—her family life, memories, and experiences as a Middle Eastern woman—inform her paintings. Her work focuses on the female body and its political and social significance. Born in Baghdad in 1981, her family fled Iraq during the Gulf War and found refuge in Sweden, where she grew up and learned to paint. Kahraman moved to Florence, Italy to study graphic design and now lives in the United States.

Due to her worldwide movement and displacement, a variety of artistic influences can be seen in her work. Many figures in her art are portrayed with thick, dark hair, showing her interest in the women in Japanese scroll paintings. The exaggerated long necks of her figures reveal her time in Italy studying Renaissance and Mannerist masterpieces (e.g. Madonna of the Long Neck). The textile patterns in her paintings show her familiarity with Persian illustrations, Arabic calligraphy, and Islamic mosaic work. The combination of these traditions in her art show Kahraman’s interest in her personal history and identity. In the artist’s words, “When I went [back] to Iraq, I felt like a tourist. In Sweden, I’m a tourist and here [in the USA] I am definitely a tourist. The merging of cultures in my art is a search for identity. I’ve never had a home.”

The female figures in Kahraman’s work have a biographical starting point as well: each figure is based on photographs that the artist takes of herself in various poses and costumes, which are later translated into painting. “I use my body as the primary tool,” she notes. Each woman in her final works has, then, a similar appearance—fleshy and graceful, with striking features, almost translucent or glowing skin, and elegant stances, all with a serene yet distant look on their faces.

Kawliya is a traditional Iraqi dance that originated with the nomadic people of the same name, throughout the Middle East for their talents in music and dance. Having experienced this dance as a young girl, Kahraman has long celebrated this memory as a touchstone to her childhood.” -North Carolina Museum of Art

Tom LaDuke
(b.1963, Holyoke, Massachusetts)

Fanclub, 2015
Acrylic and glitter on canvas over panel
57 x 46 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Tom LaDuke, Fanclub, 2015

“This body of work continues LaDuke’s existential investigation into the nature and location of the Self, as viewers are self-consciously confronting objects that intentionally veil their subject matter.

Tom LaDuke’s painstakingly constructed paintings toy with the boundaries of perception and recognition. Layering representational scenes (ranging from the history of film to the history of painting) with bold abstraction, LaDuke negotiates between the conceptual, material, spatial, and formal issues inherent in painting. Abstract expressions dance atop the most precisely rendered compositions, flattening the layers of the painting to a single plane. These fresh daubs of paint complicate the viewer’s ability to dive into the familiar representations, underscoring the artist’s exploration of reality versus perceived reality.” -The Kohn Gallery

Raúl Martínez
(b.1927, Ciego de Ávila, Cuba – d.1995, Havana, Cuba)

Untitled (Sin Titulo), 1993
Gouache on paper
37 3/4 x 28 1/2 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Raúl Martínez, Untitled (Sin Titulo), 1993

“Raúl Martínez was the leading Cuban artist after the revolution of 1959. The son of a sugar mill worker and a teacher, Martínez moved to Havana in 1940 where he began his fine art training at the San Alejandro Academy. Encouraged by abstract artist Sandu Darie, and after reading Vision in Motion by Bauhaus professor László Moholy-Nagy, Martínez enrolled in the Chicago Design Institute where his canvases took an abstract expressionist turn. In 1953, back in Cuba, he joined the group Los Once with whom he exhibited until 1956.

Establishing his presence within the Havana avant-garde, Martínez also worked as a freelance graphic artist for magazines and publishing houses. Between 1960 and 1961 he was appointed artistic director of the cultural magazine Lunes de Revolución, and in the following years he also participated in the foundation of the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) and the Cuban Book Institute.

After deciding to take a break from painting in 1966, he focused on his work in graphic design, a medium he considered more socially relevant. Having observed the visual impact of the murals and graffiti that appeared across the island to celebrate the revolution, he returned to painting in 1967, renouncing abstraction in favour of a more direct aesthetic language.” -Sofia Gotti, September 2015

Florian Meisenberg
(b.1980, Berlin, Germany)

MAMA & PAPA, 2023
Marble dust and oil paint on canvas
23 1/2 x 19 5/8 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Florian Meisenberg, MAMA & PAPA, 2023

“Meisenberg’s work oscillates between and regularly encompasses painting, installation and film. Meisenberg’s paintings simultaneously conjure lightness and depth; they vary greatly in density and rendering, employing multi-layered compositions that display themes of digital apprehension and abstract interiors alongside cartoonish figures and scrawling statements. His delicate, oblique films capture intrigue in the banal moments of contemporary existence. Florian Meisenberg works between New York, USA and Dusseldorf, Germany.” –Kate MacGarry Gallery

Zanele Muholi
(b.1972, Umlazi, South Africa)

Ntozabantu II, Parktown, 2016
Gelatin Silver Print
30 1/2 x 20 7/8 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Zanele Muholi, Ntozabantu II, Parktown, 2016

Jean Michel Othoniel
(b.1964, Saint-Étienne, France)

Black is Beautiful, 2006
Murano glass and steel
90 1/2 x 17 3/4 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Jean Michel Othoniel, Black is Beautiful, 2006

