press release

SOUTHFIRST presents LANDSCAPES, an exhibition of recent work in various media by Dan Attoe, Katarina Burin, Benjamin Butler, Sean Dack, Anne Eastman, Håvard Homstvedt, Todd Knopke, Walid Mokh, Elizabeth Neel, and Michael Vahrenwald. This group show of paintings, photography, works on paper, collage, video and fabric sculpture on the theme of landscape is on view from April 13 through May 13 at Southfirst gallery in Brooklyn, NY.

Arguably the key genre of the nineteenth century, landscape is often cited as the site of a shift towards abstraction. In the wake of a return to painting populated by both narrative and figuration, we also see landscape revisited as a contemporary concern. These landscapes, though, have new preoccupations. Sean Dack’s pixilated panoramas and Michael Vahrenwald’s portraits of distopic consumer parking lots point to experiences of nature newly mediated by neo-Baudelairian internet browsers and the liminal spaces of Walmart-style capitalism. Elizabeth Neel’s paintings place abject bodily forms in the facture of bare trees, while Håvard Homstvedt’s large-scale pastel addresses Casper David Friedrich’s vision of nature in an acid palette. Katarina Burin’s collages read as portraits of sites but expose through their proto-De Stijl language early twentieth century utopian architectural thematics as archaic.

Not all is so pessimistic. Dan Attoe’s small painted boards give surrealist takes on Midwestern woodsy scenes. Todd Knopke’s black-on-black fabric wall piece of a window in the Andy Warhol Estate focuses on a mystical crystal garden. Gardens also preoccupy Walid Mokh, who both tends his and paints it, while Anne Eastman explores one planted entirely in varieties of green moss, the scale of the moss garden growth set off by the scale of the surrounding forest. Finally, a spreading tree by Ben Butler pushes branches over every inch of canvas, the weft to patterns of green suggesting leaves but also more abstract geometries—even the textile structure of the painting support itself.

only in german


mit Dan Attoe, Katarina Burin, Benjamin Butler, Sean Dack, Anne Eastman, Havard Homstvedt, Todd Knopke, Walid Mokh, Elizabeth Neel, Michael Vahrenwald