Jessica Spence, and Jessica Westhafer
Isaac Mann, Patrick Quarm,
January 10 – February 10, 2019
Opening: Thursday, January 10, 6-8 pm
Thierry Goldberg is pleased to announce Snow Day, a group exhibition with work by Marcela Florido, Isaac Mann, Patrick Quarm, David Shrobe, Jessica Spence, and Jessica Westhafer.
The exhibition takes its title from Jessica Westhafer’s painting Snow Day, 2018, which presents a carefree winter scene. Westhafer’s paintings offer intimate glimpses into everyday events, with subjects both vulnerable and playful. Her graphic style and use of vivid colors help to make these commonplace scenes, taken from the artist’s own experiences, notable – they are exaggerated, but still capture distinctive, human emotions. The moments illustrated are at once specific and universal, and take a humorous approach to dealing with relatable memories, fears, and desires. Westhafer’s vibrant palette and sizable canvases give the works a larger-than-life feel.
Jessica Spence uses women and girls she knows as subjects for her unconventional portraits. Her paintings give a look into routine situations, while also dealing with larger subjects like black female identity and societal beauty ideals. Spence aims to empower black women with realistic depictions of their experiences not often found in media. Her works emphasize the individuality of her subjects, the fine details of their hair carefully rendered and further accentuated against solid, colorful backgrounds. The artist takes such an individualistic approach, in part, to combat stereotypes, which don’t take the multifaceted dimensions of identity into consideration.
David Shrobe merges painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, and found objects to create complex assemblages that challenge conventions of classical portraiture. While his works often reference traditions of portraiture, he uses these conventional elements to juxtapose with the abstracted forms he creates. He utilizes domestic items from various locations and recontextualizes them, thereby bringing ideas like identity, community, and history into question. Shrobe’s works are not oriented to a specific temporality or location; instead, a new narrative, fragmented and nonlinear, emerges.
Patrick Quarm’s work deals with cultural fusion. The artist, born and raised in Ghana and currently living in the United States, is focused on the idea of a hybrid culture and identity: the creation of something entirely new that happens when histories and experiences are merged. In Quarm’s work, this is expressed by a juxtaposition of traditional Western painting styles and African print fabrics. The result is art that defies classification. His subjects act as particular examples of this broader cultural phenomenon.
Marcela Florido uses her work to confront traditions in painting, and investigate where they come from and what histories they communicate. She employs figuration to challenge artistic traditions of her native Brazil, where figuration in art is not widely accepted; women’s bodies, in particular, are often seen as taboo, especially for a woman artist to portray. Combined with her use of bright colors and unbalanced compositions, Florido challenges artistic hierarchies. She also disrupts hierarchies between figure and ground, or landscape and portrait: her pieces often combine human and natural forms to provide a sense of displacement and suggest a private fiction.
Isaac Mann crafts a chaotic, mysterious narrative with his paintings. Characters and forms will recur between works; his figures are abstracted, composed of simplified shapes, and intertwined with each other, imbuing the compositions with even more ambiguity. Mann creates a surreal world of colorful visual excess. The happenings in his paintings are sometimes outlandish and sexual, but tongue-in-cheek, and the mundane domestic settings heighten the atmosphere.
Marcela Florido (b. 1988, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received an MFA from Yale School of Art and a BFA from Slade School of Art in London, UK. She has had solo exhibitions at Anita Schwartz (Rio de Janeiro, BR) and at Galeria IBEU (Rio de Janeiro, BR). Florido has also participated in group exhibitions at The Yard (New York, NY), Stems Gallery (Brussels, BE), and Ione & Mann (London, UK).
Isaac Mann (b. 1986, Saint Paul, MN) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He holds an MFA from New York Academy of Art and a BFA from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mann has appeared in group exhibitions at 195 Chrystie Street (New York, NY), Wilkinson Gallery (New York, NY), Casa Equis Gallery (Mexico City, MX), The Hole Gallery (Manhattan, NY), and Dayuntang Museum (Shanghai, CN).
Patrick Quarm (b. 1987, Ghana) lives and works in Detroit, MI. He has earned his MFA from Texas Tech University and his BFA from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. Quarm was part of a two-person exhibition at the Caviel Museum of African-American History (Lubbock, TX), and has shown his work at the Rockport Center for the Arts (Rockport, TX).
David Shrobe (b. New York, NY) lives and works in New York, NY. He received his MFA and BFA from Hunter College. Shrobe’s work was exhibited at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY; Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York, NY (solo); Jeffrey Deitch Gallery, New York, NY; Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo), and Sugar Hill Children’s Museum, New York, NY (solo). His work is included in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY.
Jessica Spence (b. 1986, Westchester, NY) lives and works in Yonkers, NY. She holds an MA in Art Education from Lehman College in Bronx, NY and a BFA from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY. She has had a solo exhibition at The Gallery at the 14th Street Y (New York, NY), and has been a part of group exhibitions at Bronx Art Space (Bronx, NY) and ATYPE Gallery (New York, NY).
Jessica Westhafer (b. 1990, Fayetteville, AR) lives and works in Bloomington, IN. She is currently pursuing an MFA at Indiana University-Bloomington, and received her BFA from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. She has been in group exhibitions at STORY Gallery at Grace Point (Bentonville, AR), Lala Land Studio (Fayetteville, AR), and East Center Studios (Fayetteville, AR).