Very, Very Presidential Speech
April 16 - May 31, 2020
Amos Eno Gallery is pleased to present Very, Very Presidential Speech, an exhibition of new works by Chris Kienke based on the first official White House portrait of President Donald Trump. An opening reception will be held on Friday, April 17, from 6-8 PM at 56 Bogart Street in Brooklyn, NY. Please check back for confirmation.
Each work in the exhibition comprises brightly colored, hand-lettered quotes from the President superimposed onto his first official White House portrait. Each is an intervention, using the President’s own words to subvert the portrait’s intended effect. Kienke performs a graphic intervention on the portrait by overwriting it with select quotes in sans serif lettering.
Kienke’s Very, Very, Presidential Speech examines the President’s perspective as expressed through verified quotes about women, race, and patriotism inflected with privilege and nationalistic overtones. The project explores how these Presidential perspectives influence current debates ranging from ideas about freedom and citizenship to how a society responds to gun violence. Ideas about patriotism, citizenship and freedom are represented by language that is itself reflective of class, race, and gender. In the artist’s view, these quotes “shape our beliefs about what American values are and who gets to share in those values.” Kienke responds to dialogues around social, political, historical and economic issues filtered through nationalistic and patriotic ideals and what he views as a demand for visual rendering.
Chris Kienke has been with Amos Eno Gallery since 2012 and has his work has been exhibited in over 70 shows including recent solo exhibitions at Northwestern University (2018), the University of Kentucky (2016), the Art Center at National Central University in Taiwan (2015) and Fuchs Projects in New York City. Chris exhibited in the Florence Biennale in 2011, the Brussels Biennial in 2009 and was included in New American Paintings in September 2009. Kienke has been a fellow at Hospitalfield House in Scotland in 1998-1999 and at the Vermont Studio Center in 2003 and 2007. His work is in permanent collections such as ABN Amro Bank in Dubai, Savannah College of Art and Design, Sharjah Art Museum (UAE) and the United Kingdom National Collection. Chris Kienke received his MFA from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale in 2000 and his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1994.
Image: Chris Kienke, Great Relationship with Blacks, 2019. Acrylic on digital print, 20 x 16 inches.
The Illusion that Light Travels
June 4 - July 19, 2020
Amos Eno Gallery presents The Illusion that Light Travels, an exhibition of new works by long-time gallery member and co-founder José-Ricardo Presman. An opening reception will be held on Friday, June 5, from 6-9 PM at 56 Bogart Street in Brooklyn, NY. Please check back for confirmation.
The title hints at the requirement that we revisit thoughtlessly repeated perspectives. By intuitively experiencing our inner and outer worlds, these perspectives can build knowledge or lead to creative thinking. Presman states, "We've been misled into thinking that we're debunking myths (falsehoods) when in fact these so-called myths are remembrances of our living past. This deception was necessary in order to simultaneously strengthen and expand our self-awareness. With this newfound self-awareness we can now, through our own efforts, remember the wisdom of our past.” Presman makes a clear distinction between the processes of building knowledge and creativity when he states “Knowledge requires that we remember our past in a new way and in full, self-awakened consciousness. In creativity, on the other hand, something brand new makes its appearance."
On view in the exhibition are wax pastel sketches on black chalkboard divided into three groups. Four smaller units are drawn in hourglass shapes, permeated by the four original elemental forms as solid, fluid, airy and warmth. A poem accompanies the grouping. Three larger panels indicate a vision of organic, animate and humane origins, respectively. An eighth sketch is reminiscent of what is isolated and discarded. Three collage figures are included. The short story, The Story of the Old Man Who Became Younger and Younger gives cohesion to the exhibit and copies are available for purchase.
A talk by the artist will take place at the gallery during the exhibit, date and time to be announced. The topics will cover how the creative mind co-ordinates with the rational mind in an artistic context, including how it's possible to experience that: 1) the Earth is not technically a globe: 2) humans precede animals: 3) light doesn't travel.
José-Ricardo Presman was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and received his M.F.A. from Pratt Institute. He has exhibited in numerous solo shows at Amos Eno Gallery in New York and in group shows throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Image: José-Ricardo Presman, See Evil, 2020. Photocopy of collage, 12 x 12 inches.