P·P·O·W is pleased to present new works by Elizabeth Glaessner, Dinh Q. Lê, Judith Linhares, Gerald Lovell, and Robin F. Williams, alongside historic works by Martin Wong.
Elizabeth Glaessner (b. 1984) conjures a saturated, densely layered world of transformation and multiplicity. Inviting amorphousness in her subjects and environments, Glaessner’s surreal universe is populated by evocative forms in various states of becoming or undoing. Working in oil, acrylic and pure pigments dispersed with water and various binders, Glaessner’s technique shifts between formal articulation and non-representational gesture. Blurring the lines between reality and performance, Glaessner’s Green Ribbon, 2022, draws inspiration from the myth of Echo the Oread who appears repeatedly in Greek mythology as a source of ire and jealously. Throughout the various retellings of this myth, Echo’s voice is restricted and she is only able to emulate the sounds around her. In Green Ribbon, Glaessner depicts a figure with hands grasping its neck, releasing an inaudible scream that hints at the desire to escape the violence of a silencing environment. Glaessner was born in Palo Alto, California and grew up in Houston, Texas. After receiving her BA from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, in 2006, she moved to New York and completed her MFA at the New York Academy of Art in 2013. In February 2022, P·P·O·W presented Phantom Tail, Glaessner’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. Four Legs in a Garden, the first institutional solo presentation of Glaessner’s work, was on view at Le Consortium, Dijon, France, in spring 2022.
Working in photography, film, and installation, Dinh Q. Lê (b. 1968) challenges Western narratives of war and migration to present the nuanced perspective of Vietnam and the global Vietnamese diaspora. Lê’s singular voice has reframed global histories of Southern Vietnam, challenging censorship, exploitation, and propaganda from all sides. Weaving photographs together using a traditional technique he learned from his aunt, Cambodia Reamker #33, 2022, hybridizes ancient and modern iconographies of Cambodian culture into a multivalent new narrative. For this work, Lê photographed a fresco of the national epic poem of Cambodia, Reamker, currently housed in the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. A foundational myth of Khmer history, Reamker explores the struggle to balance good and evil, justice and fidelity. Lê interweaves his photo with bitterly iconic black and white portraits taken by the Khmer Rouge to document prisoners who they brutally killed throughout the late-1970s. Lê’s commitment to restoring dignity and cultural specificity to survivors of violent conflict is rooted in lived experience. Lê holds a BFA from UC Santa Barbara. He has participated in the 2013 Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; the 2009 Biennale Cuveê, Linz, Austria; the 2008 Singapore Biennale, Singapore; and the 2006 Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, Australia. His work has been exhibited at major institutions and international exhibitions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; MoMA PS1, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; and the Asia Society, New York, NY, among many others. Lê was recently the subject of the exhibition, The thread of memory and other photographs at musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, Paris, France, and his work is currently on view in Living Pictures: Photography in Southeast Asia at the National Gallery Singapore, Singapore.
Rooted in the California Bay Area counterculture of the 60s and 70s, Judith Linhares (b. 1940) composes folkloric, figurative paintings from confident, abstract brushwork, and brilliant fields of color to gradually develop her subjects. Beginning by painting broad brushstrokes of complimentary colors, Linhares creates personal mythologies from a menagerie of animal tchotchkes, vases of brilliant flowers, and alternately haunting or amusing figures. Playing with shape, color, and gesture, author Susan Morgan writes that Linhares’ still-lives are “spontaneously generated, the forms might be assembled in a single energetic session.” Linhares earned her BFA and MFA degrees from California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA; and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA, among others. Judith Linhares: The Artist as Curator, an exhibition featuring five decades of work, was on view at the Sarasota Art Museum, Sarasota, FL, in winter 2022. Linhares’ second solo exhibition at P·P·O·W, Banshee Sunrise, opened in April 2022. Her work is currently on view in Come a Little Closer, at DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY, and she will present a solo exhibition at Massimo de Carlo, London, UK in spring 2023.
