Wild Feature 2 brings together 8 young artists of the same generation (between the ages of 29 and 35) who began working in Brooklyn on the initiative of one of their number, Brian Belott. Their first show took place at the Zürcher Studio, New York, in June-July 2009, and the next one at the Galerie Zürcher, Paris, between 14 November and 30 December the same year. The other 7 are Melissa Brown, Brendan Cass, James B. Franklin, Jesse A. Greenberg, John Hodany, Misaki Kawai and Taylor McKimens. They could be described as “painters”, although their different approaches show the degree to which they have shed the constraints usually associated with that concept. None of them has exhibited in France before, apart from Brian Belott, who had a double exhibition in March-April at the Galerie Zürcher and the Salon du Dessin Contemporain (Carreau du Temple).
This “Parisian” exhibition is based on the fact that at the start of the third millennium these artists have adopted a certain “Fauvist” stance worthy of their illustrious predecessors from the early 20th century – those of the Cage aux Fauves in the 1905 Salon d’Automne. Brendan Cass’s oversized representations of landscapes, for example, are reminiscent of Vlaminck’s statement, with regard to telegraph lines, that “they need to be painted huge, given how much is going on inside them.” Melissa Brown makes woodcuts (a technique that was widely used by the Fauvists and the German expressionists in the early 20th century) that “print” giant double-sided “dollars” of great formal delicacy; and this quality is equally to be found in James B. Franklin’s scenes, with their enigmatic precision. It is also present in John Hodany’s paper cutouts, which are literally fascinating (on the kinetic level, among others). There is an amazing freshness about Jesse A. Greenberg’s assemblages and installations, which are like nothing ever seen. Drawing objects, or debris, from the most diverse sources – a sports car seat, a piece of fencing, plastic objects used in different ways ¬– he is an advocate of anti-technology. And Misaki Kawai’s papier mâché paintings and installations, with their psychedelic, childlike, sugary appearance (Kawai could be translated as “cute”) recall the Muppet Show – or Milton Avery’s landscapes. But in reality they represent a sharp critique of American society.
If these 8 artists have one thing in common, it is a subtle but corrosive form of humor that comes through, for example, in Taylor McKimens’ paintings and drawings. But with its penchant for oscillation, or indeed the vertigo of a microcosm, this trait could also be termed “sensitive provocation” in memory of Martin Kippenberger, one of the German Neue Wilde. This is how it is expressed, in particular, in the concentration of Brian Belott’s collages and books, which can project the viewer into teleportation.
Brian Belott (b. 1973)
Education: 1995 BFA, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY / 1994 Cooper Union, New York, NY (thrown out).
2009 “New York minute” Macro Future Museum, Rome / Galerie Zürcher, Paris / 2008 “Book / Shelf” Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY ; Leyendecker Gallery, Tenerife, Iles Canaries, Espagne “I Won’t Grow Up”, Cheim & Read, New York, NY / 2007 “Swirly Music”, Canada gallery, New York, NY ; “Brian Belott Lost and Found Slide Show”, Community Outreach Gallery, Ontario, Canada / 2005 “Books, books, books, books and books”, Canada gallery, New York, NY.
Melissa Brown (b. 1974) Education: 1996 Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island, BFA Printmaking /1999 Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, MFA Painting and Printmaking / 2000 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
2009 Melissa Brown, Canada gallery, NY / / Badlands, curated by Denise Markonish, Mass MOCA, North Adams, Massachusetts / I’m on Top of Things, Galleri Loyal, Stockholm, Sweden / $HIT = MONEY = LOVE = ART, curated by Paul Nudd, Chicago Version Fest 2007 In Full Cry, curated by Taylor McKimens and Matt Leines, New Image Art, LA / Rearview, curated by Eric Shiner, Freight and Volume, NY.
