Embark Gallery Presents “Deep Horizon”

Dionne Lee and Richard-Jonathan Nelson Explore the Black Body in the American Landscape

 

For Immediate Release: April 10, 2018

Opening Reception: May 5, 4-7pm

 

In the first ever Spotlight exhibition, Dionne Lee and Richard-Jonathan Nelson investigate the complex relationship between Blackness and nature. Considering histories of violence, the African diaspora, and the perceptions and realities of identity, Lee and Nelson explore the anxieties and trauma associated with the American landscape, and navigate us towards a deeper understanding of who is allowed to benefit from natural environments.

  Richard-Jonathan Nelson. Rnelsonprint:  In a verdant eddy, I remembered I lost you, 2018. Digital print.

Richard-Jonathan Nelson. Rnelsonprint:  In a verdant eddy, I remembered I lost you, 2018. Digital print.

The Black body has become, through years of outward cultural control, synonymous with both toil and the land, but barred from communing with it. This has left many communities to be defined in the American imagination as urban, and as such, dynamically public in their existence. Lee and Nelson stake a claim to the solitude of nature and its potential as a tool for liberation, while acknowledging that at the same time, being alone and Black in the woods means, historically and quite literally, to be at risk for danger. Their work poses the question, “How does the Black body make a home among the soil, grasslands, and foliage of this country under a net of oppression?” Ultimately, through video, photography, and installation, this exhibition provides a new cartography for the safe travel of Black bodies through the terrain of modern wilderness.

  Dionne Lee. collage_1-  of yard or field or hand or concern and promise, 2018.

Dionne Lee. collage_1-  of yard or field or hand or concern and promise, 2018.

About the Artists

Dionne Lee’s practice is based in photography, collage, and video, and engages ideas of agency and power in relation to the American landscape. A touchstone of her research is the history of black bodies on American soil. Specifically, in the labor directly engaged with the land during slavery, the repercussions of the false promise of land in the aftermath of Reconstruction, the synchronized passing of the Civil Rights Act and the Wilderness Act in 1964, up to the impact of urbanization and contemporary expectations of who willfully engages, thrives, and is safe within the foliage of America.

Born in New York City (1988) and based in Oakland, CA, Lee received her MFA from California College of the Arts in 2017. Her work has been exhibited at Aperture Foundation, the school of the International Center of Photography, and Rush Arts Gallery in New York City; Aggregate Space in Oakland; San Francisco Arts Commission, and Root Division in San Francisco. In 2011 Dionne was a Photography Fellow at The Camera Club of New York; in 2016 she was awarded the Barclay Simpson Award and was a Graduate Fellow at Anderson Ranch Arts Center.


Richard-Jonathan Nelson is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses textiles, video, and digital manipulation to create alternative worlds of speculative identity. His work is multi-layered, chromatically intense and mixes images of the natural world with reference to hoodoo, queer culture, and Afro-Futurism. He uses his constructed worlds to examine the overlapping spheres of culturally perceived identity and the emotional memory of what it means to be a queer black man. Thereby creating a limbic space free from the weighted excepted western cultural reality, and able to examine the unspoken ways systems of power persist. Nelson received his MFA from California College of the Arts in 2017 with a focus on textiles. His work has been exhibited at Southern Exposure, Embark Gallery, and Root Division in San Francisco, and Aggregate Space and Ctrl + Shift in Oakland, among others. Nelson received the Byron Meyer Scholarship in 2015 and is a 2017 Graduate Fellow at Headlands Center for the Arts.


Press Previews by appointment.

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 5, 2018, 4-7pm.

Hours: 1–6pm every Thursday-Saturday from May 5 - June 2, 2018.

 

Media Contact:

Angelica Jardini, Curatorial Director

info@embarkgallery.com


Embark Gallery offers exhibition opportunities to current and recently graduated Masters of the Fine Arts students in the San Francisco Bay Area. We provide a space for an engaged community of artists, curators and scholars, and we aim to expand the audience for up and coming contemporary art. The juried exhibitions are held at our gallery in San Francisco at the historic Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.

