On view November 2 - December 3, 2023
Friday, November 3rd, 6 - 8 p.m.
Group Show of 20 Artists
On view Dec. 8, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024
Friday, December 8, 6 - 8 p.m.
Amos Eno Gallery is pleased to present Magic Hour, a group exhibition of work by 20 artists. An opening reception will take place at the gallery's Bushwick location at 56 Bogart St., on Friday, December 8, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Curated by gallery director Ellen Sturm Niz, the exhibition features work by: Damien Olsen Berdichevsky, Damfino, Chris Esposito, Matt Greco, James Horner, Grant Johnson, Sam Jones, Charleen Kavleski, Emily Loughlin, Li Xin Li, Julianne Nash, Hiroko Ohno, Kathy Loev Putnam, José-Ricardo Presman, Ryan Schroeder, Dain Susman, Christopher Squier, Philip Swan, Michelle Thompson Ulerich, and Aaron Wilder.
“Coveted by photographers, ‘magic hour’ is that special moment at sunset when the sun bathes the world in a warm, otherworldly glow, but it’s an apt description of all the work in this show, from sculpture to paintings to drawings,” Niz says. “Each piece has a quality that connects to this sense of the ephemeral and having captured the alchemy of a place, time, or narrative. While viewing each work, you can’t help but be transported.”
Anchoring the exhibition on the far wall of the gallery, Kathy Loev Putnam’s two works on wood panel utilize saturated paint colors, screen printing, monotype, and collage to achieve dream-like compositions with illogical interruptions in forms and patterns. The result of both Party in My Hair (2019) and In Fine Feather (2019), both on loan from Stanek Gallery in Philadelphia, convey joyful innocence and its inevitably fleeting nature.
“Anchored in a gesture that is both personal and familiar, my subjects are universal portraits of girls during their formative years, marked by a vivid internal consciousness, and at times a sense of social disconnection,” Putnam says.
Other works on view in Magic Hour include sculpture, paintings, photographs, mixed media, and drawings where reality intertwines with fantasy, and the ordinary is infused with a touch of the extraordinary. This exhibition not only celebrates the transitory nature of, well, everything, but also invites contemplation on the elusive magic hidden within the everyday, encouraging observers to rediscover the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Aaron Wilder does just that in the two 24 x 32 inch inkjet prints of his digital photographs, Details (2017) and Details (2020), which celebrate the gorgeousness of textured, golden-hued surfaces when viewed in extreme close-up.
“Inspired by the ‘Evidence’ collaboration between Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel as well as Sol LeWitt's ‘PhotoGrids,’ Details is a zoomed in exploration of minutiae, such as marks, patterns, and signs of weathering—these are details of human impact and manipulation cut off from context to emphasize the aesthetics of wear and tear that typically go unnoticed in our daily lives,” Wilder explains.
Similarly, 38°31′30″N 111°45′00″W (Pando) by Emily Loughlin explores the unnoticed beauty hidden in the natural world. Created in residency with the Friends of Pando, the sculpture — made of bisque-fired stoneware, wire, and CMUs and displayed on six cinder blocks — maps the root system of the 106-acre Pando Aspen Tree. A clonal organism, Pando’s 4,400 individual stems grow from a single root system, making it the largest known organism on earth.
Alternating between references to topography and to organic materials, Loughlin’s sculptures examine the interplay between geology and biology, shifting between their vastly different time scales. With clay as her primary medium, she uses firing temperature to manipulate the work's longevity, making topographies and landscapes “temporary” through raw clay and bisque firing, and organic forms “permanent” through high-fire vitrification.
Meanwhile, Hiroko Ohno challenges us to look to the skies and luxuriate in the celestial in her mixed media works Galaxy Event Horizon (2023) and Space II (2018), which convey the stunning vastness and eerie beauty of space.
“My questions about the universe and the world drive me to create artwork. I am interested in time and gravity. I use pigments of minerals, seashells, corals, etc., and focus on celestial bodies,” Ohno says. “Recently, I have been particularly interested in the Event Horizon Project, which is investigating black holes. The stars and celestial bodies I depict are based on my physical and mental experiences and memories from my travels around the world, including Namibia, Africa, the Sahara Desert, and Quebec, where I saw them on the spot.”
James Horner implores us to cherish seemingly mundane moments with loved ones with his petite glazed ceramic sculpture Sleepers in Green Bed (2020). Horner is a gay man whose psychological artworks tell stories of the LGBTQ+ peoples’ lives to help divert discrimination. This sculpture is of Horner and his partner, Chris, sleeping together. He created the work after Chris committed suicide during the pandemic to promote suicide awareness among the queer community.
Li Xin Li also explores the personal and emotional in I Just Want to Rest (2023), in which an exhausted figure is draped over a large block, with his head set neatly below. Who doesn’t want to sever themselves from their incessant stream of thoughts occasionally? Now that would be magic.
It’s a “self-consciousness breakdown; a grief over the downfall of ego; a direct translation of the artist’s feeling onto the media itself,” notes Li of the acrylic on canvas painting that expertly uses both color and form.
Also on view in the exhibition is a video of the 16-minute duet dance “Up, at the moon,” performed by dancers Michelle Thompson Ulerich and Lydia Soueidan at the gallery on September 16, 2023. Choreographed by Ulerich in response to “The Golden Rule,” a solo exhibition by Elena Barenghi, the dance was inspired by nature and the beautiful balance present in the natural world. Similarly, Ulerich’s choreography explored the miraculous and harmonious cycles of nature and life, with the dance emerging from the wall almost as if the dancers were being born out of the mural.
Magic Hour invites viewers to reflect on the beauty of fleeting moments and the enchantment of discovering the extraordinary in the ordinary. These seven works as well as the 23 others in the exhibition all contribute their own dialogue to the overall message of acknowledging the profound magic of our existence. The works’ diverse perspectives weave together a narrative that celebrates the intricacies of our world, making it a must-see showcase of artistic perspectives and contemplation.
Concurrently, an exhibition of works by the Fall 2023 Critique Group participants will open in The Project Space.