June 10, 2013
Present Tense: 2012-13 Graduate Fellows Exhibition at Headlands Center for the Arts
Headlands Center for the Arts is only one part of the multifaceted, convoluted history of the Marin Headlands. Legends of the Miwok Native Americans to the archived histories of the seacoast fortification Fort Barry perhaps known by many will also tell just one fraction of the land’s entire story. ”Present Tense,” guest curated by Christian L. Frock, whose past interests include art in atypical settings and presenting works exploring histories within contemporary art, examines the upending of conventional studio practices at Headlands by its 2012 – 2013 Fellowship artists to produce narratives concurrently told within contemporary and traditional voices. New works featured in the galleries and in a series of site-specific projects staged inside and around the main building created by Fellows Joshua Band, Kyle Austin Dunn, Liam Everett, Michael Koehle, Kari Orvik, Jordan Perkins-Lewis and Yulia Pinkusevich showcases how each of the artists’ artistic practice parallels and differs from the multifarious histories found within the unique, varied Headlands landscape.
Many of the participating artists explore these themes and investigate the ideas within two disparate mediums or approaches, in many ways a powerful metaphor of the difficult task to illustrate to these multiple layers of history by just one means. Kari Orvik comments upon the continued construction of the landscape among these various chronologies as well as the at times tenuous historic relationship with Headlands’ human incursion and its environs in her series, Exercise for Moving in Between through a spectrum of approaches: a suite of tin-type photographs of Orvik tight-rope walking inside the Headlands’ historic military gymnasium, a filmed iteration of this precarious performance at an ocean bluff rope barrier nearby, and some quite effective etched mirror panels placed circularly in front of an West Gallery window. Yulia Pinkusevich’s breadth of mediums is perhaps the most commendable; her explorations of the surrounding landscapes through salt block sculptures (judging by their delicate curves, they were carved by water or some other delicate instrument) tackles both the rolling hills as well as the undulating ocean waves nearby. The large, fantastical, and heavily geometric two-dimensional painting that looks as if it implements topographical mapping completes this broad range of both the real and imagined, and the human and natural markings upon the land. Michael Koehle’s digitally created sculptures alongside digital prints upon traditionally wrought encaustic panels sways the past and the future back and forth, creating an obfuscation of historical and contemporaneous narratives, acutely paralleling Headlands’ histories that is at times follows the same patterns.
In addition to multiple mediums and assorted artistic approaches, “Present Tense” also unveils how some subversive techniques that deeply challenge the space can also call attention to the particular richness of Headlands’ environment and history. This fracture between the artwork’s inherent qualities and its surroundings can throw an audience’s gaze while calling attention to the elements of its presentation, prompting awareness of the modes of seeing contextually and how meaning is constructed from this relationship. Kyle Austin Dunn’s sculptural installation in the stairwell, Bunch of Heavy Lines remains blatantly defiant of the historic building by its very plasticity as well as its placement, stripping the stairwell of its utility for persons to gain access to and from the attic. Blocked from hitherto accustomed perambulations of the space, audiences are confounded to achieve any possible amelioration to the unyielding physical and aesthetic confrontation. They become deeply aware of their surroundings once rendered inaccessible by such a brazen obstruction. Joshua Band’s, Scenic Overlook, constructed by hundreds of photographs from not only the Headlands landscape but also the artist’ national road trips is at first a delightful and engrossing Arcadian installation wherein the viewer becomes to some degree an omnipotent presence among all Band’s travels. But, upon closer inspection the diorama’s haphazard photographic compilations from multiple travels and experiences as well as its miniature scale creates more of a disjointed, dizzying contemplation for audiences that leaves this woodland diorama and the outer-lands it represents with a fabricated feeling that rather than pulling one into the scene, progressively pushes one out.
Headlands Center for the Arts’ Graduate Fellowship program is unique in the country for addressing the critical juncture from an academic to a professional career. These fellowships give post-graduates from Bay Area academic institutions opportunities for professional development and a chance to define their practice outside the academic context. In addition to private studio space and public presentation opportunities including participation in this annual curated exhibition, Graduate Fellows are active participants in Headlands’ creative community including engagement with the local, national, and international artists participating in Headlands’ various artist programs.
Present Tense will be at Headlands Center for the Arts through June 9.
