Storybook Life & UN-ERASE-ABLE

30/03/2019 - 11/05/2019


PV: Friday, 29 March, 2019, 6-9pm


Union Gallery is pleased to present Storybook Life the first international, outside the USA, solo exhibition of Caroline Wells Chandler, curated by William Gustafson.

Stories are the code that program our realities. Chandler creates a site specific installation expanding the boundaries of pictorial space to compassionately include the viewer and in doing so he creates a heterotopic reality. The artist works in a variety of media but is best known for his crocheted queer arenas which explore themes of gender fluidity, community, belonging, and joy. The possibility of narratives with in a singular work, between the viewer and a piece, and the works relationally to one another allows for an intersectional lens of co-creation in which multiple stories are woven together.

For this installation Chandler takes inspiration from the Dionysiac Frieze in the Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii. The characters within Storybook Life channel a Dionysian energy that results in the union of all works. This fascination with art and the canon of art history stems into the work of Chandler. The artist’s admiration for artistic practice and his idols in David Hockney and Rose Wylie are clear with their depictions in the work. Chandler continues the British narrative with School Bois by creating a work in response to boys wearing skirts in England to protest the dress code when it was hot outside. Chandler’s work plays with the notion of gender blurring the lines with ambiguous, vibrantly abstract figures. His installation allows for endless possibilities of self-discovery and reflection whilst opening many portals to explore our imaginations.

Come with me
And you'll be
In a world of pure imagination
Take a look and you'll see
Into your imagination
We'll begin with a spin
Traveling in the world of my creation
What we'll see will defy explanation
If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Wanna change the world?
There's nothing to it.
There is no life I know
To compare with pure imagination
Living there you'll be free
If you truly wish to be

Pure Imagination was written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley for the 1971 version of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.

Caroline Wells Chandler (American, b. 1985) lives and works in Queens, NY, USA. He received his MFA from Yale University in 2011 where he received the Ralph Mayer Prize for proficiency in materials and techniques. From 2016-17 he was a recipient of the Sharpe Walentas Studio Program. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Mrs Gallery (Maspeth, NY), Andrew Rafacz (Chicago, IL), and Lord Ludd (Philadelphia, PA). Recent group exhibitions include Choi&Lager (Cologne, Germany), Nathalie Karg (New York, NY), Marinaro Gallery, (New York, NY), Crush Curatorial (New York, NY), Left Field SLO (San Luis Obispo, CA), Dio Horia (Mykonos, Greece), Kate Werble Gallery (New York, NY), and 11R (New York, NY). His work has been featured in The New York Times, Hyperallergic, The Huffington Post, TimeOut, Juxtapoze, Modern Painters, Maake Magazine, and AEQAI.

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Union Gallery is pleased to present Daniel Blumberg’s UN-ERASE-ABLE, curated by William Gustafsson.

For the first time, Daniel Blumberg exhibits his silverpoint drawings in UN-ERASE-ABLE. Utilizing the widely retired and traditional medium of silverpoint, Blumberg prolifically produces these works on paper. As a touring musician and composer Blumberg took to silverpoint for its durability and portability, it cannot be erased, smudged, altered after the mark is made on the page. Paradoxically, the silver marks oxidize over time, developing continuously, out of the artist’s hand. Blumberg always carries a small pocket sized pouch containing sheets of prepared paper and his silver stylus.

In larger context of drawing, the mediums of metalpoint, including silver, gold and copper, were used predominately before the discovery of graphite, which was quickly taken to for it’s greater flexibility and expressiveness. Old master greats such as Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer, and Jan van Eyck appreciated the mediums unforgiving, stubbornness for developing their drawing. It is unadorned, with all the dynamics in the line, rather than the gimics of the medium. Metalpoint is neglected in the present day.

Described by Hans-Ulrich Obrist as Micrograms, a nod to Robert Walser, Blumberg’s works are small and confidential, an immediate ongoing travelling zoom into Blumberg’s self as an artist, musician, and person, forever depicting his surroundings, thoughts, and actions. Text falls in and out of frame and the drawings serve as a visual diary, diagrams of life. His drawing practice is an obsession to Blumberg, working almost continuously. Sometimes catching a glimpse into very personal and intimate moments yet also depicting the insignificant occasions of living, his lens moves fluidly between the focused and the unfocused. Abstract bodily forms with intense facial expressions consistently float in the open spaces of the page. You are invited to view as if through a microscope or telescope into the work, zooming so far in that you find yourself falling out the other side into an expansive landscape of rhyme, portraits, questions and just nothing. Without a narrative or explanation, we have an anti-ending without resolve, open for interpretation.

UN-ERASE-ABLE is a core epicenter of Blumberg’s ongoing, ever expanding series of micrograms. Predominately he works on the “micro” scale with his silverpoint works, however, the artist also produces work on a larger, and occasionally immense, scale in a variety of mediums on paper, including graphite, watercolour, oil stick.

Blumberg is currently showing a large-scale graphite work, watercolours and video work in the exhibition HYPER! , curated by Max Dax, at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany. Including, but not limited to, artists Mark Leckey, Daniel Richter, Andreas Gursky, Wolfgang Tillmans, Albert Oehlen, and Sarah Morris. The exhibition continues until August 4th, 2019

Blumberg lives and works in London, UK