Til Death Do Us Part, the lively group exhibition at Lorimoto, explores marriage between artists in terms of relationship and art. Lorimoto asked nine couples to collaboratively create work for the show, aiming to push them from their comfort zone and create something new. Lori Kirkbride, Lorimoto’s gallerist says that she conceived the premise for this show from her own experience as an artist married to another artist, the sculptor Nao Matsumoto, who is also her partner in the gallery. Many of the couples who had never collaborated in art before eventually told her that the process was challenging and interesting at the same time.
Cibele Vieira, a photographer and Peter Fox, a painter, found the process most challenging. As a start they sought a common ground where they could engage equally in the process. “Easier said than done,” says Viera. After exhausting several possibilities, they decided to create a layered collage representing themselves and their 5-year-old son. Their process began by stacking their individual portrait photos, cutting the stack and then shuffling the layers. “We didn’t know how much our individual identities would persist or be obscured. Would the spirit of the amalgam portrait (we jokingly called it ‘Frankenstein’) reflect our spirit?” Viera reflects. Indeed, the resulting image is a hybrid portrait, in which the puzzle-like pieces evoke a sense of transition between identities, both engaging and unsettling.
Jeanne Tremel and Eliot Markell are painters and sculptors who like the former couple have not collaborated before. In their wall reliefs and sculptures they assembled found objects scavenged from the beach. Objects like an old harmonica, a rusty spoon and a metal handle are assembled in an associative process. For example Markell started constructing their free standing train sculpture by assembling driftwood; Tremel added a pair of old skates, which in turn reminded Markell of a train and consequently of hobo text, altogether stirring this piece to a more personal direction. Recently the couple has lost their studio space in Bushwick so the ideas of hoboism and transience struck a chord. “We pushed each other beyond what we would normally do; the collaborative process freed us to experiment more,” says Tremel. This experimentation is evident in their imaginative assemblages.
Jennifer Coates and David Humphrey have been collaborating for years. Frustrated with a meticulous pen drawing of trees, Coates covered her pen traces with an off white paint, handing it to Humphrey. He in turn completed the drawing by adding a colorful horse on the left bottom, altogether resonating a faint memory of a lost arcadia.
Both Jennifer Lukasiewicz and David Nakabayashi assert that despite their former resolution to never collaborate again, they built for this show a replica of an air strike from a myriad of materials and found objects, some recycled and some new. Working together since 2014 has revealed that David, normally brash and frenetic, can be meticulously obsessive and that Jenni, normally deliberate and detailed, can choose to experiment and introduce an element of complete uncertainty. Based on images of air strikes in Syria, the resulting artwork refers to over-consumption, imperialism, an acceptance of warfare and the insanity of love. Nakabayashi says that while some tears were shed in the process, the resulting “Air Strike” not only reveals the couple’s weaknesses, but also their strengths and continued commitment to one another.
Joy Curtis & Mike Olin started their collaboration by exchanging a canvas and a piece of cloth with no ideas in mind: She made a move, he responded by making another, and vice versa. Throughout the process they hardly discussed what they were doing and thus surprises happened. “When I got the cloth from her I was pleasurably dumbstruck. I ended up making a mess like I haven’t in a long time,” says Olin. They both used themes from their work. For example, Olin used the gradation that often appears in his work, while Curtis used a triangle in one work and cut fabric in another. Both Olin and Curtis say that there was a feeling of freshness and fun during this process. “Each piece has different amounts of us in it, but they are both different than what we would have done individually,” sums Olin, whose sentiment is well reflected in this playful and thought provoking exhibition.
Til Death Do Us Part
January 9th – February 7th
Opening Reception Saturday January 9th 6-9pm
Including collaborative works by 9 artists couples: Elisa Lendvay & Ryan Franklin, Cibele Vieira & Peter Fox, Mika Yokobori & Daniel Zeller, Allie Rex & Brian LaRossa, Jeanne Tremel & Eliot Markell, Jennifer Coates & David Humphrey, Jennifer Lukasiewicz & David Nakabayashi and Courtney Puckett & Colin O’Con.
LORIMOTO / 1623 HANCOCK ST RIDGEWOOD, NY 11385 / SAT & SUN 1-6PM /
INFO@LORIMOTO.COM / L TRAIN TO HALSEY
Writing by Etty Yaniv