Shulamit Nazarian
(Los Angeles, CA)

The Procession

Trenton Doyle Hancock, Annie Lapin, Mark McKnight, Naudline Pierre, Fay Ray, Michael Stamm, Cammie Staros, and Summer Wheat

3-27 October 2019 

Reception 11 October, 6-8PM




Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles is pleased to present The Procession, a group exhibition on view at the gallery time-share VACATION in New York’s Lower East Side.  This will be Shulamit Nazarian’s first pop-up presentation in New York City.

The exhibition features new and recent works by gallery artists Trenton Doyle Hancock, Annie Lapin, Mark McKnight, Naudline Pierre, Fay Ray, Michael Stamm, Cammie Staros, and Summer Wheat. The exhibition title refers to a group of individuals moving as a collective body––often in celebration––to a common destination. Works within the exhibition address many of the prevalent themes found within the gallery’s program. The exploration of personal narrative, art history, and the body are used as a means to better understand our social, political, and cultural times.

For almost two decades, Houston-based Trenton Doyle Hancock has created elaborate works that interlace personal memoir with the history of painting and pop-culture references. Raised in a religious household, the artist spent his childhood immersed in biblical subjects whose power can now be seen in his ongoing exploration of universal themes of good and evil. Oscillating between figuration and abstraction, Hancock assembles compositions in a variety of media. The artist transforms formal decisions—the use of color, language, and pattern—into opportunities to build motifs, challenge narrative structures, and overturn traditional symbolic meaning.

Los Angeles-based Annie Lapin’s paintings reside in a world of multiplicities; digital histories and analog mark making come together to form trompe l’oeil spaces. Seemingly representational and highly rendered imagery such as forests or figures merge jarringly with the abstract. Pulling from an array of art historical and cultural references, Lapin uses a chimeric vocabulary to investigate how the image of a painting comes to be; a process that occurs simultaneously through memory, and through the experience of seeing. The result is a destabilizing and nonhierarchical viewing space, experienced through the artist’s interest in perception and cognition with painting material.

Los Angeles-based Mark McKnight’s black and white photographs depict the human figure and the landscape with congruence. Often rendering the bodies of queer friends and lovers, McKnight carefully depicts the effects of entropy on the human form and pairs it with similar scars found on architecture, urban spaces, and the landscape. Situated between documentary and the surreal, McKnight’s photographs imply an erotic, yet brutal, psychological space informed by his personal relationships.

Brooklyn-based Naudline Pierre creates paintings that serve as portals into a mysterious world. Pierre’s works are informed by religious narratives from her upbringing, spiritual references, and personal mythology. The central subject of her paintings serves as an alter-ego; as the artist has stated about her work, she is “acknowledging the incredible history contained within my body and transferring it to a visual language co-opted from the dominant Western art historical canon.” Caught between the beautiful and haunting, the paintings depict intimate, otherworldly scenes in which characters find themselves in moments of embrace as they explore the complexities of their existence.

Los Angeles-based artist Fay Ray explores female identity, cultural impulses, and fetishized objects through high-contrast monochrome photomontages and metallic sculpture. Influenced by religious artifacts and icons, the artist compiles visually embellished, yet mystifyingly quiet, suspended sculptures. Ritualized forms that resemble wind chimes, dream catchers, and charm bracelets are transformed through marble, chain, and industrial materials. Conflating objectification and empowerment, Ray’s sculptures borrow from the symbolism and composition of traditional relics, adornments, and the occult.

Drawing at once from design, literature and autobiography, Brooklyn-based Michael Stamm probes the need for genuine human relationships in a world that is somehow both increasingly interconnected and deeply alienated. Exploring themes of identity, physical and spiritual wellness, self-actualization and self-doubt, Stamm’s practice playfully oscillates between distanced, abstract contemplation and erratic, self-conscious confession. 

Looking specifically to the shapely vessels of Classical Greece, Los Angeles-based Cammie Staros’ hand-built objects marry ancient ceramic techniques with modern industrial materials. Pulling from Greco-Roman imagery of eroticism, violence, and victory, the artist combines these artifacts with her investigation of origin stories in Western Art History. The result is a consideration of the representation of desire, gender codes, and institutional tropes of display - all embedded in the materials and images of antiquity.

Drawing on rich art historical traditions from Egyptian relief sculptures to Modernist painting, Brooklyn-based Summer Wheat creates highly textured paintings that destabilize material boundaries and elevate the quotidian. Borrowing from the logic of medieval tapestries hung as symbols of authority, Wheat allows acrylic paint to ooze through fine wire mesh, causing figures to emerge upon lush, fiber-like surfaces that coalesce into heroic history paintings. Wheat dignifies her subjects and decidedly refutes the gender specific representations found in various cultures by swapping women into the traditional roles of men. Her figurative scenes aggrandize the invisible work of women by focusing on both their experience and their craft.