For Gerald Lovell (b. 1992), painting is an act of biography. Combining flat and impressionistic painting with thick daubs of impasto, Lovell’s monumental portraits depict loving scenes often lost to the abyss of memory. Lovell’s portraits refuse the notion that all Black figures put down on canvas are somehow political. Rather, works like Matt, Sean (a day at Herbert Von King park), 2022, record a deep commitment to fostering alternative community narratives by imbuing their subjects with social agency and self-determinative power, while also revealing individualistic details that lay their essential humanity bare. Born in Chicago to Puerto Rican and Black parents, Lovell began painting at the age of 22 after dropping out of the graphic design program at the University of West Georgia. He has exhibited at P·P·O·W, New York, NY; Jeffrey Deitch, Moore Building, Miami, FL; Anthony Gallery, Chicago, IL; Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, Charlotte, NC; and MINT, Atlanta, GA, among others. Lovell’s work was recently on view in What is left unspoken, Love at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA. Gerald will present his next solo exhibition with the gallery in January 2024.
Known for her large-scale paintings of stylized, sentient, yet ambiguously generated female figures, Robin F. Williams (b. 1984) employs a variety of techniques, including oil, airbrush, poured paint, marbling, and staining of raw canvas to create deeply textured and complexly constructed paintings. Combining a masterful technical understanding with an innate sense of curiosity, Williams fuses practices from social media channels such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube with references to early modernism, pop culture, advertising, and cinema, to challenge the systemic conventions around representations of women. In works like Sympathy (Study), 2022, Williams adopts the role of steward, depicting cinematic women in popularized vulnerable states. She exposes our communal complicity in the persistent exploitation of the feminine and defies each viewer to end such abuse. Williams received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and has presented solo exhibitions at P·P·O·W, New York, NY; Various Small Fires, Los Angeles, CA; Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Great Barrington, MA; and Jack the Pelican Presents, Brooklyn, NY. Her work is currently in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Collection Majudia, Montreal, Canada; Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL; X Museum, Beijing, China; among others. Her work was recently on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL in Fire Figure Fantasy: Selections from ICA Miami’s Collection.
Martin Wong (1946-1999) was born in Portland, Oregon and raised in San Francisco, California. He studied ceramics at Humboldt State University, graduating in 1968. Wong was active in the performance art groups The Cockettes and Angels of Light before moving to New York in 1978. He exhibited for two decades at notable downtown galleries including EXIT ART, Semaphore, and P·P·O·W, among others, before his passing in San Francisco from an AIDS related illness. In The Most Beautiful Painting in the World, 1989, Wong depicts the famed cartoon characters, Mutt and Jeff, playing cards in his iconic, highly detailed brick motif. In the background, a popular World War II graffiti symbol, Kilroy Was Here, appears in repeated form. In his essay “Bricks and Jails: On Martin Wong’s Queer Fantasies,” David Getsy argues, “the brick can also be seen as demonstrating the potential of relations and connections that are not determined by difference; they are, by contrast, made possible by sameness. Any two bricks can form a bond, and it is a queer stance to value relations not determined by preconceived binary differences.” Wong’s work is represented in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Bronx Museum of The Arts, Bronx, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; and Sunpride Foundation, Hong Kong. Human Instamatic, a comprehensive retrospective, opened at the Bronx Museum of The Arts, Bronx, NY, in November 2015, before traveling to the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH, and the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA. Martin Wong: Malicious Mischief, the first extensive, touring exhibition of Wong’s work in Europe, is now on view at the Museo Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid, Spain, and will travel to KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany; Camden Art Centre, London, UK; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Wong’s work is also currently on view in the exhibition Somewhere Downtown: Art in 1980s New York, UCCA, Beijing, China, curated by Carlo McCormick and UCCA Curator-at-Large Peter Eleey.