April 21, 2013
Headlands Spring Open House
Ina Archer Joshua Band Laurel Braitman Jefre Cantu-Ledesma & Paul Clipson Steve Carr Sohyung Choi Luke Damiani Kyle Austin Dunn Liam Everett Victoria Gannon Brett Goodroad Jesse Hewit Cynthia Ona Innis Michael Koehle Sara Kraft Marya Krogstad Jennie Lin Mikael Lindahl Ali Naschke-Messing Tucker Nichols Kristian O’Hare Kari Orvik Jordan Perkins-Lewis Yulia Pinkusevich Meghann Riepenhoff William Rockwell James Sansing Erica Lorraine Scheidt Christina Seely Samantha Senn David Shrigley Scott Vermeire Emily Meg Weinstein Hazel White Will Brown
Charleston City Paper: Yulia Pinkusevich will turn your world upside down Flip Flopper by Erin Holaday Ziegler
April 02, 2013
Yulia Pinkusevich will turn your world upside down
Opening reception Fri. March 29, 6-8:30 p.m.
On view through May 4
Redux Contemporary Art Center
136 St. Philip St. Downtown
(843) 722-0697 Reversion
Imagine the incredible: A giant man with a giant hand spontaneously grabs our densely populated downtown. He rips up King, Meeting, and East Bay streets from the ground and turns us upside down. The Holy City is practically hanging on marionette strings. Yet the layers of concrete, dirt, and buildings remain.
“The city is so prevalent. It feels like we’ve always lived this way,” Yulia Pinkusevich contemplates. “But I’m interested in looking at a much grander time frame … is this type of city obsolete? How permanent is this environment? Why does it exist and what is its influence?”
From the soaring steeples of King and Broad streets, to the pristine porches South of Broad, Charleston’s architecture defines us. Amidst the hustle and bustle of tourist season, Pinkusevich will make you stop and look up with her transformative exhibition Reversion, opening at Redux Contemporary Art Center on Friday.
Pinkusevich’s show is less commentary and more a question. A world turned upside down is the focal point of her site-specific installation at Redux, but also of her work as a whole. “Architecture is transformative,” she says. “It’s an icon and a symbol of whatever a city wants to put forth, and it affects how we live. I’m curious as to how long our cities will last. I think that my drawings try to ask this same question.”
Born in Kharkov, Ukraine, in the former U.S.S.R. and influenced by a life of international and domestic travels, Pinkusevich is a self-described city girl. Moving to New York City at eight years old was a pivotal moment in the young artist’s conscious understanding of architecture. “Being a Soviet kid, the Twin Towers held a symbolism,” she explains. “You identify a city through its architecture, like the Eiffel Tower or Golden Gate Bridge. I wasn’t old enough to understand everything then, but I had that visceral feeling — these structures are amazing, and they were made by humans.”
Using simple components, like chalk and salt, Pinkusevich helps audiences to see the wonder of our world in a different light. This interdisciplinary artist definitely looks up. A lot.
“We’re creatures of habit, and some of the most exciting moments in life for me are discovering something new or a realization when you think about something in a different way,” Pinkusevich says. “I like the idea of making you think about the impossible — visions of the mind that don’t exist in reality.”
On a more literal level, Pinkusevich is creating a large wall drawing at Redux that envelops the gallery’s entrance with a series of small salt sculptures. “Reversion” also includes a lens that reverses the optics of the wall drawing and plays with perception.
“My exhibit will be interactive,” Pinkusevich explains. “I want to engage with the viewer physically and with his or her perceptions as well. A lot of my work is of a scale meant to place the viewer within the image.”
When you first step into the gallery, the wall image is the first thing you see, but as you get closer, your gaze is drawn to other observers in front of you as you continue looking. “Everyone becomes a part of the piece,” Pinkusevich says.
The lens on the opposing wall adds another visual layer, reducing the size of the wall image and turning it upside down. “So you’ll see the city right side up — and tiny. That’s the paradox.”
Like most of Pinkusevich’s work, the title of her show has multiple meanings. The wall drawing is inspired by a drawing Pinkusevich did in 2009 that never came to fruition. This first solo exhibit also fully fleshes out concepts she intended for her MFA thesis at Stanford last year.
“It’s like going back to something I never fulfilled,” she explains. “In addition to looking at the shifting landscape of the city and the visual reversion provided by the lens, I feel like I’ve been able to marinate and really process my whole experience over the last year.”
Pinkusevich, who claims a diverse array of artistic influences (French symbolist Odilon Redon and German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer, among others) works in many mediums. “I do a lot of tests and play with concepts to see what comes of them,” she says.
Charcoal and chalk are freeing to the boundary-pushing artistic philosopher. Sculpture brings with it increased cost, engineering problems and takes a lot of logistical time. “Drawing frees me of mundane burdens,” Pinkusevich explains. “Wall drawing is a really pure form of art for me. You can’t sell it or reconstitute it. In that way, it frees me and allows me to make mistakes. My art exists in the moment. For me, that’s really rewarding.”
