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Jenkins Johnson Projects opens "Homeostasis: Leonardo Benzant & Vaughn Spann"
Installation view.

BROOKLYN, NY.- Jenkins Johnson Projects is presenting Homeostasis, two simultaneous exhibitions curated by Dexter Wimberly.

Homeostasis includes new bodies of work by Galveston, Texas-based artist, Leonardo Benzant, and New Haven, Connecticut-based artist, Vaughn Spann. Both present work that reflect a keen interest in balance and the natural interconnectivity of the seen and unseen world.

Born in New York City to Dominican parents, with Haitian heritage, Leonardo Benzant's practice includes painting, performance, sculpture, sound, and installation as he investigates deeply personal experiences of identity, ancestry, family, community and spirituality. Leonardo, at times, metaphorically refers to his practice as Urban Shamanism inspired by a character he created called Kamarioka: The Chameleon. Information is drawn from the uniquely shared history of code switching, double-consciousness and multiple narratives that people of African descent have inherited and are compelled to adopt as a survival strategy for daily life. Like this common experience Benzant’s work straddles two worlds, embodying the dynamics of being both sacred and secular. Homeostasis features Benzant’s mixed media sculptures made from glass beads, clothes, coffee grinds, glitter and other miscellaneous items, as well as works on paper completed during his recent residence at the Galveston Artist Residency which serve as a visual diary.

Benzant has been exhibited in the solo exhibition, Afrosupernatural, at Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, New Jersey, and he has participated in group exhibitions internationally including notable shows at Third Line gallery in Dubai and 101/EXHIBIT in Los Angeles. In addition to being in several important private collections, his work has been acquired by The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture in Charlotte, North Carolina for their permanent collection. He attended Pratt Institute.

Vaughn Spann works with non-traditional materials to push against Western modes of painting. In a society riddled with racial, class and structural issues, he asks how do we begin to redefine power and the slippage of taste? Compelled by a variety of materials, such as towels and yarn, Spann investigates formal relationships while drawing parallels to the body. His approach to painting is part intuition, part chance and part execution. With accumulation and physical repetition, his is intrigued by notions of touch as they relate to time, memory and labor.

Spann is currently completing his MFA in Painting & Printmaking at the Yale School of Art. He is a recipient of the 2017 Alice Kimball Traveling Fellowship and has participated in group exhibitions at institutions including RushArts in Chelsea, New York, The Reginald Lewis Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, The Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey, and Cultural Center of African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) in New York City. Spann received his BA in Studio Art from Rutgers State University in Newark, New Jersey.

Carla Edwards – SELECTED WORKS
Carla Edwards’s current project examines how dominant culture, and artifacts shape our sense of identity and self. Through appropriation, the artist makes material interventions that alter or deconstruct an original subject to be manipulated and reconfigured in a way that has changed its meaning. Edwards is a Brooklyn-based artist. She received an MFA from RISD and a BFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. She is an alumna of Skowhegan and was a studio fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program. Edwards has exhibited nationally and internationally, most notably at the Studio Museum in Harlem; Nuit Blanche, Toronto; Volta5, Basel, Switzerland; and Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens. She is the recipient of the Socrates Emerging Artist Fellowship and current studio resident at Smack Mellon.

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