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Something I Can Feel: VOLTA NY announces artists and programming
Hugh Hayden, Toga, 2016, successive-sized American Apparel t-shirts laminated with Aquaresin, 26”W x 16”D x 37”H, courtesy of Postmasters Gallery, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- VOLTA NY announced the featured artists and programming within its debut Curated Section at the fair's ninth edition, from March 2 – 6 at PIER 90, adjacent to affiliate fair The Armory Show. New York-based multidisciplinary artist Derrick Adams oversees this first project, assembling eight emerging and under-the-radar artists across diverse media under his thematic exhibition “Something I Can Feel”.

Exhibiting artists in “Something I Can Feel” are:

Ibrahim Ahmed, presented by Gallery Nosco, London; Leonardo Benzant and Kate Clark, both presented by Dexter Wimberly Projects, Brooklyn; Brandon Coley Cox, presented by Rush Arts Gallery, Brooklyn; Doreen Garner, presented by Cindy Rucker Gallery, New York; Hugh Hayden, presented by Postmasters Gallery, New York; Shaun Leonardo, presented by BRIC and Mighty Tanaka, Brooklyn; and Balint Zsako, presented by The Proposition, New York.

“I'm excited that the participating artists are confirmed and look forward to seeing their work installed at VOLTA NY,” says Adams, moving through each facet of the exhibition. “Like life, I believe the conversations between the work in the show will unfold quite organically. The richly layered, textured and patterned works from Brandon Coley Cox, Ibrahim Ahmed, and Leonardo Benzant are abstracted representations of our condition and will serve as assured counterpoints to the emotionally charged, more figurative work of Shaun Leonardo and Balint Zsako. Bridging the spectrum will be unexpected ― possibly unnerving ― relational explorations of object, animal and humanity by Doreen Garner, Kate Clark, and Hugh Hayden. Exquisitely expressed by these remarkable individuals, ultimately I want viewers to understand that they are witnessing what is already inside them: an endless bloom, from delicate to monumental, that is cycling within each of us, awaiting our action.”

Participating artist Doreen Garner comments on her creative process: “The subject matter I've been exploring unveils surgical tortures experienced by Betsy, Anarcha, and Lucy. More than victims of Dr. J. Marion Sims, these are women who've long been denied a voice in a historical discourse. Using silicone sculpture, I will reveal violence as material to create Something You Can Feel, but also to demand a visual experience one can never forget, never unsee. My feelings about the violence and hyper sexualization of the black female body, both historically and in a contemporary context, cannot be illustrated as a big cartoon pussy for people to gaze freely upon. It is my true convictions, made tangible, that serve as the binding element in the presentation of these works.”

Two performances related to “Something I Can Feel” are scheduled at the fair. During the Wednesday, March 2 vernissage, Andria Morales will activate the exhibition space with a sound performance utilizing her Beatpacks, customized personal amplified sound systems that will by turns disrupt, engage, and circumvent the audience. A 2015-16 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant nominee, Morales has collaborated since 2010 with Chicago-based artist Maya Escobar as Internet duo Escobar-Morales. Plus, Shaun Leonardo will instruct I Can't Breathe, a public-participatory workshop and performance, on Friday afternoon at 5 pm. Previously staged as part of The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation's exhibition “Between History and the Body” at The 8th Floor (New York) this past November, I Can't Breathe is both a self-defense class and a timely occurrence of pragmatic political art.

"In over 30 years of its existence Postmasters Gallery has always been supportive of the unconventional and the bold in the arts,” notes gallery director Paulina Bebecka, “thus we are extremely happy to partake in the debuting Curated Section / Derrick Adams' out-of-the-box exhibition 'Something I Can Feel', with Hugh Hayden's newest series Fossil Fashion, which explores human transformation in the contemporary age of the disposable, fast fashion and the digital through the slow lens of tree growth and geological formations over time.”

VOLTA Artistic Director Amanda Coulson highlights the importance of this curated exhibition: “Not only does this exhibition bring VOLTA NY back to its inaugural years, when Christian Viveros-Fauné and I initiated a tightly curated art show,” she comments, “it furthermore shows the great commitment of the representing galleries and non-profits that they made every effort and — in many cases — an extra financial stretch to ensure Derrick’s vision of ‘Something I Can Feel’ becomes a reality. It’s significant that his original invitation list did not change, as every artist and space immediately accepted. We think this is a fantastic spirit and very encouraging for future curated projects."

VOLTA NY cohosts a private brunch on the morning of Sunday, March 6 with Mini B.A.R. NYC: Artist Talks, a salon of creative discourse centered around arts of the Black Diaspora. The event will feature two cross-disciplinary artists: Torkwase Dyson, who is participating concurrently in the Studio Museum in Harlem's multi-generational group exhibition “A Constellation”; and Duron Jackson, a 2013 Fulbright Research Fellow. Mini B.A.R. NYC: Artist Talks is a series of projects produced by cultural advocate Darwin F. Brown, artist Valerie Piraino, and other artist collaborators. Further details about this event will be released closer to fair dates.

LeRonn Brooks, Professor of African and African-American Studies at Lehman College, CUNY, is writing an essay on “Something I Can Feel” to accompany the Curated Section catalogue, available at the fair, as well as related wall texts within the exhibition.

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