SATURDAY, 12PM – 5PM
OTHER DAYS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
CURATED BY ANDREW PAUL WOOLBRIGHT, KARST & GORSE
Yellow Peril is pleased to debut 2017 with Take only what you can carry with you, curated by Andrew Paul Woolbright, founder of Karst and Gorse (Wappingers Falls, NY), featuring Lauren Fejarang, Andrea Frank, Daniel Giordano, Kathy Goodell, Matt Harle, Matt Mahoney and Martin Smick – artists who “operate in the sweet spot of engaged, responsible Romanticism; a shaky Romanticism that avoids naivete and instead operates within the limited field that this philosophy currently allows.”
“Romanticism, if it is to be understood as a countermeasure to modernism, may have its greatest mandate to reemerge as a valuable artistic language since the middle of the last century,” curator Andrew Paul Woolbright wrote in the essay for Take only what you can carry with you. “I’ve been thinking a lot lately about sensation and experience, and watched as they have become increasingly partisan sites for political alienation. Much of our political and cultural debate has been dedicated to this argument of who has the true American experience and who is out of touch. The unfinished project of Utopia, along with Romantic notions, can at best be tenuous positions. After all, how can anyone have full faith in progress after 2016?”
“Now that we are in a Post-Trump America, what was a tenuous aesthetic now borders on one of survival,” observes Woolbright. “The Watteau portal that was barely open in the first place, now seems like a flicker. The writings of Borges stand like a mirage. Enchantment itself seems to be on the run. One can almost sense a general vortex pulling art underground; a pull that was already felt in response to the predation of the contemporary art market, but now is accelerated by the unfamiliarity of our own country’s political desires. With this in mind, I have been drawn to work that is a sort of Romantic Minimalism, or work that builds fantastic transportation in the limited moves and processes of assembling a camping tent. The artists in this show get at this in a wide range of gestures and languages, languages that I feel can still be ambitious and risky in its search for precarious Romanticism. “
Limiting herself in the studio to a certain number of moves and gestures, LAUREN FEJARANG’s work wrestles objects away from the language that attempts to inscribe them. She recognizes materials that have strong purpose and utility and then, through a small series of careful manipulations, shifts them towards something unrecognizable and otherworldly.
ANDREA FRANK feels responsible. Her work has carried the weights and costs of living; of being born German and having to answer for a country’s crimes. Now it is a different burden, one of ecological culpability; our human involvement in the destruction of systems.
DANIEL GIORDANO’s sculptures are a series of layered sensations. “Unheimlich. L’informe. They are disturbing and funny and punchy with affect; erotic and vulgar, sci-fi and stone age,” Woolbright notes.
KATHY GOODELL’s practice is heavily engaged with seeing and perception; the exterior eye of the world and the interior eye of consciousness and states of being.
MATT HARLE approaches sculpture from a painting background. “He has become an expert at striking a unique balance between the heroic monument and the fragile prat fall,” Woolbright shares. “He has adopted painting’s ability at balancing between objecthood and physical space on one end, and the proposition of imagined space in the other.”
Roving and nomadic, MATT MAHONEY pieces it all together into mimetic skeletons and ecologies. This broken piñata is now a person. These figures grow laughing babies on their shoulders. “Are they grim mutations that remind us of possible nuclear disaster?” Woolbright asks. “Or maybe they incite the fear that our society’s most revered positions are now corrupted by unworthy, uncaring forces; incapable of understanding.”
MARTIN SMICK’s knowledge of what paint does and what it can do is hard to compete with. Part of this range comes from a very democratic approach to painting, one that prods at the barrier that keeps decorative painting beyond the spectrum.
The opening reception for Take only what you can carry with you is Saturday, January 14, from 6PM – 9PM. A date will be announced later for the artists’ talk at the gallery, moderated by curator Andrew Paul Woolbright. The exhibition will conclude Saturday, April 8. This is Yellow Peril’s first curatorial project with Karse and Gorse.
About Karse and Gorse
KARST AND GORSE is an artist run curatorial space for contemporary art located in the Hudson Valley. The gallery has a passion for contemporary Romanticism, as it seeks to outline a Utopic aesthetic through the construction of an exhibition schedule referred to as “The Church of the Braveface.” This church belongs to artists who remain longing and in pursuit of the unfinished project that is Romanticism and Utopia, hedged with the acute understanding of contemporary dilemmas, the collapsing anthropocene, and political and individual strife. The gallery takes on the name of two ecological occurrences. Karst is the weathered stone, the worn away object of oceans meeting and creating internal spaces between cliffs and islands. It represents the object-oriented aesthetic of the gallery-speculative, weathered, and incredibly affective. Gorse is a wild plant. Although it appears almost decorative, a wall of bright yellow flowers, it takes over beaches, backyards and newly logged timberlands, quickly spreading if left unchecked. It’s thorns make it impassible and its monocultures embed themselves into the biosphere. The plant’s dry branches make prime kindling, and they have been known to be the source of wildfires. Gorse represents the image and painting oriented aesthetic of the gallery-seductive, wild, and romantic.