'Convergent Evolutions: The Conscious of Body Work' opens at Pace

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'Convergent Evolutions: The Conscious of Body Work' opens at Pace
Installation view of Convergent Evolutions: The Conscious of Body Work, 510 West 25th Street, New York. September 10 – October 23, 2021. Photography courtesy Pace Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- Pace Gallery is presenting Convergent Evolutions: The Conscious of Body Work, an exhibition curated by Online Sales Director Christiana Ine-Kimba Boyle and on view in New York from September 10 to October 23, 2021. The exhibition explores how intergenerational artists have used various instruments within their practices to grant or deny viewers the agency of viewership while also surveying the body’s response to the visual plane. Central to the presentation are the artists’ abilities to manipulate the ways that viewers interact with and experience their works. The show takes its title from a scientific term that refers to the development of similar traits in species belonging to different time periods.

The exhibition marks Boyle’s major curatorial debut at Pace. Since joining the gallery in May 2021, Boyle has spearheaded Pace’s growing NFT program. Among her recent online presentations was a showing of digitally rendered sculptures by Urs Fischer.

Spanning the entirety of Pace’s 510 West 25th Street space and featuring paintings and sculptures, Convergent Evolutions brings together emerging and established artists from within and beyond the gallery’s program. Works by 17 artists—including Anthony Akinbola, Jo Baer, Caitlin Cherry, Delphine Desane, Adrian Ghenie, Sam Gilliam, Sonia Gomes, Zhang Huan, Kylie Manning, RJ Messineo, Anna Park, Richard Pousette Dart, Lucas Samaras, Marina Perez Simão, Kiki Smith, Chibuike Uzoma, and Rachel Eulena Williams—share a unifying consciousness despite their inherent temporal and geographic distances. Paintings by Pousette-Dart, a first-generation Abstract Expressionist and towering figure in the New York School, help situate the exhibition’s contemporary works in an art historical context. An online viewing room featuring additional works by Convergent Evolutions artists is also on view, spotlighting two newly minted NFTs from Samaras’s 2011 XYZ series.

The artists featured in Convergent Evolutions use a multitude of devices, such as medium, technique, and installation, to drive conversations around the perception and intent in image-making. Works in the presentation challenge viewers to step outside personal narratives in search of deeper understanding. Key to many of the artists’ practices and works in the exhibition is a restless exploration of the dissection and assembly of the body. Highlights in the exhibition include Samaras’s Panorama 2/23/83 (1983), a dissected polaroid depicting an elongated vision of the artist in studio; Cherry’s Quaternion (2021), a figurative painting encased within an aluminum floor mounted frame bearing the elliptical shape of IMAX screens; Ghenie’s Untitled (2020), featuring a figure abstracted by layered shapes and gestural masses; and Williams’s Systems (2021), a series of tondos meticulously spaced out and interconnected by cotton rope made to represent an outstretched body.

Drawing through lines between contemporary and historical practices, the presentation offers investigative pairings between Samaras and Cherry; Pousette-Dart and Akinbola; Baer and Manning; Desane and Simão; Ghenie and Uzoma; Park and Zhang; and Gomes, Gilliam, and Williams. These connections naturally manifest through varying visual facilities, further supporting each artist’s individual research of the metaphysical space between their work and the viewer’s perspective.

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