“Jean-Michel Othoniel’s enchanting aesthetics revolves around the notion of emotional geometry. Through the repetition of modular elements such as bricks or his signature beads, he creates exquisite jewelry-like sculptures whose relationship to the human scale ranges from intimacy to monumentality. His predilection for materials with reversible and often reflective properties—particularly blown glass, which has been the hallmark of his practice since the early 1990s—relates to the deeply equivocal nature of his art. Monumental yet delicate, baroque yet minimal, poetic yet political, his contemplative forms, like oxymorons, have the power to reconcile opposites. While his dedication to site-specific commissions for public spaces has led some of his work to take an almost architectural turn, Othoniel’s holistic sensibility compares to fêng shui, or the art of harmonizing people with their environment, allowing viewers to inhabit his world through reflection and motion. Jean Michel Othoniel was born in 1964 in Saint-Étienne, France. He lives and works in Paris.” -Perrotin Gallery

Jeff Sonhouse
(b.1968, New York, New York)

Meeting at the Crossroads, 2003
Oil and mixed media on canvas
75 x 65 x 3 1/4 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Jeff Sonhouse, Meeting at the Crossroads, 2003

“Sonhouse’s portraiture addresses topics of personal and public identity. The artist once stated, “I paint the black male figure because it’s mine. That’s who I am.” Throughout his paintings, Sonhouse explores how notions of African-American masculinity are constructed, performed, and interpreted within Western culture. He embellishes these portraits with vernacular material, like beads, masks, fibers, gems, and glitter. His figures often sport jeweled suits and accessories; but invariably, their lineaments are partly concealed behind masks. Mask, and other elements of costuming, are emphasized by their painted and collaged textures which stand out against Sonhouse’s flat backgrounds.” -Monique Meloche Gallery

Alec Soth
(b.1969, Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Ute’s Books, Odessa, 2018
Archival pigment print
50 x 40 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Alec Soth, Ute’s Books, Odessa, 2018

“Alec Soth studied at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. Soth received international acclaim when his photographs were featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the 2004 Whitney and São Paulo Biennials. Soth uses his large format camera to photograph the people and landscapes of suburban and rural communities, often during road trips throughout the Midwest and the South.” -Sean Kelly Gallery

Avinash Veeraraghavan
(b.1975, Chennai, India)

Fracture 3, 2016
24 x 24 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Avinash Veeraraghavan, Fracture 3, 2016

Born in Chennai in 1975, Avinash Veeraraghavan trained under and went on to collaborate with the Italian designer Andrea Anastasio at the Centre For Learning, Bangalore, in 1995.

Kehinde Wiley
(b.1977, Los Angeles, California)

Rumors of War, 2019
Patinated bronze
53 x 64 x 24 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Treisha Lowe, 2012
Oil on linen
96 x 72 inches
On loan from Pizzuti Collection

Kehinde Wiley, Left: Rumors of War, 2019 | Right: Treisha Lowe, 2012

Rumors of War, 2019

“As a direct response to the Confederate statues that line Monument Avenue in Richmond, Wiley conceived the idea for Rumors of War when he visited the city in 2016 for the opening of Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic at VMFA. Rumors of War takes its inspiration from the statue of Confederate Army General James Ewell Brown “J.E.B.” Stuart created by Frederick Moynihan in 1907. As with the original sculpture, the rider strikes a heroic pose while sitting upon a muscular horse. However, in Wiley’s sculpture, the figure is a young African American dressed in urban streetwear. Proudly mounted on its large stone pedestal, the bronze sculpture commemorates African American youth lost to the social and political battles being waged throughout our nation”

“Wiley’s career has focused on addressing and remedying the absence of black and brown men and women in our visual, historical, and cultural narratives. His subjects range from individuals the artist encountered while traveling around the world to many of the most important and renowned African American figures of our generation, including President Barack Obama.” –Kehinde Wiley Studio

Treisha Lowe, 2012

“Kehinde Wiley’s debut exhibition at Sean Kelly Gallery, New York: An Economy of Grace, represents a significant departure from Wiley’s previous subject matter by depicting African-American women, his first-ever series dedicated to female subjects. The models for the paintings were cast on the streets of New York City. Their poses are based on historical portraits of society women by Jacques-Louis David, Thomas Gainsborough and John Singer Sargent, among others.”

“Instead of representing the models in their own clothes, as is the case with his portraits of men, Wiley has collaborated with Riccardo Tisci, Creative Director of the famed French couture house Givenchy, to design long dresses for the women. As creative collaborators, Wiley and Tisci spent numerous hours together walking through the galleries of the Louvre and discussing both the aesthetic and conceptual context for the project, specifically society’s ideals of feminine beauty and the frequent marginalization of women of color. Following these conversations, Tisci designed six unique dresses for the models. The resulting paintings to be shown in An Economy of Grace are a celebration of black women, creating a rightful place for them within art history, which has to date been an almost exclusively white domain.”

“In Wiley’s words, “The phrase ‘an economy of grace’ speaks directly to the ways in which we manufacture and value grace and honor, the people that we choose to bestow that honor upon, and the ways in which grace is at once an ideal that we strive for and something that is considered to be a natural human right. I am painting women in order to come to terms with the depictions of gender within the context of art history. One has to broaden the conversation…This series of works attempts to reconcile the presence of black female stereotypes that surrounds their presence and/or absence in art history, and the notions of beauty, spectacle, and the ‘grand’ in painting.” -Kehinde Wiley Studio