Main Gallery

The Figure Eight

Curator: Kwadwo Adae

February 9—March 16, 2013


Sophia Wallace, Jaclyn Conley, Gerri Davis, Gaviero Umami, Gregory Santos, Ryan & Trevor Oakes

In this exhibition depictions of figuration encompass the continuum from the traditional to the abstract, the scientific to the animalistic, and address the historical as well as societal aspects of artistic relationships with the viewer.  Each artist employs innovative approaches to the traditional concept of the figure in aspects of form, social commentary, and the willful transformation of materials. The exhibition was supplemented with community programming to engage the general public in these questions of figuration. Weekly figure drawing classes with live models, free and open to the public in the gallery at Artspace, spanned the duration of this exhibition.

About the Artists:

Sophia Wallace is an award-winning and critically acclaimed photographer who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.  In her body of work titled On Beauty she skillfully focuses attention on societal perceptions of masculinity, femininity, and sexuality by creating photographs of male models that objectify them in ways similar to the societally accepted practice of the objectification of women across artistic media.

Jaclyn Conley is a figurative painter who lives and works in New Haven, CT. Her work is driven by fragments of jpeg images cultivated from the internet and explores the line between the human figure and animal figure, asking which aspects of human behavior are animalistic and what aspects of animalism are human in nature.

Gerri Davis is a painter living and working in Manhattan, NY.  In her series Iteration she renders awe-inspiring, spatially perverse, monumentally sized figurative pieces in oil paint. These works are comprised of the exploration of staccato moments of time and space, echoing masterpieces of classical artistic expressions of portraiture.

Gaviero Umami is the moniker for the collaborative team of sculptors, Eoin Burke and Jim Dessicino. They live in New Haven, CT and work in Brooklyn, NY.  They render innovative forms by utilizing aspects of the figure as a vehicle for the exploration of ideas, leading to conceptual creations of figurative entities that are simultaneously abjectly familiar and impossibly alien.

Gregory Santos, an artist who works predominantly in printmaking, lives and works in Manhattan, NY.  In his body of work entitled Movements, he explores and portrays intimate interpersonal relationships by reducing figurative form to the rudimentary building blocks of color, shape, size, and space.  These simplified forms capture complex aspects of personality, mood, and the vibrancy of human gesture.

Ryan and Trevor Oakes are multidisciplinary, collaborative, twin artists living and working in Manhattan.  In their series Vision they explore fundamental aspects of visual perception by utilizing a special concave easel (specifically designed for the cranial measurements of these identical twins) with concave paper surfaces that are analogous to the spherical shape of the human eye.  These masterful concave drawings take into account the technical aspects of the perception of the viewer to create surprisingly accurate freehand ink drawings of interior and exterior spaces.