NEW YORK, NY.- Zach Feuer Gallery
presents Broken Welcome, an exhibition of new photographs and video by New York and Nepal based artist Stuart Hawkins.
South and West of the teaming urban center of Kolkata, India lies the former village of Rajarhat, now a failed planned community with the globally acceptable name of Newtown. Declared at its inception to be a city of the future, it was advertised as a dewy oasis of green and calm where one could live and work in all the gated comfort that post millennial India might offer. Driving through Newtown today, one thinks of a dystopic landscape littered with machinery and unbuilt or unoccupied buildings. In place of people, cows have come back to graze as grass begins to cover the abandoned construction sites.
In Stuart Hawkin's new photographic work, Finishing Touches, the artist imagines the life that might have been or be. Using simple low tech props (paper, brooms, or pillows), the roof top gardens and driveways with smooth sidewalks are 'completed.' Though fragments of human anatomy are seen in the pictures, the faces of the participants in the constructed assemblages are not, leaving the meaning of the work to include a multitude of financially stalled global projects.
Also on view is her new video Broken Welcome. Based on the true stories of Newtown home buyers, its actors use abandoned buildings as their primary stage. Breaking into song and dance, their costumes create a theme of 'commonality' in this comedic play - a story of gain, glory, loss, and recovery. Capturing either an ominous pause in development or the portend of something larger, Hawkins and her participants address such ideas with collaborative humor and wonder.
Stuart Hawkins was born in 1969 in Norfolk, VA, and lives and works in New York and Nepal. She has exhibited at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt; HIAP, Helsinki; Frye Art Museum, Seattle and the International Center for Photography, New York. Broken Welcome is Hawkins fourth exhibition with the gallery.
In Gallery 2, Zach Feuer Gallery will present NEED, an exhibition of new work by the Austrian artist, Florian Schmidt. Schmidts compositions are constructed of elementary shapes, including imperfect circles, squares and rectangles, which are often covered with lacquer, silicon and vinyl or embellished with cardboard and wires. These elements are frequently remnants or cut-offs from previous works. In these works, Schmidt employs a sculptural vocabulary including carving and layering to create paintings that form a fluid typography of familiar compositional elements that are de-familiarized through color, material and surface treatment. NEED is Schmidts first exhibition in New York.