Brendan Cass (b. 1974) Education : Milton Avery School of the Arts, Bard College, Annandale / School of Visual Arts, NY / SUNY Purchase, NY
2009 New Nature, Stellan Holm Gallery, NY 2008 I Won’t Grow Up, Cheim & Read, NY 2007 Galeria Leyendecker, Tenerife, Spain / European Spree, Galleri Lars Bohman, Stockholm, Sweden / Five Painters, Galleri Loyal, Stockholm, Sweden 2006 Europa, Freight and Volume, NY / Frisky Flaming Hot, Galleri Christina Wilson, Copenhagen, Denmark.
James Benjamin Franklin (b. 1972) Education : 1999 BFA art Center of Design, Pasadena, CA.
2008 SUB-TIPPY (North Gallery) Clementine, NY / Presents, curated by Milwaukee International, Rowley Kennerk Gallery, Chicago IL 2007 In Full Cry, Matt Leines and Taylor McKimens, curators, New Image Art Gallery, Los Angeles LA / New Paintings, Mogadishni International Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark / Googleplex, Darren Bader, curator, Gavin Brown’s Passerby, New York NY / Phantasmania, Elizabeth Dunbar, curator, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City MO / Poets on Painters Katie Geha, curator Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, KS / Crystal Crunch Taylor McKimens, curator Perugi Artecontemporanea Gallery, Padova, Italy.
Jesse A. Greenberg (b. 1982) Education : 2004 BFA Sculpture, Rhode Island School of Design.
2008 Bobo’s on 27th, Foxy Productions, NY / We’ve Got Tissues, Okay Mountain Gallery, Austin 2007 New Works, And A MegaBinx, Bobo’s on 9th, Philadelphia / First Philadelphia Open, Pageant: Soloveev Gallery, Philadelphia / Seven, Fuel Gallery, Philadelphia 2006 Louisiana Biennial, Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans / Reality And Alteration, Brenda Taylor Gallery, New York / Metro Pictures, The Moore Space, Miami / I Smell Pregnant, produced by Ryan Trecartin, QED Gallery, LA
John Hodany (b. 1974) Education: 2002 MFA, de Ateliers 63, Amsterdam, NL 1995 BFA, Cooper Union School of Art, New York.
2009 Holy Rollers, Lena Bruening Galerie, Berlin 2008 Precurse curated by John Hodany, Nationalmuseum, Berlin / Caetano de Almeida, John Hodany, Michael Lazarus, Eleven Rivington Gallery / 2007 Works on Paper, Galerie Loyal, Stockholm / David Castillo Gallery LA / 2006 Kreisis, Galerieigenschlafzimmer, Berlin.
Misaki Kawai (b. 1978) Education : 1999 Kyoto College of Art in Kyoto, Japan.
2009 Take Ninagawa Gallery, Tokyo / I believe Toyama Museum, Toyama / Arts factory galerie nomade, Montreuil - Espace Beaurepaire, Paris : Frederic Magazine 3 / I can’t feel my face, ROYAL/T Art Space, LA / Flight of Fancy, Kenny Schachter/Rove, London / Outdoor Club, Paul Bright, Toronto / I won’t grow up, Cheim + Read / Wet n Wild, Kim Light, L.A. 2007 Red Hot, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston / Momemtum, ICA, Boston / Big Break, Perugi Arte Contemporeana, Padova 2006 Boro-Boro Doro-Doro, Watari Museum of Art, Tokyo / Art Parade, Deitch Projects, NY / The Thousand Things, MU Museum, Eindhoven, NL / Greater New York 2, P.S.1 MoMA, NY / Hanging by thread, The Moore Space, Miami.
Taylor McKimens (b. 1976)
2009 New York minute, Macro Future Museum / 2008 Mail order monsters, curated by Kathy Grayson Andreas Melas Presents, Athens, Greece / Soft serve, Deitch Projects, NY / Circumstaces (or something like that), curated by Rich Jacobs, Nog Gallery, London / Sweet dreams of Phoenix, Galleri Loyal, Stockholm / Mail order monsters, curated by Kathy Grayson, Deitch Projects, NY / Tiger in a tropical storm, curated by Chloe Derderian at Riviera, Brooklyn, 2006 The drips, Clementine Gallery, NY / Collage Party, Zieher Smith, NY