Even Keel - A 3 Year Anniversary Celebration

This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP HERE.

Thursday, March 29th, 6:00 - 10:00PM

Even Keel is the celebratory event marking Embark Arts’ 3 year anniversary. We are very proud that we have been able to keep Embark Arts on an even keel for the past three years and we know that with your support we can blow it out of the water in 2018! We look forward to celebrating with you!

For the occasion we have commissioned 5 artists to make artworks LIVE in the gallery from 7 to 8PM. The artworks they produce will repurpose a facet of Fort Mason's historic architecture, the hallway windows just outside of our gallery. This way, little by little we spread our creative endeavors beyond our gallery doors. 

  Amber Imrie-Situnayake  is a visual artist working in a hybrid practice using her own autobiographic story to investigate the cyclical nature of time, rural femininity, domesticity, rural American culture, nature connectiveness, and economic inequality. Imrie-Situnayake was born and raised off-the-grid (with no electricity or running water) in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas. Amber is expecting to receive her MFA from Stanford University June 2018.

Amber Imrie-Situnayake is a visual artist working in a hybrid practice using her own autobiographic story to investigate the cyclical nature of time, rural femininity, domesticity, rural American culture, nature connectiveness, and economic inequality. Imrie-Situnayake was born and raised off-the-grid (with no electricity or running water) in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas. Amber is expecting to receive her MFA from Stanford University June 2018.

  Matthew Floriani , born in Sebastopol, CA works predominantly in the mediums of painting, drawing, sculpture and ceramics, currently utilizing buildings as his main area of focus for mural painting. Residing in Oakland, CA, he uses found materials in order to create large comforting and muddled installations of homes, also working with paints, and pen and ink to create bold works of memories, and finally clay to rework 2D paintings and drawings. Floriani has a Visual and Public Art degree from Cal State Monterey Bay, as well, he completed his MFA in studio art at Mills College in 2017. He has shown throughout California and Italy.  

Matthew Floriani, born in Sebastopol, CA works predominantly in the mediums of painting, drawing, sculpture and ceramics, currently utilizing buildings as his main area of focus for mural painting. Residing in Oakland, CA, he uses found materials in order to create large comforting and muddled installations of homes, also working with paints, and pen and ink to create bold works of memories, and finally clay to rework 2D paintings and drawings. Floriani has a Visual and Public Art degree from Cal State Monterey Bay, as well, he completed his MFA in studio art at Mills College in 2017. He has shown throughout California and Italy.  

  Christopher Marin , from Lubbock Texas, creates works that run a narrative of what it means to be a man through the enlightenment of acknowledging and looking at differing angles of recent American History, while being cognizant that he is a product of his environment. His interest lies in relationships and showing the interaction of private and public life, and the concatenation of events and their permeable impression on his understanding of life in his hometown. Marin is completing his MFA at California College of the Arts.

Christopher Marin, from Lubbock Texas, creates works that run a narrative of what it means to be a man through the enlightenment of acknowledging and looking at differing angles of recent American History, while being cognizant that he is a product of his environment. His interest lies in relationships and showing the interaction of private and public life, and the concatenation of events and their permeable impression on his understanding of life in his hometown. Marin is completing his MFA at California College of the Arts.

  Xiao Wang  is a Chinese painter who lives and works in the US. He studied at Glasgow School of Art in Scotland where he received the BFA degree in Painting and Printmaking. He continued his study at San Francisco Art Institute and earned his MFA degree in Painting. Wang currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA.

Xiao Wang is a Chinese painter who lives and works in the US. He studied at Glasgow School of Art in Scotland where he received the BFA degree in Painting and Printmaking. He continued his study at San Francisco Art Institute and earned his MFA degree in Painting. Wang currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA.

  Amy Nathan  is a multidisciplinary artist whose painted sculptures are guided by the meaning and the formal qualities of language and signs. She uses trompe l’oeil, patterning and camouflage in site-sensitive installations that repeat and rhyme, map a space, and suggest text or narrative. She is the director of Underline Projects, a non-commercial, experimental gallery space in Berkeley, CA. She is currently an MFA student at Mills College in Oakland.

