The View From The Window

Sara Magenheimer - Ryan Mrozowski - Sophy Naes
curated by Lumi Tan
June 26 - August 2, 2014

Architect Philip Johnson notoriously positioned Poussin’s Burial of Phocion (1648-1649) in his Glass House as a mediator between the outside landscape—a landscape that was, of course, fully visible through his transparent structure—and his domestic space. By modeling his suburban pastoral landscape after Poussin’s ordered depiction of ancient Athens, the surrounding hills and trees became modular elements, seemingly natural but equally as controlled as the interior space. In this Modernist paradise, nature, like furniture, could be shifted around in any configuration so that the view from the living room was absolutely perfect. Both of these interior and exterior compositions will be meticulously preserved in position as a historic site.

This is a selection of artworks, which involve various states of control, arrest, preservation and modularity in nature. There are three artists, three temporalities, and many more ideas of landscapes. Start with Sophy Naess’s grid of soaps, which can be read as paintings, tablets, and book pages. A shift in perspective from the individual pieces to the larger arrangement provides a reveal that is echoed in the soap’s eventual dissolve. Vanitases in the truest meaning of the word, the compositions and depicted symbols slip away dependent on climate and use and leave the natural elements more and more exposed, necessitating documentation at the moment of completion. Move from the wall down towards Sara Magenheimer’s zen garden, which contains a transposable selection of images and objects which have frozen nature in decisive moment, with each arrangement framed by the standard grid of ceramic tile. Every look acts a slow pan over a series of events that can be seen in forward, reverse, or side-to-side. End with Ryan Mrozowski’s paintings of orange groves, natural growths that are tamed into repetitive systems. These images are fixed and flattened, with oranges—the most easily abstracted fruit—reduced to perfect circles which can be circulated again and again. Having moved from permeable to static, softened edges to hardened ones, obscured forms to crystal clear views, we may have achieved sensorial overload. But after stepping outside, make sure to look back through the storefront window to appreciate the garden views.

Sara Magenheimer is a Brooklyn based artist. Recent exhibitions and screenings include Cleopatra’s, Brooklyn; The Living Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland; Soloway, Brooklyn; MOMA, Portland OR; Brooklyn Academy of Music; SiteWork, NC; and Meet Factory, Prague, Czech Republic. As a musician she has toured both nationally and internationally as a member of the bands WOOM and Flying, releasing 5 records. Since 2012, as a performer and collaborator, she has performed at Cage Gallery, Recess Art, MOMA P.S.1, Issue Project Room, Canada Gallery, the Performa 13 Biennial as part of a Triple Canopy commission and she is currently working on a commission from EMPAC, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She was named one of Blouin Art Info and Modern Painters Top 25 Artists to Watch in 2014.

Ryan Mrozowski is a New York based painter whose work has been recently exhibited at Know More Games, Pierogi, Ziehersmith, ACME, Halsey McKay, and Daniel Weinberg Gallery. His work has been written about in The Los Angeles Times, the NY Observer, Modern Painters, BOMB Magazine, and has been featured on the covers of New American Paintings and McSweeneys.

Sophy Naess is an artist based in New York. Her diverse, sometimes collaborative output has been shown in New York at Lori Bookstein Gallery, the Dependent Art Fair (with New Capital), Soloway, the Goethe Institut Library, Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, the Wassaic Project, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Recess, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Sue Scott Gallery, Printed Matter, and numerous project spaces. In 2013 Naess was an artist in residence at the Shandaken Project and at the Scoula Grafica in Venice, Italy. Naess received her MFA at Mason Gross School and her BFA from Cooper Union and currently teaches at the Brooklyn Museum and at Saint Joseph’s College.

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