Unless you’re talking salt, of which Pinkusevich has 3,000 pounds in her Palo Alto, Calif. driveway. “Working with salt goes back to love to temporal materials,” she explains. “I’m trying to use something familiar and shift it into the sublime.”
Pinkusevich’s fragile salt sculptures are created through erosion using water. “You can control certain things, but other things just happen … it’s a really delicate science experiment,” she says. “Salt has this gorgeous quality — it kind of looks like marble and goes well with my monochromatic theme.”
Light and dark, heavy and weightless, the attrition of time — these ideas are essential for Pinkusevich and her viewers. “We are all creatures of habit, and in my work and in life I try to break out of particular habits,” she explains. “Allow yourself to think about time not through the human lifespan, but through a grander timeline. If you detach yourself from your ego and kind of pull back, looking out … you’ll see that our human civilization is just a speck on the trajectory of life on our planet.”
Reversion: Works by Yulia Pinkusevich @ Redux Contemporary Art Center
- Opening reception March 29. On view through May 5.
By Richard Labaki
Yulia Pinkusevich is a multi-disciplinary visual artist whose work is based on site-specific installations and immersive environments. Her art is very distinct and she expresses it to convey deep philosophical concepts (the artworks ultimately deal with questions that she has about life in general.) There is no one overarching concept that Pinkusevich is always delving into and exploring. Each project is unique and has a basis in a particular idea or question. One thread that has been running through her work in recent years, however, is concerned with global urbanization – a relatively new trend that Dubai understands far too well. Pinkusevich questions how this recent trend towards massive urbanization affects humanity and the planet as a whole. And how, if at all, this trend will affect the human psyche.
There is a haunting thread of morbidity or melancholy that interweaves your art-pieces. There is also a sense of loss and confusion. Do you agree with this perception?
Yes and no. My work can be perceived as melancholic, because I am interested in form, composition and materiality in my art but less interested in colour and the individual experience. Thus, my recent body of work has been devoid of people and largely monochrome. To some, art that is lacking colour is perceived as austere. But for me, it gets to the essence of form without the distraction of another element – colour! The haunting perception can come from the concepts, which intrigue me.
For example, throughout my recent work I make images, which envision a world where contemporary architecture and modern cities are seen as relics of the past – long abandoned and in a state of reverting to its elemental forms. Envisioning a place like this implies a post human planet – an idea that can make some people feel very uncomfortable. But to me, this idea is wonderfully intriguing, because I am interested in exploring time through a different perspective – one that does not measure itself against a period of a human lifespan but instead thinks of time on a much grander scale.
Perhaps some see this as confusing. But my intention is not to make people feel bad about the world but to allow their minds to expand beyond their normal way of thinking about time, space and architecture.
Are you a sci-fi fan? It is as if a sci-fi feel permeates through many of your artworks.
Last year, a professor of mine at Stanford [Paul DeMarinis] said to me that he finds that artists from the Soviet Union naturally gravitate towards sci-fi aesthetics and concepts without doing so consciously. It must be in our heritage. Perhaps my personal history and background attracts me to the unexplainable things in life. I am intrigued by looking at things from a different perspective and imagining a world through alternate realities. To be frank, I am not a huge sci-fi movie fan. I don’t like space adventure or horror films at all. Though I do like the films of Andrei Tarkovsky; many of which are quite strange and out of this world. I also love several fantasy and sci-fi writers such as Mikhail Bulgakov; his novel ‘The Master and Margarita’ is one of my favourite books, along with ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley. I’ve also been into Philip K. Dick novels recently, so I guess I am a sci-fi fan after all!
Had you not been an artist, would you have been an architect today?
I have pondered this question before and the short answer is yes. I seriously considered getting a Masters in Architecture several years ago; I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to take a summer course in Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. This Career Discovery course was intensive and taught me a lot about architectural design methodology. I loved the program and did quite well in it. But throughout my time there, I realized that I did not really want to be an architect as much as I wanted to acquire the skills of an architect in order to push my art to a new level.
I deeply respect great architects, because to me good architecture can be the highest form of art. It is a structure for the public, which is experienced by people from all occupations. It finds a perfect balance between form and function – it can be striking, complex, sophisticated yet humble or seemingly simple at the same time. Throughout my study of architecture, I realized I wanted to make art that possessed these qualities – to create work that presents people with an immersive visual environment. I am still working towards this goal in my art. And I hope to pursue some larger scale, multifaceted installation-based projects in the near future.