Amy Nathan is a multidisciplinary artist whose painted sculptures are guided by the meaning and the formal qualities of language and signs. She uses trompe l’oeil, patterning and camouflage in site-sensitive installations that repeat and rhyme, map a space, and suggest text or narrative. She is the director of Underline Projects, a non-commercial, experimental gallery space in Berkeley, CA. She is currently an MFA student at Mills College in Oakland.

The party will take place amongst the artworks of our current exhibition Rule No Rule. 

  Joseph Ferriso. Spiral Doorway, 2017. Acrylic on plywood.   The West Coast art scene is famous for breaking, and re-making the rules. The same way that the advent of abstraction disrupted numerous art historical traditions, interdisciplinary art making blurs and shifts the expected boundaries of each medium. This show embodies the freedom and fluidity of our local art institutions, showcasing joyously uninhibited work from the “Wild West.” While paying homage to precedents set in the 1960s and ‘70s by the folks of Ferus gallery, environmental land artists, and the Californian light and space movement, these artists reinvent the rules of presentation, technique and concept, with distinctly contemporary results.

Joseph Ferriso. Spiral Doorway, 2017. Acrylic on plywood.

The West Coast art scene is famous for breaking, and re-making the rules. The same way that the advent of abstraction disrupted numerous art historical traditions, interdisciplinary art making blurs and shifts the expected boundaries of each medium. This show embodies the freedom and fluidity of our local art institutions, showcasing joyously uninhibited work from the “Wild West.” While paying homage to precedents set in the 1960s and ‘70s by the folks of Ferus gallery, environmental land artists, and the Californian light and space movement, these artists reinvent the rules of presentation, technique and concept, with distinctly contemporary results.

Our 2017 Annual Year In Review Catalog will be release at Even Keel and our FLAT FILE Collection will be on display.

We will also have tickets to the San Francisco International Arts Festival and to the Art Market San Francisco at Even Keel.

Embark Gallery Presents “Rule No Rule”

8 Emerging Artists Showcase Unruly Creativity Encouraged by Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs

  Joseph Ferriso. Spiral Doorway, 2017. Acrylic on plywood.

Joseph Ferriso. Spiral Doorway, 2017. Acrylic on plywood.

The West Coast art scene is famous for breaking, and re-making the rules. The same way that the advent of abstraction disrupted numerous art historical traditions, interdisciplinary art making blurs and shifts the expected boundaries of each medium. This show embodies the freedom and fluidity of our local art institutions, showcasing joyously uninhibited work from the “Wild West.” While paying homage to precedents set in the 1960s and ‘70s by the folks of Ferus gallery, environmental land artists, and the Californian light and space movement, these artists reinvent the rules of presentation, technique and concept, with distinctly contemporary results.


Amy Cella (SFSU) Inspired by the frontier mentality of the formative Pacific Northwest where communities felt they could pick and choose the best of the past without the hindrance of the weight of history, Cella’s work meditates on the ascendancy of the so-called “post-medium age” in contemporary art practice.

Yangyi Chen (SFAI) Chen pushes tactility and three-dimensionality into her photographic work, creating illusions with unexpected materials that redefine our sense of familiarity with the medium.

Joseph Ferriso (Stanford) Ferriso presents Spiral Doorway, an open ended sculpture with no fixed orientation or scale. Bearing no loyalty to the wall, floor or ceiling, this work represents freedom from restraint. As it’s reworked with every presentation, Ferriso also breaks conventional rules of exhibition and archive.

Sean Howe (Stanford) Howe makes paintings that fall somewhere between the classifications of figuration and abstraction. Using cues from geological and ecological sciences, and automatic drawing to push form, color, and texture, Howe creates abundant worlds with vast networks of referents that defy categorization.

  Sean Howe. Swirly Gates, 2017. Gouache and gesso on plywood.

