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Strange Invented Worlds at Whitney Museum of American Art

  • Whitney Museum of American Art
May 6, 2016
Gordana Sretenović. Teaching English and writing for a living. Obsessed with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Desires to travel the world and not have a permanent address. Occasionally writes poetry.

Whitney Museum of American Art is pleased to present Mirror Cells, a group exhibition that features the works of Liz Craft, Rochelle Goldberg, Elisabeth Jaeger, Maggie Lee, and Win McCarthy. This exhibition will present new sculptures by five artists who each in their own, unique way investigate the aesthetic bonds and narratives among and between objects, inviting the viewers to immerse themselves in the curious, invented worlds. The title of the exhibition refers to the mirror neurons, which are special brain cells that become activated when observing the behavior of our others. The idea of a silent observation of our surroundings and our fellow man is an old one that dates back to the time before the new media we have nowadays, and today, more than ever, it is important to sometimes let our egoistic agenda step aside and simply watch and learn from others.

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Left: Liz Craft – Spider Woman Purple Dress, 2015, Image courtesy of the artist and Jenny’s, Los Angeles. Photograph © Michael Underwood / Right: Liz Craft – Spider Woman Purple Dress (detail), 2015, Image courtesy the artist and Jenny’s, Los Angeles. Photograph © Michael Underwood

Artists in the Exhibition

The artists featured in this exhibition are all young and have a lot to offer to the ever-growing world of art. This show has brought them all together in order to make the viewer’s experience even more magical, and help them escape into the imaginary worlds of these bright young minds. One of these creative spirits is Maggie Lee, an American artist whose video-based installations document the ups and downs of her family. Win McCarthy brings his sculptures permeated with a sense of anxiety that daily life brings in this uncertain and unstable world. Similar to him, Liz Craft’s works are connected through internal dialogues that remind of gossips and are reflected in her sculptures of mouths, word bubbles, and spider women. In the end, Rochelle Goldberg brings her installation that alludes to unstable surroundings and questions regarding survival, and she does all this through her utilization of morphing forms and the life cycles of living things.

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Left: Liz Craft – Spider Woman Black Dress, 2015, Image courtesy the artist and Jenny’s, Los Angeles. Photograph © Daniel Sahlberg / Right: Win McCarthy – New York Critical Nightmare (Studio View), 2016, Courtesy the artist and Off Vendome

The Analogue and the Digital

The works that the visitors will be able to see at Whitney Museum of American Art are comprised of simple materials, such as wood, plaster, fabric, and clay. These works communicate with the viewer through the sense of tactility and immediacy they evoke. Compared to the recent trend in the art world that promotes the digitally created works, this exhibition brings the analogue art, the kind of art that does not require anything but found and modest materials. The works featured in this show are the reflection of a sincere and deep interest in all things material, tangible, movable, and the mystery and appeal of the historical traditions of sculpture.

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Win McCarthy – New York Critical Nightmare (Artist and Studio View), 2016, Courtesy the artist and Off Vendome

Mirror Cells at Whitney Museum of American Art

The exhibition will be on display at Whitney Museum of American Art from May 13th to August 21st, 2016. In addition to the Mirror Cells exhibition, the Museum will organize three screenings of Maggie Lee’s 2015 film titled Mommy, which investigates the artist’s coming of age and the life and unexpected death of her mother. The exhibition is organized by Christopher Y. Lew and Jane Panetta, Whitney’s associate curators. The generous support for this show is provided by Jackson Tang, with the additional support of Eleanor Cayre. The Museum founded in 1930 by the artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney is located at 99 Gansevoort Street in New York City, so make sure to visit the upcoming show and let yourself be immersed in the strange worlds of the featured artists.

Featured image: Rochelle Goldberg – The Cannibal Actif (detail), 2015, Image courtesy of the artist and Federico Vavassori