In the forthcoming group show “Gʉilty / (NOT) Guilty,” art critic and curator Sarah Schmerler brings together four talented artists for a cohesive display of works surrounding the play on words that the title implies. Turning guilt instead into a word synonymous with a gold surface, the exhibition explores the luster of an artist’s work in economic downtime and questions what makes a piece of art attractive in the eyes of society. Or, as Schmerler explains in her curatorial statement for the show, “I think of this show as my own kind of illustrated ‘Fuck U’.”
Originally debuting in May 2011 on Schmerler’s virtual exhibition space 45projects (which she curates with the industrious design director Paulius Nosokas), the physical manifestation of “Gʉilty” on view at Brooklyn’s Norte Maar will keep the same foursome on roster, a group of established yet emerging artists Schmerler says have been “hiding in plain sight.” The lineup includes Ellen Letcher, Francesco Masci, Alfred Steiner and Pablo Tauler, who will each show the works included in the online version as well as new pieces.
In his spare time, copyright lawyer Alfred Steiner creates works that Schmerler considers “visually arresting” in their own right, but at the same time reflect a fascinating narrative. Steiner beautifully entwines various body parts like eyeballs, noses and even muscle tissue to create impeccably rendered silhouettes that transform the sum of its parts into an incredible whole.
NYC-based Chilean artist Pablo Tauler uses just a ballpoint pen for his meticulously drawn illustrations on display at Norte Maar, which turn ethereal scenes and abstract forms into bold, large-scale works of art. The airy depictions he presents for Gʉilty / (NOT) Guilty are only a small facet of his work, which spans painting, digital photography and video.
Schmerler describes Francesco Masci as a classic Renaissance artist who can really paint, but one with no misgivings about crossing boundaries. In addition to his Twitter-inspired portraiture, Masci will show his 2009 “Totem” series, comprised of images created from hundreds of digital files procured through Google searches and stacked to make a wildly emblematic statement on modern obsessions. Masci’s formal training allows him to move seamlessly between subjects and styles, executing his work with a fresh perspective for his medium.
Ellen Letcher cuts and pastes in the physical realm, arranging images pulled from periodicals and magazines into perceptive collages adhered together with paint. The slightly ominous subject matter only backs up already engrossing compositions that toe the line between fact and fiction.
Gʉilty / (NOT) Guilty opens 1st January 2012 at Norte Maar with a Champagne brunch to celebrate, and will run through the end of the month. Check out the online catalog—created by Nosokas, who will also have a few works on display concurrently at Norte Maar—for more on the show and the four New York-based artists it champions.
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