Sean Howe. Swirly Gates, 2017. Gouache and gesso on plywood.

Charmaine Koh (CCA) Hybridity is key to Koh’s work, which draws upon diverse influences, from anime, to family photographs, to computer color gradients. As an artist living in between borrowed origins, cultures, and countries, Koh playfully mixes seemingly disparate elements on the canvas so that they neatly co-exist.


Ans Li (SFAI) Li’s work explores the relationship between digital and analogue techniques, highlighting the failings of both while refusing to belong to either. Without ever using a camera, Li digitally designed her pieces, then printed them out on Polaroid film with a “digital-to-analogue” tool, then scanned them back to a digital form. The colors and geometry may appear retro, but Li’s process is oriented to technologies of the future.

Emily Meisler (SFAI) Exploring the natural and organic through sculptural forms, Meisler juxtaposes her subject matter with industrial materials like cement and wire that further abstract the original inspiration. This disparity highlights environmental concerns, though the sculptures themselves ironically appear extra-terrestrial, existing in a mysterious space between the naturally occuring and the manmade.

Leslie Samson-Tabakin (SFSU) Samson-Tabakin presents Enough Is Not Enough, a sprawling, text-based installation that acts as a mind map, encompassing both stream of consciousness and collected statements. Based on the concept of tautology (the idea of saying the same thing twice in different wording), this time- and site-specific work suggests that perhaps in our tireless search for clarity, new direction and originality, we are simply repeating ourselves.   

This show was juried by Elise Boivin, CEO and Founder of ArtlyOwl.com

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Embark Arts offers exhibition opportunities to current and recently graduated Masters of the Fine Arts students in the San Francisco Bay Area. We provide a space for an engaged community of artists, curators and scholars, and we aim to expand the audience for up and coming contemporary art. The juried exhibitions are held at our gallery in San Francisco at the historic Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.

 

Press Previews by appointment.

Opening Reception: Friday, March 23, 2018. 6-9pm.

Hours: 1-6pm every Thursday-Saturday from March 24 - April 28, 2018.

 
Media Contact:
Angelica Jardini
Curatorial Director
angelica@embarkgallery.com

 

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Embark Gallery Presents “THIS MESSAGE HAS NO CONTENT”

In Embark’s first show of 2018, curated by Aaron Wilder, nine emerging artists reflect on the realm of the social in the digital age.

  Kira Dominguez. CAPTCHA: Please Type the Code, 2017. Jacquard woven.

Kira Dominguez. CAPTCHA: Please Type the Code, 2017. Jacquard woven.

The term “THIS MESSAGE HAS NO CONTENT” originates from an error message in an email preview when the Mail App on iPhone and iPad devices does not fully download a message, or when the message only contains an image with no text.

Digitally mediated communication has come to dictate the interpersonal space of our present. It is also often how we present ourselves to others. From the narcissism of the selfie to the intimacy fabricated through Skype, Facebook, Craigslist, and the like, to the manipulated language used to define our sense of reality of the world and ourselves, this exhibition seeks to explore the insatiable consumption, marketing-centric representation, and vapidly fragmented social interaction of contemporary culture.

Notions of identity and representation will be flattened, pixelated, and replicated; ideas of beauty and normativity in contemporary culture will be dissected and reinterpreted; and experiences of interaction will be simultaneously decontextualized, exploited, and refreshed.

This is about more than presenting anecdotes of social message transmission. It is a critical look at how communication is sent and received given the digital platforms of cultural consumption of our present. This exhibition asks viewers to consider their digital consumption to spark new ideas and dialogue on the subject of meaning via mediated social interactions.

 

Artists:

Dave Beeman (CCA) is a photographer interested in "invented communities" in the age of digital and social media and explores how our current political, economic and technological moment affects the people and forums with whom/which we relate in the real world, the amount of time we relate to them, and how committed we are to our fellow members within these communities.

Lizzy Blasingame’s (SF State) screenprints react to "Society of the Spectacle" written by Guy Debord and examine our current obsession with social media. Through deconstructing and reconstructing photographs, Lizzy explores the futility of trying to live your life for the sake of documentation.

