Category: New York

The JMA Matriarchive in Resistance

Curated by Yohanna M. Roa

Installation view of “The JMA MATRIARCHIVE In Resistance”. Courtesy of WhiteBox

For the second exhibition at its new East Village venue, WhiteBox showcased “JMA Matriarchive In Resistance”, a complex interactive project curated by Yohanna M. Roa; an  exhibition doubling up as the premiere worldwide activation of the Mexican-Lebanese pioneer ecofeminist architect Josefina Mena’s archive reconsidered within the contemporary paradigm of New York’s present-day artistic, cultural, environmental, and socio-political scene. This proposal constitutes the seventh chapter in the EXODUS Series celebrating émigré artists in New York City. Questioning the ‘use’ of the archive and of its memory, a select number of key documents going back to the 1967-76 period, from the Mexican-Lebanese pioneer ecofeminist architect Josefina Mena’s Matriarchive were activated by contemporary NYC based immigrant artists.  The task at hand for each artist was to respond and react to Mena’s works from the present day, each availed of its own experience. As fodder, the curator-archivist Roa selected works from a network of collaborative actions Mena did in various localities, in this instance concentrated in Portugal, Mexico, Chile and London.

What do we see in an Matriarchive? It is not the inert evidence of an individual event arranged on those classic chipboard walls that serve the documentary purposes so well; the dialectic and multiple relationships between forces, bodies, and threads of different histories interweaved. At least, that is what we see in a living, open archive such as in this one. In her lecture for the opening of the exhibition, Ángeles Donoso Macaya recalled Ariella Azoulay’s challenging ideas about revolutionizing the archive: the Matriarchive as a feminist practice that defies the ways documents should be presented and made accessible to the public.

Installation view of “The JMA MATRIARCHIVE In Resistance”. Courtesy of WhiteBox

One of the artist’s … Click here to read more

Kurt Lightner

Artist Q&A with Kurt Lightner

Kurt Lightner was born in Troy, Ohio. He received his BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design, OH, and his MFA from the School of Visual Arts, NYC.

Lightner’s works have been included in many significant group and solo exhibitions; Greater New York, PS1 MOMA, Kurt Lightner: Five Acres, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Queens International, Queens Museum, Other Worlds, Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, and A View almost Picturesque and Slow Dissolve, Clementine Gallery. Lightner’s works have been critically reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, Artnews, Freize, Beautiful Decay, Brooklyn Rail, New York Times, The New Yorker, Sculpture, and the Village Voice, among others.

He has been a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and The Headlands Center for the Arts Project Studio Residency in San Fransisco. Lightner’s works are included in many private and public collections both nationally and internationally.

He currently lives and works in Queens, New York. 

“Planting Lesson”, acrylic on canvas, 98 x 70 in | 249 x 177 cm, 2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Of all Time? That’s tough.

My favorites ebb and flow but here are a few that always stick in my mind. Charles Burchfield, David Milne, Early Vuillard, Lois Dodd, Alice Neel, William H. Johnson, Giorgio Morandi, Edvard Munch, Jacob Lawrence, William Hawkins, Arlene Shechet, Millet, Van Gogh, Horace Pippin, and Peter Doig. Not necessarily in that order.

How did you become a professional artist?

Since I was a child, I was always using my hands creating, making, growing something. I grew up in a small town in a farming community out in the country pretty isolated until I could drive. This environment allowed for a lot of time to find ways to entertain myself. I would draw and go on made up “archeological … Click here to read more

Lin Shih Pao

Artist Q&A with Lin Shih Pao

Lin Shih Pao is a New York contemporary artist born in Pingtung County, Taiwan. A child from the rural countryside of Taiwan, he has been creating with his hands since he was young. And his hand-making skill has led to this extraordinary life as a legendary artist in a social movement. Taiwan’s Times Press compiled his story into two books:” A Penny Story” and “The Legend Continues.” Taiwan’s public television also produced an episode for him: An Artist’s Story.

You may be as curious as I am, how his work resulted in a thousand-person social movement? How he demonstrates love in interpersonal relationships has brought tears to the eyes of many, both participants in his creation and viewers. And his volunteers rally to him with exuberance and passion. Let us hear his views on art creation from the following interview.

“Love Ring 1”, PVC, gold foil, 13 x 13 x 10 in | 33 x 33 x 25 cm, 2020

Who are your most admired artists?

I like Van Gogh’s wild, enthusiastic, and reckless personality. I think that’s the spirit that an artist should have, regardless of the consequences to make art, live in the moment, and do whatever you want to do at the moment for the art’s sake. I have visited the painting site of Van Gogh in the south of France, and I can feel the momentum. In addition, I also like Picasso’s willful little urchin personality, but Picasso is very good at doing art business. Unlike Van Gogh, Picasso’s life is the sum of reason and sensibility. As for American artists, I like Jackson Pollock. His action painting in Abstract Expressionism has an invisible coincidence with my painting creation. I often use a similar technique as he does to flick … Click here to read more