Adam Helms, Matthew Day Jackson, Brad Kahlhamer, Indrė Šerpytytė, Lucy Skaer, Nick van Woert
GRIMM Frans Halsstraat 26
24 November 2017 – 20 January 2018
Opening: Friday 24 November 2017 during Amsterdam Art Weekend Gallery Night, 17:00 – 21:00
GRIMM is pleased to announce an exhibition by a group of artists presenting politically charged works that together form a contemporary community board. Community boards are the foundation of democratic, community-based planning in New York City. They are the first rung of city government, and a critical venue for public participation, consensus building and positive local change.
Taking its title from Brad Kahlhamer’s (US, 1956) Community Board (2002-2004), an immersive 8-meter-wide installation that consists of hundreds of overlapping images that melt together cultural identity, visual artistry and social critique, all works in this exhibition derive from the same vantage point. By combining documents, drawings and posters, Kahlhamer depicts the history and structure of Native American communities within the US and presents an alternative to history as we know it.
Adam Helms (US, 1974) presents An Ideal for Living; a work from 2006 that consists of an assemblage of images – ranging from images of idealized American landscapes to film stills from movies: Dead Man (1995), Night of The Hunter (1955), 28 Days Later (2002), Day of the Animals (1977) as well as postcards, magazine pages, a rabbit pelt, an ornament and the artist’s own photos and drawings. Together, these suggest an ironically utopian and alternative look at the way “off the grid” culture is perceived and idealized in both American and Western society.
Nick van Woert (US, 1979) presents two groups of framed printing screens depicting newspaper articles that cover the MOVE incidents in Philadelphia from 1978 and 1985. MOVE is a black liberation group that lived communally and engaged in public demonstrations against police brutality, racism, and other political issues. In 1985, the police dropped a bomb on their house after a stand-off, killing 11 MOVE members, including 5 children, and destroying 65 houses after the fire burst out of control.
“Hanging a painting is a humane gesture. A painting gets anthropomorphized when it is brought up to accommodate the eyes and in so doing begins to mirror the proportions of the human body. These silkscreens are not hung but stacked, under their own weight from the ground up. I stacked these works, because I want them to be objects, like the lifeless bodies you see in them. The images on the screens are inhumane, they were taken from newspaper articles about the conflicts between MOVE and law enforcement. The screens themselves were never used to make prints but were used because they are a form in the language of reproduction.”
– Nick van Woert
Indrė Šerpytytė (LI, 1983) explores issues of history and trauma in her work and addresses the recent past of Lithuania, in particular the years of the Second World War, the Cold War, the decades of Soviet control, and the so-called “war after the war”. The themes are universal – the way the past affects the present, the ways in which the political influences the personal, and the importance of memory. The Pedestal series included in this exhibition address the gulf between past and present by contrasting archival images of statues of Lenin sited in grand public spaces, with their current existence in a kitsch nostalgia theme park.
Lucy Skaer (UK, 1975) has reworked 51 original newspaper cover printing plates from The Guardian newspaper that references topics ranging from Margaret Thatcher’s death to the Boston bombing and the subsequent aftermath that overtook the news for days. By reprinting and reworking the original plates, after which almost none of the original information is retained, she refers to loss, history, memory and new insights.
Matthew Day Jackson (US, 1974) presents Metamorphosis, a group of mixed media works referencing recent American historical events such as the Jim Jones massacre. Made in 2007 using a wide range of processes from screen printing, etching, hand coloring to digital printing, Jackson has the ability to fuse images and narratives that are seemingly disconnected. This creates a critical language that is strange but because the point of reference is well-known Jackson’s work always carries a sense of familiarity. It deals with the past found in the present and could be thought of in terms of archetypes of the undead. To Jackson, Metamorphosis is a loose narrative about American ideology and how America could be thought of as a kin to a religious cult in which it is both the savior and the destroyer.
About the artists
Adam Helms (1974, Tucson, AZ, US) lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Hauntology (not really now not any more) at GRIMM, Amsterdam (2017) and Uncanny Valley at Marianne Boesky, New York (2014), Weight of Culture at Artpace, San Antonio (2014) and Pathos Formula at Almine Rech, Brussels (2013). Institutional group shows include: Second Nature: Contemporary Landscapes from the MFAH Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (2011), Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (2010) and Skin Fruit, The Dakis Joannou Collection, curated by Jeff Koons at the New Museum in New York (2010). Helms received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2010. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Whitney Museum in New York, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and The Yale Art Gallery in New Haven.