How much time and effort did you expend in refining your unique artistic style? And what were the major challenges in developing it?
It’s hard to answer this question, because I did not set out to create a “unique artistic style”. When I was quite young, I realized that the work I was making then was not at all like the work I was attracted to when I went out to galleries and museums. I started to ask myself a simple question, “If I saw this piece in a museum and didn’t know it was mine, would I like it?” This stirred up many emotions in me, because I realized that the answer at that time was no.
So I made a list of the qualities in the artworks, which made me stop dead in my tracks. The list ignored all superficial aspects such as popularity, price point, gallery affiliations etc. Instead, it focused on something undefined – a personal gut reaction. After practicing this for some time, I found that there were very particular qualities that I was attracted to. With this in mind, I attempted to distil my own work down to its essence and consider the aesthetics, which I found myself drawn to. What resulted was this linear, architectonic, monochrome work. I cut out all excess – no figures and no colour in order to concentrate on what I was concerned with: Form, space, concept and composition.
March 16, 2013
Reversion: Work by Yulia Pinkusevich
March 29 – May 4, 2013
Redux Contemporary Art Center is proud to present Reversion: Work by Yulia Pinkusevich. Reversion is a site-specific installation that examines the urban city as a relic. It observes the urban structures of the 20th Century from a distant future gazing back at our moment in time. This installation questions the validity of skyscraper architecture and the impetus for the ever-growing density and rigidity of the contemporary built environment as well as its deployment within future systems. Imagine a world of densely layered urban dwellings. Skyscrapers and labyrinths of tunnels fill this vision. This world is disconnected from nature and unaware of its ambient environment. Humans are stacked in layers, living atop one another in soaring structures. The aggregate map of their psychology is manifested in the form of their city… and then imagine it destroyed.
Artist Residency: March 19 – 29, 2013
Opening: Friday, March 29, 2013 | lecture: 5:30 pm | reception 6 – 8:30 pm
On View: March 29 – May 4, 2013
All of our exhibitions are free and open to the public. Although PARKING is not available at Redux, there is on-street parking throughout downtown as well as two parking garages in close proximity.
Redux is a nonprofit organization in Charleston, SC committed to the cultivation of contemporary art through diverse exhibitions, subsidized studio space for artists, expansive educational programming, and a multidisciplinary approach to the creative dialogue between artists and audience.
November 15, 2012
MicroClimate Collective presents our second fall exhibition dealing with time, X Libris. Joining MicroClimate as a guest curator for this exhibition is Sarah Ratchye. We hope you can join us for the opening reception this Saturday, November 10th, from 7-10pm.
Glenna Cole Allee and Victoria Mara Heilweil
Exhibition Dates: November 7 – December 1, 2012
3175 17th Street (at South Van Ness)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 10, 2012, 7-10 pm
Cocktail Hour/Closing Reception: Friday, November 30th, 2012, 5-8 pm
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 2-6 pm (or by appointment)*
*Please note that gallery will be closed November 22nd-24th in observance of Thanksgiving holiday
X Libris is an exhibition exploring the book as a mode of communication in flux. As we transition from the printed page to digital communication, our relationship to print changes as we enter the literary realm of binary code and multi-directional referencing and browsing. Once valued as a solitary activity requiring deep concentration, perusing written language is incrementally measured, and our attention fragmented. X Libris explores the book as a vulnerable, ephemeral, morphing form, in this time of accelerated transition to digital communication and “real-time.”
Samuel Levi Jones
Kate Jordahl with Don Drake
Pantea Karimi Michael Kerbow
Steven Vasquez Lopez
Yulia Pinkusevich with Glenna Cole Allee
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Artwork Credit (left to right): Leah Rosenberg, Maria Porges, Alexis Arnold
Support for MicroClimate Collective and the publication accompanying the exhibition X Libris is provided by Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure Grant Program.
May 07, 2012
Featuring works by Yulia Pinkusevich, Adam Katseff, Rhonda Holberton, Andrew Chapman, Yvette Deas.
Curated by Enrique Chagoya.
Never Odd or Even opening reception is May 17, 5:00-7:30 pm, runs from May 17th-June 16th 2012. Second show will open at Root Division in San Francisco, on May 23 rd 7-10 pm See info below for more details!
February 24, 2012
There’s a certain house in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow Neighborhood. It’s not a particularly memorable home. But it is pretty old. It was built in the 1870s, and has withstood more than 140 years of remodel jobs. But its final facelift will certainly be its most dramatic.