Kira Dominguez’s (CCA) weavings are about ancestral and ongoing negotiations of approximate assimilation and uses the “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” (CAPTCHA) as a puzzle through which Dominguez explores the complexity of hybrid identities.

T2R/Laura Gillmore (CCA) focuses on the absurdity of our consumer society as it intersects with the digital world and how it manipulates our inner desires and personal alienations. Advertisers play with our inner fragilities and emotional value to catalyze our consumption. Gillmore uses lo-fi methods such as DIY crafting and paper-mache to build a contrast to the highly-curated and edited images that we digest everyday.

Izidora LETHE’s (SFAI) work spans the disciplines of sculpture, writing, video, and drawing. LETHE’s main interest lies in extracting and tracing site specific (art) histories to examine their impacts onto our understanding of culture today. 

Ryan Meyer (UC Davis) presents “Social Media Suicide” where viewers are invited to interact with the artist’s Facebook profile in any manner they choose. This is one example of how Meyer seeks to explore and understand the mechanics of this continuously transforming world.

tamara suarez porras (CCA) explores the ways in which we try to connect and make sense of ourselves via technology (and often fail at doing so). The works by Porras in the show focus on the faulty, vague, or glitched attempts at communication and finding information.

Connie Woo (SFAI) considers herself as a physical constitution - a symbiosis, where anything contradictory co-exists within an agnostic and insoluble context. Concentrating mostly on visual arts such as images and videos, Woo constantly explores the entrance and the exit of individual spiritual continuation.

Tomy Chuhe Yan (SFAI) believes emojis are more than just signs, they are a reflection of our social world, and they have multiple meanings. By looking at emojis, Yan is seeing a lot of changes in our society and how that relates to our sense of personal identity as well as our sense of otherness.

 

Curator:

Aaron Wilder is a curator and interdisciplinary artist whose work explores the introspective and social processes of contemporary culture in the way an anthropologist would analyze fragments of an ancient civilization. Wilder believes art can and should be used as a tool for generating critical thinking, dialogue, knowledge sharing, and understanding between individuals with divergent world perspectives.


Embark Gallery offers exhibition opportunities to graduate students of the Fine Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. We provide a space for an engaged community of artists, curators and scholars, and we aim to expand the audience for up and coming contemporary art. Juried exhibitions are held at our gallery in San Francisco at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.

 

Press Previews by appointment.

Opening Reception: Friday, February 2, 2017. 6-9pm.

Hours: 12–5pm every Saturday and Sunday, February 3 - March 10, 2017.

Media Contact: Angelica Jardini | Curatorial Director | angelica@embarkgallery.com

Accepted Artists for This Message Has No Content and Rule No Rule

Embark is pleased to present the artists for our spring 2018 shows This Message Has No Content and Rule No Rule

 Kira Dominguez. Le Petit-Fils d’Hazard, Un Coup de Dés, 2017. Jacquard weaving and inkjet print on organza. 

Kira Dominguez. Le Petit-Fils d’Hazard, Un Coup de Dés, 2017. Jacquard weaving and inkjet print on organza. 

This Message Has No Content

02/03/18-03/10/18

Opening Reception: Friday, February 2nd

Dave Beeman // CCA
Lizzy Blasingame // SF State
Kira Dominguez // CCA
T2R/ Laura Gilmore // CCA
Izidora LETHE // SFAI
Ryan Meyer // UC Davis
Tamara Porras // CCA
Connie Woo // SFAI
Chuhe Yan // SFAI

This Message Has No Content is curated by Aaron Wilder.

 Joseph Ferriso. Spiral Doorway, 2017. Acrylic on plywood. 

Joseph Ferriso. Spiral Doorway, 2017. Acrylic on plywood. 

