Cap•i•ta [pl.] Head(s): the superior extremity of the human body, comprising the cranium and face, and containing the brain and organs of sight, hearing, taste, and smell.
Danese/Corey is pleased to announce the opening of CAPITA, curated by gallery staff member Brent Auxier. Included are works by twelve artists, across various mediums, that depict the human head in ways transcending a traditional sense of portraiture. The work included in the exhibition use the head – the container of a sacred space – to convey human themes and concerns as varied as identity, desire, history, fiction, privilege, feminism, race, gender, and mortality.
Don Bachardy: Don Bachardy’s drawings of his long-time partner Christopher Isherwood are part of a larger series documenting the last six months of the esteemed writer’s life. In Bachardy’s drawings of Isherwood’s last moments, the energy between artist and subject is palpable and poignant; Bachardy made almost daily drawings of his partner’s journey, an attempt to make even death a process the two could experience together. The resulting portraits are witness to a mind and body in transition. (Cheim & Read, 2009)
Romare Bearden: Bearden's primary medium was the collage, fusing painting, magazine clippings, old paper and fabric, like a jigsaw puzzle in upheaval. But unlike a puzzle, each piece of a Bearden collage has a meaning and history all its own. “110th Street Harlem Blues” is comprised of photographs taken by Sam Shaw during the filming of the 1972 crime drama, “Across 110th St.” That street, separating Harlem and Central Park, was considered a colloquial division between race and class during the film’s production in 1970’s New York. (NPR, 2013)
Nancy Burson: In the eighties, Burson collaborated on a computer program that used morphing technology to create uncanny composite photographs. As frontal as mug shots, the pictures are relics of the age before Photoshop, but their ghostly, out-of-focus layering remains oddly unsettling…She blends races and sexes, as if forecasting the advent of new norms, but a merger of ten white male executives from Goldman Sachs offers a counterpoint by predicting more of the same... (Vince Aletti, 2014).
Matthew Craven: Matthew Craven uses found images collaged onto obsessively drawn patterns to suggest the primacy of geometric abstraction in our visual vocabulary. Often buying several copies of the same vintage textbook, he repeats images of ancient art and archaeological remains to mirror geometric patterns inspired by decoration of North and South American indigenous origin. Attentive to physicality, his laboriously hand-drawn pieces are on the backs of old movie posters, adding another layer of age. Craven's fusions erase particularity, implying that patterns and perhaps histories across cultures start to reflect rather than oppose each other. (Asya Geisberg Gallery).
Anthony Cudahy: These paintings are appropriated from two photographs taken of the attendees of a funeral, sitting in the pews of a church, looking forward. The back of one of the original photographs has "1950 Mother's Funeral" written in cursive in the top left corner. In this long-term series of paintings, each member of the crowd (well over a hundred) is to be rendered their own individual portrait. The viewers are turned into the subjects.
John Edmonds: ..do-rags, Edmonds said, are for celebrating. In contemporary black culture, whether worn by men or women, in public or as part of a private beauty regimen, they impart a majestic quality on the heads they adorn. He said, I look at them always as crowns. (Lauretta Charlton, 2017).
Emily Eveleth: Emily Eveleth’s figurative paintings of heads are containers of such emotion that each of their beings seems entirely absorbed by it, as if they have swallowed its portent; it is Eveleth’s great strength as a painter, that the back of a neck, a shoulder or an ear can convey such intensity. And yet these are quiet paintings. The body is both originator and receptacle of the message, but the nature of the message does not need to be conveyed to us: it’s implicit. (Betsy Sussler, 2002)
Jeff Grant: Grant’s “Round nose”, part of an on-going series of head drawings, departs from the figurative portrait, instead, exhibiting what could be recognized as a partially formed head; ageless and undetermined in its expression. The individual components of the face are just that; parts arranged or hovering in a vaguely human arrangement.
Elizabeth King: I am a sculptor, King resolutely declares. This is more than evident in her precisely rendered, clearly observed porcelain heads, most of which are self-portraits rendered at half-scale. King, shy on the subject, has paraphrased artist Adrian Piper: Just because my work is autobiographical doesn’t mean it’s about me. Her “self” portraits are universally us.
Sarah Peters: With her recent pieces in bronze…Peters marvelously adopts the stylized stateliness of ancient Mediterranean statuary. Her cast, life-size heads carry delicately groomed hair atop elegantly structured faces, and though eyes are left as cavities, each head somehow maintains the clear, forthright gaze of an emperor or goddess. (Sara Christoph, 2015)
William Tucker: Tucker’s figurative sculptures are both universal and archaic, but also decidedly contemporary, reflecting the tensions and energies of sculpture-making in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Comparisons to Rodin, Giacometti and de Kooning are inescapable. The references are not always what they seem in Tucker’s work, however. His reality is much more ambiguous and complex. If we think we know what Tucker’s sculptures are about, they continue to be elusive presences, deliberately challenging our preconceptions about their making and meaning and our notions of what sculpture can and should be. (Julia Kelly, 2014)
Martha Wilson: Beginning in the 1970s, in her conceptually based performance, video and photo-text works, Wilson masqueraded as a man in drag, catalogued various body parts, manipulated her appearance with makeup and explored the effects of "camera presence" in self-representation. Although this work was made in isolation from any feminist community, it has been seen to contribute significantly to what would become feminism's most enduring preoccupations: the investigation of identity and embodied subjectivity. (Jane Wark, 2001)
For further information please contact the gallery at 212-223-2227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are deeply grateful to the following galleries for their cooperation and assistance:
Cheim & Read, ClampArt, DC Moore, Asya Geisberg Gallery, LMAKGallery, ltd los angeles, P.P.O.W, Allan Stone Projects, Van Doren Waxter