Someone Else’s History
February 12 – March 31, 2020
Howard495 is pleased to present a group exhibition featuring works by Tracey Emin,
Lisa Yuskavage, Chloe Wise, Sarah Anne Johnson, Richard Prince, Alex Prager, and Jon Rafman. Each of these artists employ a broad spectrum of approaches in order to examine their inner narratives, digging into life’s surfaces and suggesting new possibilities for understanding their internal and external worlds.
Chloe Wise’s practice spans diverse media, including painting, sculpture, video and installation. Foregrounding an interest in the history of portraiture, Wise examines the multiple channels that lead to the construction of a Self, paying particular attention to the interweaving of consumption and image making. With a wry sense of humour, she nods to canonical tableaux, like Manet’s Déjeuner Sur L’Herbe, exploring the shared projected desires built around food and the female body. Meticulously hand painted casts of food serve as the base for the artist’s sculptural practice where strange assemblies, now frozen in sculpted plastic, toy with the presence and absence of unchangeability and perishability, fiction and reality. Advertising, fashion, taboo, multi-national brands—Wise looks to the consumptive habits built around these structures with parody and derision, underlying how the body is framed and becomes excessive in its manipulation of these sites.
For more than thirty years, Lisa Yuskavage’s highly original approach to figurative painting has challenged conventional understandings of the genre and influenced subsequent generations of artists. Her simultaneously bold, eccentric, exhibitionist, and introspective characters assume dual roles of subject and object, complicating the position of viewership. At times playful and harmonious, and at other times reful and conflicted, these characters are cast within fantastical compositions in which realistic and abstract elements coexist and color determines meaning. While the artist’s painterly techniques evoke art historical precedents, her motifs are often inspired by popular culture, creating an underlying dichotomy between high and low and, by implication, sacred and profane, harmony and dissonance. Yet her oeuvre compellingly resists categorization, insisting instead on its own kind of emotional formalism in which characters and pictorial inventions assume equal importance.