DeCordova to feature 23 New England Artists in Biennial Opening April 2019

Date: 
01/29/2019

Beginning April 5, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum will present works of art and newly commissioned installations by 23 New England-based artists in deCordova New England Biennial 2019. The selected artists are from all six northeastern states—Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Featuring work across diverse mediums including painting, sculpture, video, photography, fiber art, and ceramics, the Biennial will occupy all galleries of the Museum and extend into the Sculpture Park with new site-specific commissions. It will be on view through September 15, 2019.

“Every two years the deCordova Biennial renews our appreciation for the ways in which New England is a vital region for contemporary art making today. This major survey presents some of the most dynamic, experimental, and distinguished artists in our area,” says Sarah Montross, Curator.  “Featuring works by artists across generations and backgrounds, the Biennial can also be experienced against the backdrop of our contemporary moment, as artists respond to churning political dialogues, the weight and repetitions of American history, the pressures exerted on our ecological and cultural landscapes, as well as the increasingly indeterminate realms of truth and belief.”

To organize this show, the curatorial team visited dozens of artist’s studios, exhibitions, and galleries through New England, and selected the following 23 artists who represent a cross-section of contemporary artmaking of the region:

DeCordova New England Biennial 2019 Artists

  • Mildred Beltré (VT) incorporates political slogans into drawings, prints, and tapestries in ways that can disarm or amuse the viewer.
  • William Binnie (MA) populates his paintings with vignettes that speak to his Southern upbringing, exploring race, religion, and politics.
  • Bradley Borthwick (ME) returns to ancient times by studying and simulating pre-industrial techniques and motifs.
  • Jenny Brillhart (ME) creates shallow dioramas, trompe l’oeil paintings, and works on paper that take inspiration from the light and space in her studio.
  • Eli Brown (MA) examines thousands of years of gender fluidity in the human and natural realms through his research, studio art, and social practice.
  • Carl D’Alvia (CT) makes marble and bronze sculptures that combine recognizable textures, from feathers to fur, with unfamiliar forms to create humorous, lifelike creatures (pictured right).
  • Anoka Faruqee & David Driscoll (CT) create minute overlapping patterns in their paintings to create an effect of iridescence and movement in the mind’s eye.
  • Ken Grimes (CT) explores UFOs, aliens, and uncanny coincidences through pixelated text-and-image drawings.
  • Yoav Horesh (NH) photographs workers on a farm in New Hampshire who are beginning a new life after coming to the U.S. as migrants.
  • Erin Johnson (ME) explores the American nuclear landscape in videos that straddle reality and fiction.
  • George Longfish (NH) pairs Native American imagery with bold, graphic patterns, resulting in compositions that confront stereotypes about indigenous groups.
  • Eva Lundsager (MA) inserts bursts of bright watercolor on a background of muted Sumi ink in works from her newest series, Invitation.
  • Jonathan Mess (ME) repurposes leftover ceramics to create new, layered compositions that ooze and melt together when fired.
  • Zoe Pettijohn Schade (MA) composes seemingly endless repetitions of patterns, miniature figures, marbling, and fine gold-papered details in her dense, meticulously composed paintings.
  • Jordan Seaberry (RI) incorporates his family history and larger African-American narratives into his large-scale canvases, bringing history painting into the present.
  • Alexandria Smith (MA) works with a repertoire of fragmented body parts and coming-of-age narratives that she constantly develops and reconfigures in paintings and wall collages.
  • Sheida Soleimani (RI) parodies the greed and recklessness of oil oligarchs and politicians in the satirical, collage-based series Medium of Exchange.
  • Emilie Stark-Menneg (RI) and her collaborator Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon enact ecstatic and haunted rituals in Confirmation, an installation of video and paintings (pictured right).
  • Chanel Thervil (MA) paints portraits of her family, friends, and community that exude joy and intimacy.
  • Stephen Tourlentes (MA) takes black and white photographs of U.S. prisons at night and from a distance to highlight their effects on the surrounding towns and neighborhoods.
  • Elizabeth Tubergen (CT/MA) creates sculptures that disrupt daily routines and present unexpected opportunities for “non-productive” activity. The Biennial includes a newly-commissioned work for the Park.
  • Bhakti Ziek (VT) weaves her notes and mathematical formulae, along with fragments of language, into elaborate tapestries that update historical weaving methods.

See artwork by each artist at decordova.org/biennial2019.

An accompanying publication and a full slate of public programming and performances will enrich the show’s presentation. The Biennial is a mainstay of the deCordova’s programming and mission, and exemplifies the Museum’s commitment to New England artists. DeCordova began hosting its Annual exhibitions in the late 1980s and inaugurated the Biennial format in 2010.

The deCordova New England Biennial 2019 is organized by Sarah Montross, Curator, with Sam Adams, Koch Curatorial Fellow; Elizabeth Upenieks, Curatorial Assistant; Martina Tanga, former Koch Curatorial Fellow; and Scout Hutchinson, former Curatorial Assistant.

Support for this exhibition and publication was generously provided by two anonymous donors, The Artist's Resource Trust Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, The Meredyth Hyatt Moses Fund, and the Nathaniel Saltonstall Arts Fund.

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