Say I Am: Lauren Frances Adams, Caroline Wells Chandler, Pixy Liao, and Yvonne Osei
September 16 – Ocotber 29, 2016
Opening reception, September 16, 6-9pm
PLUG Projects presents Say I Am, an exhibition featuring the work of Lauren Frances Adams, Caroline Wells Chandler, Pixy Liao, and Yvonne Osei. These artists address agency and challenge assumptions within a historically patriarchal heteronormative structure. Providing a contrast to the dominant landscape, deviations from expected gendered, cultural, or racial narratives are presented. Whether speaking from one’s experience or for an individual’s right to self determinism, each artist lends a transgressive hand to support new ways of thinking.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Lauren Frances Adams earned her BFA at UNC-Chapel Hill, and completed her MFA in 2007 at Carnegie Mellon University. She lives and works in Baltimore. She has exhibited at Nymans House National Trust (Sussex, England), The Walters Museum (MD), The Mattress Factory (PA), and Smack Mellon (NY). She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and has held residencies at the Cite in Paris and the Sacatar Foundation in Brazil. She is the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Award, and a 2016 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award. Her work has been reviewed in Frieze Magazine, The Baltimore Sun, Artslant, and Hyperallergic. Lauren is a founding member of Ortega y Gasset Projects, a project space in New York.http://www.lfadams.com
Caroline Wells Chandler’s brightly colored hand-crocheted works explore notions of queerness and sexuality as well as the art historical canon. His characters are radically queer, and his representations of gender declare queerness as the normative state. Chandler completed his foundation studies at the Rhode Island School of Design and received his BFA cum laude from Southern Methodist University in 2007. He has shown at numerous institutions including: Roberto Paradise (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Lord Ludd (PA), Art League Houston (TX), Zurcher Studio (NY), Field Projects (NY), Vox Populi (PA), Sanctuary (PA), N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art (MI), Open Gallery (TN), and the Stieglitz Museum (‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands) among others. Chandler is a 2011 MFA recipient in painting at the Yale School of Art where he was awarded the Ralph Mayer Prize for proficiency in materials and techniques. He lives and works in New York. http://carolinewellschandler.com
Pixy Liao was born and raised in Shanghai, China and currently resides in Brooklyn. She is a recipient of NYFA Fellowship in photography, En Foco’s New Works Fellowship and LensCulture Exposure Awards, etc,. She has done artist residencies at Pioneer Works, Light Work, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Center for Photography at Woodstock, and Camera Club of New York. Liao’s photographs have been exhibited internationally, including He Xiangning Art Museum (China), Asia Society (Houston), Flower Gallery (NY), First Draft Gallery (Sydney), VT Artsalon (Taiwan), Kips Gallery (Korea), The Running Horse Contemporary Art Space (Lebanon), Format (UK), Noorderlicht (Netherland), etc. Liao holds a MFA in photography from University of Memphis.http://pixyliao.com
Yvonne Osei is a German-born Ghanaian artist living in the United States who is hyperaware of her hybridity. She describes herself as an outsider artist making insider art, referencing her West African roots while acknowledging her close to six years living in St. Louis, Missouri. https://vimeo.com/yvonneosei
About the Project:
Anatomy of Style in New France: Louis XV/Code Noir
Printed vinyl and three individual paintings (gouache and acrylic on paper, 2014)
New France was the name of the territory stretching from New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico up the Mississippi River (including parts of Kansas and Missouri) to Canada during the French colonial period (16th-18th centuries). Louis XV was the king of France during this later period, and in 1724 at the age of 13, he signed into effect the second version of the Code Noir. This ‘black code’ consolidated the French legal framework concerning slavery in North America, restricting the rights of enslaved and free blacks and outlining the religious entitlements of all French subjects. The painted texts in the wallpaper are from this regulatory decree. The pixelated objects depicted in the wallpaper are from the Nelson-Atkins Museum collection of Louis XV style furniture, objects created in a style once popular in France and roughly concurrent with this later era of French trade and settlement in Illinois Country / Upper Louisiana. Collapsing ornament and oppression, the Code Noir textual extracts combined with archival evidence of the monarchy’s finest furnishings offer an acute contrast concerning an important period in the history of Missouri.
Positioned on the background image and hanging as if slightly askew in a genuine and grand domestic space are three paintings from my ongoing series, Decorum. Decorum is an incomplete but growing index of the histories of enslaved people from antiquity to the present. Decorative and textual sources trace the complex structures that surround labor and power inequalities. My sources are frequently found in museum collections, where the museum acts as both witness and author. Archival remnants of slave narratives, ornament, and my own personal inquiries constitute an open-ended process of asking how the decorative arts participate, either actively or silently, in promoting or reflecting dominant ideologies of social hierarchy, political authority, and cultural fantasy.