American Dreams
A Group Exhibition
December 18, 2020 – February 27, 2021
Visits by appointment, book here.

Ethan Cohen Gallery is pleased to present American Dreams. This exhibition is a visual metaphor for the ideal of the American Dream that we Americans strive to embrace. This idea of unity, liberty, opportunity, equality, belonging, peace, and a better life for all regardless of our backgrounds, is the essence of who we are as a people. This exhibition features works of artists of diverse and international backgrounds. The American Dream inspires us to reflect and think further on how it relates to our ideals and dreams in a globalized world.

Featured artists:

Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave

Raul De Lara

Jerry Robinson

Greg Haberny

Aboudia

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Emil Alzamora

Zhang Yanzi

Bailey Bob Bailey

Mina Cheon

Kim Chun Hwan

Gabriel Shuldiner

Zhang Hongtu

Unknown Tribal Artists

VR Tour
 

ABOUDIA

b. 1983, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Aboudia's multi-layered paintings offer simultaneity of images and meanings that conduct a continuous discourse with each other and with the viewer. In any glance, the eye takes in one or another layer, which is soon overcome by the next. We are aware of the vivid, brutal pageant of contemporary Africa weaving before us like a fabric of consciousness - soldiers, skulls, African fetishes, flashes of street life - expressed with vitality. The surfaces deploy fragments, cuttings, from bits of comic strips, magazine ads, newspaper images, set into the paintings' overall compositions so as to suggest current events cohering through the imagination into a troubled and troubling vision.

In the end though, the artist's gift of cohesion transforms chaos into vitality, painful events to esthetic redemption, so one is able to see the whole as a changeable tide forever renewing hope.

 

JEFFREY HARGRAVE

1973 born in Salisbury, N.C Jeffrey Hargrave is a North Carolina born, African-American artist based in New York. Hargrave deals with representations of African-Americans, often putting them in the context of art history, remaking works by artists such as Matisse to include black figures, with racially charged stereotypical imagery.

Tapping into his own memories of growing up in the midst of a sharply divided community, Hargrave translates his personal experiences into playful, yet biting images that mix art-history clichés and racial stereotypes. Ultimately, the artist seeks to engage viewers in a dialogue on class, religion, sexuality, racial identity and privilege based on a repertoire of familiar images.

Hargrave attended the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts, Rhode Island School of Design and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His works have been exhibited at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and other prestigious venues.

 

RAUL DE LARA 

b. 1991, Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico

De Lara immigrated from Mexico to the United States at the age of 12 and has been a DACA recipient since 2012. Growing up in Texas as a non-English speaker, feeling neither from here nor there, his work now reflects on ideas of nationality, language barriers, body language and the sense of touch. His sculptures explore how stories, folklore, and rituals can be silently communicated through inanimate objects, tools, and foreign environments. De Lara often works with wood, a material that always shows the passing of time on its skin. His aesthetics and materials are inspired by the shared backyard between the United States and Mexico.

De Lara received his MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been awarded the Ox-Bow School of Art Fellowship, a Chicago Artists Coalition HATCH Residency, the International Sculpture Center Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award and he recently completed his fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

ZHANG YANZI

Zhang Yanzi was born in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province. Graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Zhang got her MFAs in both Chinese Painting and Literature. She is currently based in Beijing and she works at the Central Academy of Fine Arts and serves as an advisor for graduate students. Her solo exhibitions were held respectively at Shanghai Art Museum, Today Art Museum, PAN, Palazzo delle Arti di Napoli, Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences, Surgeons’ Hall Museums, and Museum of East Asian Art (ME-AA). Her works have been included in the collections of numerous art institutions and private collections.

For her latest body of work Lost Again, Zhang Yanzi adopts the material of analgesic plasters that she usually uses to cover fluorescent tubes. Drawing on an experimental ink practice, Zhang has created a deconstructed landscape painting that has been portrayed on analgesic plasters, to represent tradition, humanity, and poetic expression. Light shines through the small holes of analgesic plasters, conveying hope and strength in the human soul. Upon observation, stories of time seem to be flowing out from these glittering “living organisms.”

MINA CHEON

b. 1973 Seoul, South Korea

Mina Cheon (PhD, MFA) is a Korean-American global new media artist, scholar, and educator who divides her time between Korea and the United States. Cheon has exhibited her political pop art known as “Polipop” internationally and draws inspiration from global media and popular culture to produce work that intersects politics and pop art in subversive and provocative ways. In particular, Cheon has worked on North Korean awareness and global peace projects since 2004 and appeared to the world as a North Korean artist KIM IL SOON since 2013. While she creates work that range in medium from new media, video, installation, performance, and public projects to traditional media of painting and sculptures, the content of the work is in historic alignment to appropriation art and global activism art.

