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Jenkins Johnson Projects opens exhibition of works by Lavar Munroe and Rodrigo Valenzuela
Lavar Munroe, Witness, 2018, 138 x 82 inches.

BROOKLYN, NY.- Jenkins Johnson Projects presents, Disobedience: Lavar Munroe and Rodrigo Valenzuela, which takes protest as a flash-point to explore current social and political unrest. Through new large-scale paintings, photographs, and a collaborative site-specific installation, Lavar Munroe and Rodrigo Valenzuela create a dialogue between their very different styles and mediums. Munroe, from the Bahamas, creates bright and colorful mixed media paintings that integrate found materials, while Valenzuela, from Chile, creates black and white photographs that capture temporary installations. Yet, both artists find a close correlation on how they think about and research their subject matter.

Looking at historical figures and current gestures of dissidence against colonialism and capitalism, the artists point to the aesthetics of protest to discuss their own socio-political position in America. In relation to what they have experienced in their native countries, the almost monthly marches in the United States can be critiqued as unhappy obedience with the political situation, rather than protest.

Lavar Munroe’s project examines and critiques the journey of the martyr within protest times, specifically looking at acts of self-immolation as statements of discontent. His historical references reach back as far as the 1600’s to Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot in Britain, Greek mythology, and the Spanish novel Don Quixote. In works like, A Kingdom of Ignorant Kings, he is interested in creating fictitious characters known as The Redbones, who are a generation of young boys placed on the frontline as warriors by the wealthy within society. One of these young boys holds onto an antique funeral fan, referencing death, while a burning man can be seen directly behind it. They ride on a dilapidated cart with the wheels of a Mercedes-Benz, making the disparity between the classes even more apparent. This series draws very close parallels between the current political space and societal ills being experienced today within the world.

Drawing on personal experience and history in his native Chile, as well as research about other countries such as Venezuela and Ukraine, Rodrigo Valenzuela’s photographs focus on simple structures and gas masks that people build in times of oppression as expressions of civil disobedience. These images are part of a larger body of work called General Song, after Pablo Neruda’s Canto General, an encyclopedic poetic history of the New World told from a Latin American perspective, which depicts Latin American history as an epic and continuous struggle against oppression. The hand-made gas masks, which appear through his photographs, reference the improvised masks worn by protesters to protect themselves from tear gas and allude to the more brutal physical dangers encountered when enacting change.

Lavar Munroe was selected for Trevor Schoonmaker’s Prospect 4 New Orleans and Okwui Enwzor’s 56th Venice Biennale, as well as the 2016 Dak’art Biennale. He is currently preparing for a ten-year retrospective at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas and will be in the upcoming exhibition, African Metropolis at the MAXXI, Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome, Italy.

Rodrigo Valenzuela has had notable solo exhibitions at the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago, and is in the collections of the Samuel Dorsky Museum. His many residences include a Core Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Skowhegan School, Maine; Bemis Center, Nebraska; MacDowell, and the Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York, among others.

Today's News

March 3, 2018

National Gallery marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

Jill Newhouse Gallery presents a selection of paintings, drawings, and watercolors by Pierre Bonnard

The Vancouver Art Gallery explores the impact of the nuclear age through the lens of art

Carnegie Museum of Art opens its first major exhibition of its 1750-1850 holdings

Lou Reed poems after leaving Velvet Underground set for book

Korean screen breaks record achieving $562,500 at Lark Mason Associates

Top Spanish conductor Jesus Lopez Cobos dies

ADAA appoints new President, Menconi + Schoelkopf co-founder and partner Andrew Schoelkopf

Steven Kasher Gallery opens a survey of Michael Spano's recent photographic works

Blain/Southern opens exhibition of new work by Marius Bercea

Exhibition of cut paper drawing constructions by New York artist Adam Fowler opens at Brian Gross Fine Art

Pakistan aims to revive glory of ancient Mughal city Lahore

Mary Boone Gallery opens exhibition of new paintings by Erik Parker

Joslyn Art Museum completes capital improvements

Peabody Essex Museum celebrates Native American painter, poet and musician, T.C. Cannon

Ten-year survey exhibition of artist John Moore opens at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art

Museum Ludwig presents recently unearthed film by Günter Peter Straschek

Gerald McMaster appointed as adjunct curator at Remai Modern

Multi-media exhibition spotlights the women who work the land

Gladstone Gallery presents the United States premiere of Cyprien Gaillard's film Nightlife

Gommaar Gilliams' first solo exhibition in New York opens at De Buck Gallery

Jenkins Johnson Projects opens exhibition of works by Lavar Munroe and Rodrigo Valenzuela

Pamela Joyner to become Chair of the Tate Americas Foundation

Strong sales and ambitious presentations at PHOTOFAIRS San Francisco second edition

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