bk projects | beth kantrowitz

past project

Netherworld

January 7 - February 6, 2010
Reception: Thurs, January 7, 6-8pm
Rotenberg Gallery, Boston MA
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10-6

Rotenberg Gallery is pleased to present Netherworld, an exhibition of sculpture by Carl d'Alvia, painting by Kong Ae Kim, and video by Julia Hechtman. Curated by Beth Kantrowitz/bk projects and Kathleen O'Hara/OHT Projects, the exhibition explores the visionary realms created by these artists as they straddle the line dividing fantasy from reality.

Carl D'Alvia's scary/funny, hybrid creatures draw on sources that include megalithic monuments, toy design, fairy tales, and the Baroque. Fabricated using a unique sculptural process that is equal parts handmade and industrial, D'Alvia's familiar yet bizarre figures engage the viewer with their dark humor. Sitting passively atop pedestals or on the floor, they seem to be frozen in the moment, animated by their hairy textured surfaces and the psychological power of their silly gravitas rather than any sense of impending action. Mr. Shroom, a shaggy, chartreuse, anthropomorphized mushroom, could be an extra from "Fantasia" waiting for the next take, while Rat Thing, reveals a more sinister side to these creatures. Peering from its perch atop a jutting beam, this weasely, brown predator stalks innocent prey (such as the grouping Rabbit Family) as they squat unaware on the floor below.

Kyong Ae Kim's works offer her depiction of a netherworld that is part traditional Korean brush painting and part semi-abstract, visionary landscape. Painted flatly on matte mocha or charcoal grounds, these works depict a stark world of cliffs, buttes, and waterfalls, where squiggles and splashes morph into stags or vaguely equine creatures. In Cliff #7, three beasts plunge and dive amidst the swirling striations of the surrounding canyon walls. Just as D'Alvia's hairy surfaces animate his static figures, Kyong Ae Kim's scenes are energized by the topographic delineations of her dramatic landscapes. This is a wilder more primitive world than D'Alvia's. In her work psychology, is eclipsed by action, and life forms are born from their environment.

The Vanishing, Julia Hechtman's, brief, mesmerizing video, is a foil to the work of the other two artists in the exhibition. Haunting in its simplicity The Vanishing begins with a silhouette of a lone tree viewed against the backdrop of a pure blue sky. As the tree is systematically erased, pixel-by-pixel, a ghost of the original is left in its place until all that remains is the glowing white afterimage of the original tree. This final image is both familiar and foreign, expected and surprising. Are we seeing a spectral form reminiscent of Gothic novels, or a portent of a future, post-apocalyptic netherworld?

Carl D'Alvia lives and works in a storefront in West Cornwall, CT. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally. He is represented by Derek Eller Gallery, New York, VDS Gallery, Paris, and Massimor Carisi, Milan. D'Alvia has also exhibited at John Connelly Presents, New York, Feature Inc., New York, and Clifford Smith Gallery, Boston. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island

Kyong Ae Kim is a Korean artist who currently resides in St. Louis, MO. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally and received an MFA degree in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BFA degree is from the School of Arts, Chung-Ang University, Soeul, Korea. She has exhibited her work in Boston at OHT Gallery and is represented in the collections of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea and Wellington Management, Boston, MA.

Julia Hechtman is a Boston artist who works primarily in video. She has exhibited her work extensively nationally, as well as in London, Sydney and Tel Aviv, and is represented by devening projects + editions, Chicago, Illinois. She was Michelle Grabner's "Critic's Pick" at artforum.com, September 25, 2009, and is a curator at Proof Gallery, South Boston, MA.

Carl D'Alvia

Carl D'Alvia, Mr. Shroom, resin and paint, 15"x6"x5", 2007


Kyong Ae Kim

Kyong Ae Kim, Cliff #7, acrylic on panel, 30"x30", 2009


Julia Hechtman

Julia Hechtman, The Vanishing, still video image

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