Just as the Korean peninsula is split, so is its contemporary artistic consciousness. Mina Cheon is a South Korean artist who collaborates with her North Korean alter-ego KIM IL SOON (a Socialist Realist painter, naval commander, farmer, scholar, teacher, mother, and human being). In this, the latest of Cheon’s grapplings with the Korean schizo-imaginary, the topics of art, motherhood, games and hope come together in a reflection upon (cult)ure, love and education.

Cheon has worked with underground networks to send hundreds of USB drives containing performance lectures on contemporary art history into North Korea – arguably the first such artistic ‘re-programming’ engagement with the nation to date. The Art History Lessons by Professor Kim (2017) endeavor to be relatable for North Korean and American audiences – borrowing from children’s TV show formats while showcasing today’s contemporary artists and critical perspectives. Carrying the vital messages “The world loves you, North Korea” and “Both art and lives matter”.

 

KIM CHUN HWAN

b. 1968

Kim’s work repurposes the paper advertisements and letters that all too often fill our lives. The bombardment of consumerist stimuli is manipulated to create ornate textures and patterns. Each piece of paper, with its fold, color, and text has its place amid the layers. The depth and scale of Kim’s works are remarkable testaments to the depth and scale of available material for his artistic practice. Kim’s works are extraordinary displays of a transient reality otherwise ignored. Kim Chun Hwan currently lives and works in France. Kim holds a B.A.L Fine Arts from Seoul National University, and his work has predominantly been shown in Europe since 1999.

EMIL ALZAMORA (b. 1975 in Lima, Peru)

Alzamora harnesses a wide range of materials and techniques to deliver unexpected interpretations of the sculpted human figure. He often distorts, elongates, deconstructs, or encases his forms to reveal an emotional or physical situation, or to tell a story. Alzamora's keen interest in the physical properties of his materials combined with his hands-on approach allows for the process to reveal and inform at once the aesthetic and the conceptual.

BAILEY BOB BAILEY

After studying sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University, Bailey attended Skowhegan and was twice a fellow at The Fine Arts Work Center of Provincetown.  He currently lives and works in Truro, MA. Bailey has shown extensively throughout the U.S. and  internationally, most recently with Ethan Cohen Gallery in NYC and Beacon, NY ,and was a founding member of an artist-owned gallery, artSTRAND, and is now represented by The Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown, MA and Ethan Cohen Gallery in NYC/Beacon, NY

GABRIEL J. SHULDINER

Interested in the timeless and disparate associations assigned to black, Gabriel J. Shuldiner describes his work as ‘bruteminimalism®’: a concept situated somewhere between the abstract and absurd. His physically powerful, "s[r]seductively" delicate ‘hybridsculpturalpaintings®’ trigger both immediate engagement and visceral reaction, conjuring images of voids in space and post-apocalyptic futures. He sites the 'subtlety of difference, produced through repetition' and the 'implied nuanced histories of the oft-overlooked' as starting points for work that explores and disrupts 21st-century painting and object-making. Shuldiner deems his elusive black palette "postapocalypticblack®": a viscous custom composite, based upon the key life ingredient and oldest known earth element carbon [pigment]. applied in thick layers on a multitude of substrates, Shuldiner meticulously bends, scrapes and sculpts his proprietary black material, creating mysterious areas both smooth and rough that proportionately reflect, refract, distort, and absorb observable levels of electromagnetic radiation. His ongoing oeuvre examines the physical and psychological qualities of visual experience through the use of black paint.

JERRY ROBINSON

(1922 –2011, New York)

Jerry Robinson, was an American comic book artist known for his work on DC Comics' Batman line of comics during the 1940s. He is best known as the co-creator of Robin and the Joker and for his work on behalf of creators' rights. He was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2004. This exhibition features his hand painted Batman briefcase from 1987.

GREG HABERNY

Greg Haberny's seemingly pure pop-culture images hide as much as they show. And they tell the story of what they hide. The viewer's eye seems to alight on a familiar visual trope, a jar of mayo or a wood silhouette of bambi or a Rothko-esque tableau. But the process of deconstruction and recomposition that produced it offers a latent narrative beneath the surface. Haberny is, in that way, a process artist: he asks that we register the process as part of the finished whole. Sometimes he uses the ash from his burnt unfinished works to create new ones. At other times he mixes in melted crayons whose wrappers adorn the canvas surface. Always, the familiar image is decaying or surfacing amid a compost of flotsam, the penetralia and refuse of the component materials, its graveyard of junk and its fertile soil. Haberny's works are mimetic mirrors of the culture that produced them, with the commercialized iconic images constantly fractured by the chaotic, toxic, mass production process that they hide.