Two years ago, Amir Mortazavi’s sister bought the house at 3020 Laguna. Mortazavi, a San Francisco real estate developer and art gallery owner, said the family planned to demolish the home and replace it with a new one. But before its date with the wrecking ball, Mortazavi envisioned one last chapter in the home’s long history.
“What we wanted to do was give this home a secondary life,” said Mortazavi, standing in front of the home’s curiously stripped down facade. “We’re giving it a secondary life by inviting these nine artists inside the building.”
Mortazavi gave nine artists free reign of the house with one stipulation: they had to create art inside using only things found in the home.
Artist Chris Fraser stripped the front of the home down to its wood slats. He removed three windows and replaced them with more wood. Inside the front room he painted stark white, light spills through the slats creating a ballet of dancing projections.
VIDEO COMING SOON
In the kitchen an artist carved a labyrinth in the linoleum. In a hallway, Artist Andy Vogt created a subfloor, almost like a wooden moat meandering toward a doorless doorway to nowhere. In the basement, Yulia Pinkusevich stripped the home’s wiring of its casing and then fashioned it into a colorful sculpture.
“When a house finally does come to the end of its time, it’s usually an unceremonious passage,” said artist Jesse Schlesinger. “This was a way of really giving depth to that lived experience.”
Schlesinger lived in the home for 28 days, becoming its final occupant before it’s torn down next month. He occupied a 10 by 12-foot room, fashioning furniture from base board and door frames. He even made a plaster cast of one of the home’s Victorian doors and hung it in his room.
“There was a kind of sadness or poignancy to that idea that this will be it,” said Schlesinger looking around the tiny room. “This space I got to know, this 10 by 12 room, will no longer exist.”
But any nostalgia for the home is tempered by the fact it will continue on in the art. Organizers of the project have photographed and videotaped the work and opened the home to visitors.
“This house otherwise probably would’ve only existed through blueprints in the city archives,” said David Kasprzak, who curated the project.
Mortazavi said the project will bring an unexpected twist to the home’s long history… “to give the building a sort of a wake and a funeral before it goes.”
The home will open this Saturday for the public from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
February 17, 2012
3020 Laguna Street in Exitum //Press Links
January 31, 2012
3020 Laguna St in Exitum
NEW VIEWING HOURS: SATURDAY February 11th,2012 2-7pm
Amir Mortazavi and David Kasprzak are pleased to present the opening of Highlight Gallery’s first project space, 3020 Laguna Street, a collection of sight-specific installations created in a residence in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow District, on Saturday January 28, 2012. Featuring a set of works formed solely from the materials of a residence sharing the same address as the title, the exhibition takes its inspiration from the works of artist Gordan Matta Clark. Matta Clark’s investigations into unused or forgotten residential spaces—calling them “nonsites,” a term he adopted from his mentor Robert Smithson. These liminal spaces included alleyways, median strips, and small portions of commercial and residential architecture. Matta Clark purchased these sites to become the medium of many of his works and as exhibition spaces for projects from his peers.
Working in this tradition, artists Jeremiah Barber, Randy Colosky, Chris Fraser, Christine M. Peterson, Yulia Pinkusevich, Jonathan Runcio, Jesse Schlesinger, Gareth Spor, and Andy Vogt were invited to inhabit a modest residential space built in the 1800s. This site has been home to a number of residents over the last 150 years—fulfilling the dualistic role as both a practical shelter and a symbol of dreams and ideologies, as written about by Roland Barthes. Now slated for demolition due to structural instability, the artists were invited to enter the space, to set entropy in motion with perhaps a more sensitive hand and a “tool belt conceptualism.”
The artists have responded to this specific history of the building through many forms, excavating the literal scars contained within its walls, investigating the history of the site’s residents and the craftsmen who create residential structures, projecting their own histories and identities into the space, and enacting these investigations through the purely cathartic act of destruction. Please join us on Saturday, January 28th, for the opening of the exhibition—or perhaps more accurately, the wake of this site.
Data Mass Projection
“Data Mass Projection” is an installation created out of telephone and data wires found throughout the Laguna Street house. The found wire was taken down and stripped of its grey outer coating to reveal the multi-colored inner strands, that comprise each telephone wire. The installation serves as metaphor for a spectrometer like visualization of digital data and information surrounding us at all times. This data is anchored in and released through a single point of projection, bouncing a wave like form throughout the space, redefining the parameters of the architecture. Color sequencing algorithm is applied to the pattern, which also account for digital noise or moments of interference.
More about the artist curators and project please visit http://3020lagunast.com/