Matthew Day Jackson (1974, Panorama City, CA, US) currently lives and works in Brooklyn. He received his BFA at the University of Washington, Seattle in 1997, and his MFA at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, New Brunswick in 2001. Jackson’s recent solo exhibitions include Gunshot Plywood Bronze Works, at GRIMM, Amsterdam(2017); Core and Strip at GRIMM, Amsterdam(2015); There Will Come Soft Rains at Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta (2015); Family at Hauser & Wirth, Zurich(2014); Something Ancient, Something New, Something Stolen, Something Blue at Hauser & Wirth, New York (2013); Total Accomplishment at ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe(2013); In Search of… at GEM, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hague(2012).
Brad Kahlhamer (1956, Tucson, AZ, US) works with a range of media from sculpture and painting to performance and music to explore what he refers to as the “third place”—a meeting point of two opposing personal histories. Some influences include Abstract Expressionism, street art, nineteenth-century Plains ledger drawings, and pop art. His work, described by New York Times critic Holland Cotter as charged with “psychic irritation and urgency”, often features motifs of Native American visual culture such as totem poles, tepees, and hawks, while weaving in elements of popular culture that interrogate his own complex, multi-layered identity. Solo exhibitions include Nomadic Studio, Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Portland (2016); Brad Kahlhamer, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha (2015); Fort Gotham Girls + Boys Club at Jack Shainman Gallery, New York (2014). Recent group exhibitions include Once Upon a Time…The Western: A New Frontier in Art and Film, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts(2017); Maker, Maker, Children’s Museum of the Arts, New York (2017); One Must Know The Animals The Old, Weird America: Folk Themes in Contemporary Art, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2008). Kahlhamer’s work was included in Musée du Quai Branly’s exhibition The Art and Life of the Plains Indians which opened in Paris, traveled to the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Missouri and was on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2014-2015). He did a residency at The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva (2016), participated in the invited-artist program at The Monet Foundation, Giverny (2009), he was the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Award (2006) and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in painting (2001).
Kahlhamer’s work can be found in numerous public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Seattle Art Museum, Washington; the Denver Art Museum, Colorado; the Weatherspoon Art Museum, North Carolina; the Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin; the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas and the Hood Museum of Art, New Hampshire.
Indrė Šerpytytė (1983, Palanga, LI) studied at the University of Brighton and the Royal College of Art, London. Šerpytytė’s work has been exhibited internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Absence of Experience, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2017); Pedestal
Parafin, London (2016) and the Photographers Association, London (2011). Important recent group exhibitions include Invisible cities, Wallach Art Gallery, New York (2017); A Take On Vintage Photography, Photography Museum, Vilnius (2016); Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); Conflict, Time, Photography at Tate Modern, London and the Museum Folkwang, Essen (2014-15) and the National Gallery, Vilnius (2013).
Lucy Skaer (1975, Cambridge, UK) represented Scotland at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007 and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2009. Skaer’s recent solo exhibitions include Una Casa Más Pequeña (A smaller house), Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2017); La Chasse, MRAC, Serignan (2017); Past Shows, GRIMM, Amsterdam (2017); One Remove at Witte de With, Rotterdam (2016), Sticks & Stones at Murray Guy, New York (2015), Random House at Peter Freeman, New York (2015), Sticks & Stones at Musées Gallo-Romains, Lyon (2015), Monday 8.4.13 … Monday 22.4.13 at Yale Union, Portland (2013), Exit, Voice and Loyalty at Tramway, Glasgow (2013), Force Justify at CAB Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Caja de Burgos (2013), Lucy Skaer at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2012) and Scene, Hold, Ballast at Sculpture Center, New York (2012). Currently her major solo exhibition Alternative Fonts is on view at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, and she has an upcoming exhibition at Peter Freeman gallery in New York.
Nick van Woert (1979, Reno, NV, US) is a Brooklyn-based artist. He received his MFA Valedictorian from Parsons (2007) and completed residencies at The Edward Albee Foundation in Montauk (2008) and at Zabludowicz, in Sarvisalo (2010). His work is shown widely, both nationally and abroad, including recent museum exhibitions at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague (2016); Museum Beelden aan Zee, Scheveningen (2015); MamBo, the Museum of Modern Art in Bologna (2014). Recent exhibitions include GRIMM, New York in June 2017 and Patron Gallery, Chicago in September 2017.