Rule No Rule

03/24/18-04/28/18

Opening Reception: Friday, March 23rd

Amy Cella // SF State
Yangyi Chen // SFAI
Joseph Ferriso // Stanford
Sean Howe // Stanford
Charmaine Koh // CCA
Emily Meisler // SFAI
Leslie Samson // SF State
Ans Li // SFAI

Rule No Rule was juried by Elise Boivin. 

Inaugural Benefit Project: FLAT FILE

90 artworks by 40 artists under $500

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The Flat File Project is a celebration of Embark Art’s programming as we navigate our third year as a non profit art space. The project features affordable two dimensional artworks in a variety of media by 40 of the 80 plus artists we have exhibited since our doors opened two and a half years ago! All of the funds raised through sales goes to supporting our 2018 programs and allow us to maintain our rigorous exhibition schedule.

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The project includes drawings, paintings, photographs, collages, books, mixed media works and even a puzzle all ranging in price from $20 to $500. All artworks have been generously donated by Embark’s alumni and the proceeds from artwork sales will go directly to fund our 2018 exhibitions.

Flat File artworks are placed in our flat file drawers where they are available for purchase. Visitors are welcome to explore the flat file in person or online. These original artworks by local artists make unique gifts for the holidays. Gift cards for Flat File works will also be available. 

Participating Artists:

Embark Gallery Presents "This Is A Test"

Four emerging artists present experimental work in Dada-inspired exhibition

  Mengmeng Lu. Test 3*3, 2017. Digital photography.

Mengmeng Lu. Test 3*3, 2017. Digital photography.

Every Tuesday at noon the test of the emergency broadcast system echoes over San Francisco “This is a test. This is only a test.” Both ominous in a dystopian sense and reassuring in it’s reliable repetition, the siren and accompanying voice have become an emblem for this show, in which four emerging artists present experimental works that try and try again. As the original Dadaists turned to absurdity to protest the politics of their time, these artists trouble contemporary systems of logic through trial-and-error artmaking, ultimately presenting new possibilities for the “purpose” of art, and all the while documenting the process.

Mengmeng Lu (SFAI) exhibits a playful photographic series inspired by Eadweard Muybridge’s Horse In Motion. Whittling down identity to a cyborg-like character that she then applies to different models whilst simultaneously referencing this historical modernist achievement, Lu breaks down barriers of time and history. The work questions the threshold between “life” and “lifelike” and these double images act essentially as a performance of the artist’s own psyche, tested upon different bodies.

Judit Navratil (CCA) shares with us her long-distance somersault career, which is part of an ongoing project in which she inhabits different characters and travels to various locations to practice her craft. The rolling is a meditative practice, forcing the artist to accept and adapt to what lies ahead. Yet it also a demonstration of futility, akin to a hamster spinning in a wheel. It is in the superfluous and amusing qualities of this simple act that Navratil finds freedom.

  Oberon Strong. ALL FALLS DOWN, 2017. VHS/digital video, 5 min 49 sec. Still.

Oberon Strong. ALL FALLS DOWN, 2017. VHS/digital video, 5 min 49 sec. Still.

Oberon Strong (SFSU) is an experimental filmmaker whose work explores the queer body and otherness. Strong’s work draws upon the aesthetics and technologies of their childhood to create a queer dystopia, in direct challenge to a utopia in which the hero overcomes repressive social constructs. The deconstructed qualities of the work aim to show that gender has no form or content, and embraces indefinability.

Cristina Velazquez (SFAI) will perform live in the gallery with an iteration of These Flags, a performance that challenges divisions made by Nationalism and invented borders. Questioning the rhetoric of a country that stands “united” during an actually extremely divisive presidential administration, Velazquez’s performance is a metaphorical action for peace that is ultimately futile, as the artist acknowledges such a utopian state will probably never be realized.

 

This exhibition was juried by Micki Meng of Altman Siegel Gallery and Clea Massiani of Bass & Reiner.

Press Previews by appointment.

Opening Reception: November 10, 2017. 6-9pm

Hours: 12–5pm every Saturday and Sunday, November 11 - December 16

Media Contact: Angelica Jardini, Curatorial Director       angelica@embarkgallery.com

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