Frieze New York
May 4 – 8th, 2016
P∙P∙O∙W is pleased to exhibit historical and contemporary works by artists Carlos Motta, Betty Tompkins, Martin Wong and David Wojnarowicz. The booth will feature a large mulit-media installation that Wojnarowicz created in 1985.
David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) channeled a vast accumulation of raw images, sounds, memories and lived experiences into a powerful voice that was an undeniable presence in the New York City art scene of the 1970s, 80s and early 90s. Through his several volumes of fiction, poetry, memoirs, painting, photography, installation, sculpture, film and performance, Wojnarowicz left a legacy, affirming art’s vivifying power in a society he viewed as alienating and corrosive. Wojnarowicz died of AIDS-related complications on July 22, 1992 at the age of 37. His artwork has been included in solo and group exhibitions around the world, at institutions such as The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The American Center, Paris; The Busan Museum of Modern Art, Korea; Centro Galego de Art Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain; The Barbican Art Gallery, London; and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne. His works are in permanent collections of major museums internationally and the subject of significant scholarly studies. Highly influential to the current generation of artists, writers and activists, his work continues to be the subject of important exhibitions. Wojnarowicz has had two retrospectives: at the galleries of the Illinois State University in 1990 curated by Barry Blinderman; at the New Museum in 1999 curated by Dan Cameron. In 2013, historian Cynthia Carr released an acclaimed biography on Wojnarowicz entitled Fire in the Belly. Throughout 2015 and 2016, Wojnarowicz’s work will be featured in Art, AIDS, America, an exhibition traveling to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; the Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA; the Zuckerman Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; and the Bronx Museum of Art, New York, NY. A selection of works from the Rimbaud Series are currently on view in Performing for the Camera at the Tate Modern, London until June. In the spring of 2018, The Whitney Museum of American Art will present a traveling retrospective of the artist’s work entitled History Keeps Me Awake at Night co-curated by David Kiehl and David Breslin.
Martin Wong (1946-1999) During the '70s Wong was active in the San Francisco Bay Area art scene and was involved with the performance art groups The Cockettes and Angels of Light. In 1978 he moved to Manhattan, eventually settling in the Lower East Side, where his attention turned exclusively to painting. Wong set forth to depict urban life on the Lower East Side where he then lived. In Wong’s last major body of work he turned his attention to his own heritage and painted scenes from New York and San Francisco’s Chinatowns. Wong died in San Francisco from an AIDS related illness in 1999. His work can be found in museum collections including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Bronx Museum of The Arts, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Wong had a one person show Sweet Oblivion at the New Museum in 1998. In 2013 the exhibition City as Canvas: New York City Graffiti from the Martin Wong Collection opened at the Museum of the City of New York and traveled to the Amsterdam Museum where it was on view in January of 2016. Wong's retrospective, Human Instamatic, opened at the Bronx Museum of The Arts in November 2015 and will open at the Wexner Center in Columbus, OH in May of 2016 and then the UC Berkeley Art Museum in San Francisco, California in the fall of 2017.
Betty Tompkins (b. 1945) is best known for her acrylic on canvas portrayals of the female body, sexuality, and sexual desire. Her radical Fuck Paintings of the 1960’s resulted in censorship of her work, but today have garnered well-deserved relevance. Tompkins has also worked with text-based paintings, exploring the language of identity of women in contemporary society. For the last forty years, Betty Tompkins has based her paintings on the tension of intimacy and representation of sexuality, rendering explicit scenes in monochromatic tones. Her radicalism in the late 60s led to the unfortunate censoring of her work and later a spotlight on her role in the American and European art scene. Her large-scale, hyper-realistic figure paintings are made from erotic photographs and built layer by layer, using two airbrush nozzles to apply black and white acrylic. Her work is not meant to arouse fantasy but to transpose light and shade, the effect of the process enveloping the scene in sfumato. Text and language play a large role in Tompkins work, often driving the subject matter and concept of the piece. Tompkins lives and works in New York, NY, and Pleasant Mount, PA. Recent solo exhibitions include WOMEN Words, Phrases, and Stories, Flag Art Foundation, New York (2016); Real Ersatz, FUG, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, New York (2015); Art Basel Feature, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Basel, Switzerland (2014); Paintings & Works on Paper 1972-2013, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, FL (2014); Woman Words, Dinter Fine Art, Project Room #63, New York (2013); Fuck Paintings, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium (2012); New Work, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York (2009). Tompkins’s work has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including The Shell (LANDSCAPES, PORTRAITS & SHAPES), Almine Rech Gallery, Paris, France (2014); A Drawing Show, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York (2014); CORPUS, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2014); A Chromatic Loss, Bortolami Gallery, New York (2014); Sunset and Pussy, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York (2013); Elles, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011).
Carlos Motta (b. 1978) is a multi-disciplinary artist who creates installations, films, photographs and sculptures that take as their subject political and historical events, which Motta explores from unexpected angles, proposing new readings and counter-narratives. Interested in gender, sexuality, and the way minority communities are represented, Motta has developed a practice that mines the past to offer a critical re-reading of the present. On view at Frieze will be a series of photographic self-portraits, from 1998 which feature Motta performing fictive characters for the camera in eerie, constructed landscapes. The images depict scenes where his body, sex, and gender are malleable props, transformed beyond recognition. In these early rare photographs Motta experiments with the representation of sexual alterity, the elasticity of identity, and the politics of difference, unknowingly anticipating the themes that he engages in his current practice. Motta was born in Bogotá, Colombia and currently lives and works in New York. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the New Museum, New York; MOMA/PS1, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Tate Modern, London; Röda Sten Konsthall, Gothenburg; PinchukArtCentre, Kiev; and Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, México City. He has also been included in group exhibitions at: Guggenheim Museum, New York; SF MoMA, San Francisco; Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Jeu de Paume, Paris; and Castello di Rivoli, Turin. Motta was also included in the X Lyon Biennale; X Gwangju Biennale; Gothenburg International Biennale of Contemporary Art; International Film Festival Rotterdam; and Toronto International Film Festival. Motta has several upcoming solo exhibitions including Pérez Art Museum, Miami (July 2016); Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen (August 2016); and MALBA-Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (October 2016). Motta won the Main Prize for the Pinchuk Foundation Future Generation Art Prize (2014), was named a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow (2008), and has received grants from Creative Capital (2012), Art Matters (2008) and Cisneros Fontanals Foundation (2006). Motta currently has a solo exhibition, Deviations, on view at P.P.O.W until May 21, 2016.