The Resistant Gesture – Curator: Tavarus Blackmon
Artist: Sydney Acosta, Caiti Chan, Jodi Connelly, Elizabeth Joy Cord, Rachel Deane, Hea-Mi Kim, Amy Nathan, Holly Smith
Oil on panel, 60 x 48 inches, 2019
When Our Souls Leave
Acrylic, Alcohol, Ink and Pen on Canvas, 40 x 30 inches, 2019
Oil Pastel on Cardboard, 61 x 45 inches, 2016
Oil on Canvas, 32 x 38 inches, 2018
Plywood, Canvas, Flashe and Acrylic, 31 x 28.5 x 2 inches, 2018
Charcoal, Graphite, Oil and Tissue Paper on Wood Panel, 48 x 48 inches, 2019
Axis Gallery is proud to present The Resistant Gesture, a curated exhibition from Tavarus Blackmon.
Merriam-Webster defines Resist as the ability “to withstand the force or effect of.” In today’s society of American Culture it can be argued that there are many opportunities to rebuff an undesirable force. And though there is no firm consensus on this issue, though across the globe there is a state of survey and activity, where previous ways of thinking are being processed and re-imagined, here at home there is fewer consensus on basic and fundamental issues.
The artists in this exhibition have powerful, nuanced and emergent voices. In a market where there are many – though complicated – moments to resist an exerting force they are here, cultivating a space of identity, solidarity and grace. Recently, in noting forces in the Art World and methods on how to “withstand,” activists and artists have protested the role of Warren B. Kanders as the Whitney Museum of Art’s (NY), Board Vice Chairman. They cited his defense manufacturing company, Safariland, and its production of tear-gas canisters used against asylum seekers about the U.S./Mexico border. This may have influenced his resignation.
And with this work, Resistant Gesture is full of intention, discovery and affirmation, similar to currents vibrating nationally and globally in the effort to withstand a force or effect. The artists articulate keen ideas with material fluency, visual resonance and cultural reflection. This is a most profound expression of what is both sensitive and assertive, and how shifts in thinking present the critical vision in the position of authorship.
The Resistant Gesture encompasses many forms, media and methods of demarcation. It is by a subtle stroke, a tender indication or by placing roles of authority in humorous indignation, that new voices precede new ways of thinking. And, how the act of making itself becomes oppositional to an ordinary experience.
About the artists:
Sydney Acosta (born 1987) lives and works in Los Angeles,CA. She grew up in Texas. Acosta received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2015 from California State University, Sacramento, Sacramento, CA and at present is a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Caiti Chan is a Sacramento, born and raised artist. She received her BA and MA at Sacramento State University and is a current art resident at Verge Center for the Arts. Her paintings are process driven and involve experimentation with paint and other materials to create large atmospheric abstractions.
Jodi Connelly’s work investigates the complexities of the human relationship to nature and the environment. Through site-specific environmental interventions that include photographic documentation, sculpture and drawing, she explores issues of climate change and the effects migration and development have had on native ecosystems over the past 400 years. Her work is hand wrought and physical, in an attempt to create intimacy between herself and the land upon which she works. She completed her MFA in Art Studio at the University of California, Davis in 2018, where she received the Keister and Allen Prize for her project An Intervention in Space and Time, a year- long environmental intervention at the UC Davis McLaughlin Reserve. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Manetti Shrem Museum in Davis, CA, the Greenville Museum of Art and the Durham Art Guild in North Carolina. Ms. Connelly currently resides in Sacramento, California.
Elizabeth Joy Cord is from Sacramento, California. She is currently in the Bachelors of Fine Art, in Studio Art, Program at California State University, Sacramento. She has exhibited in the CSUS Alumni Exhibition, the California State Fair, Fine Arts Competition, the Sacramento Fine Art Center’s, Bold Expressions exhibit and held the solo exhibition, See You in the Morning, in the Witt Gallery at CSUS. She enjoys working with children in the community and believes strongly in art and creativity as powerful tools for learning.
Rachel Deane was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a BFA in Painting and an MA in Art + Design Education from the Rhode Island School of Design, and an MFA in Art Studio from the University of California, Davis. She has been an artist in residence at the Chautauqua School of Art, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Wassaic Project. She has shown nationally in California, Rhode Island, Philadelphia, Massachusetts, Florida, and Texas. Her work has been collected by the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art.
Hea-Mi Kim is an artist working in video, installation, and sound. Her work informs power structures around systemic racism and gender roles inhibited by Western society. Her video, Are You Chinese? (2015), shown at Bronx Art Space combined snippets of films showing Asian women while those figures were redacted through manipulation. Born in Seattle, WA in 1993 but raised in the suburbs of Detroit, MI as a second generation Korean-American, she was early on exposed to otherness perpetuated by whiteness and gender performativity. Now recently moving to Los Angeles, she is exploring the nuances of her identity tied in with her parents’ immigration from South Korea and living in Los Angeles as a Korean-American. She received her BFA in Studio Art in New York City from Parsons School of Design in 2017. She is now finishing up her MFA at the University of California Los Angeles specializing in the New Genres department.
Amy Nathan is a Berkeley, California based artist. Her work has recently been exhibited at CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions, Art Toronto, Art Market San Francisco, the Seattle Art Fair, the Headlands Center for the Arts, Traywick Contemporary, and with the International Sculpture Center at the Pyramid Hill Museum. Nathan was a 2018-2019 Graduate Fellow at the Headlands Center for the Arts. She received her MFA from Mills College in 2018 and is a co-director of Royal NoneSuch Gallery in Oakland, California. Her work has appeared in the New American Paintings and Sculpture Magazine.
Holly Smith lives in Dixon, California with her partner and children. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Sacramento, in 2018, she went back to CSUS and is currently working as a graduate student.