Adams and Ollman
PAST EXHIBITIONS

NICK PAPARONE AND JORDAN RATHUS:  DOUBLE AGENCY
November 15, 2013-January 2014
 
Adams and Ollman announces the release of the new Nick Paparone and Jordan Rathus exhibition and movie, Double Agency. This mind-bending neo-noir work steals everything, including itself. Lifting dialogue, tropes, and scenes from such cinematic greats as Reservoir Dogs and Double Indemnity, this show-stopping story about a heist is in itself a sting operation.
 
This drama unfolds as Jasper, an entry-level graphic designer who works at a hip advertising agency, is sweet-talked into being the host of a fake reality show (Arty Facts) that exists solely as a ruse to pull off the heist. Chloe, a fed-up reality TV production assistant and mastermind of the illicit project, uses the art of persuasion to satiate her kleptomania. A 21st century femme fatale, she knows no scruples when it comes to carrying out her illegal stockpiling rituals. Together, Jasper and Chloe chase after a rare gem of a family heirloom–an object that most of the world has only seen as a jpeg floating in cyberspace.
 
This is a 14.5 million dollar movie experience. Dark. Ugly. Beautiful. Pre-aesthetic. A sponge and a vacuum. The fabricated and autographed artworks such as iPhone cases, tickets, trailers, movie posters, and script pages on view at Adams and Ollman are as diligently referential as the movie itself. Shot entirely in New York City, Double Agency boasts a full cast of classically trained actors styled by fashion icon Nanette Lepore and Brooklyn-based clothing line Fischer. Double Agency is a project of Small Reward Productions.
 
Double Agency extends into the gallery with objects, videos, systems and infrastructure related to the making of the movie. The movie’s original script, posters, limited edition DVD covers, and an iPhone case–the elusive heirloom that drives the heist in the movie–will all be on view. 
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Nick Paparone was born in 1980 in Stuttgart, Germany and lives and works in New York. His work has been performed and exhibited at  X-Initiative, Primetime, W/, and Socrates Sculpture Park, all in New York, NY; Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, PA; Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, OH; Fleisher/Ollman Gallery in Philadelphia, PA; and Vox Populi in Philadelphia, PA, among other venues.
 
Jordan Rathus was born in 1983 in New Jersey and lives and works in New York. Screenings, performances, and exhibitions of her work have been held at venues including SITE95 in New York, NY; Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn, NY; CTSQ in Queens, NY; and the Art Institute of Malmo, in Malmo, Sweden. Upcoming solo exhibitions include Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY in December 2013 and Upfor in Portland, OR in May 2014.
 
 
NADA ART FAIR-MIAMI BEACH
DECEMBER 5-8, 2013
EUGENE VON BRUENCHENHEIN, FELIPE JESUS CONSALVOS, PAUL LEE
OCTOBER 4–NOVEMBER 9, 2103
 
A baker by trade, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein created his entire body of work from his home in Milwaukee. Working in various media, he was remarkably prolific, and drew on an idiosyncratic range of interests, from non-Western art and architecture to girly magazine archetypes, theories of cosmic genesis, and current events. On view at Fleisher/Ollman will be a broad array of Von Bruenchenhein’s works, including signature ceramics, a selection of paintings of imaginary architecture, and rarely seen 35mm color slides featuring his wife and muse Marie. Adams and Ollman will present select photographs by Von Bruenchenhein, with Marie as their subject. Appearing in a variety of semi-erotic and glamorous poses, she is both adored and objectified.
 
Alongside Von Bruenchenhein’s photographs at Adams and Ollman will be collages made by the self-taught Cuban-American artist, Felipe Jesus Consalvos. Consalvos was a cigar roller and incorporated tools of his trade–cigar box liners and wrappers–into each collage, along with all manner of appropriated materials including newspaper clippings, magazine advertisements and vintage photographs. Each work in the exhibition features satirical portraits of George Washington, whose face is collaged from one dollar bills. The works are comic, irreverent and address the very pressing issues of the 20th century, including questions of gender, race, American foreign policy, and popular culture.
 
Additionally, new sculptures by Paul Lee will be on view. These elegant assemblages present reflections on the body, intimacy and memory. Lee’s use of found or discarded items, raw and everyday, simultaneously grapple with abstracting desire and contemplate the language possessed by objects.
 
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
 
Eugene Von Bruenchenhein was born in 1910 in Marinette, Wisconsin and died in 1983. He lived and worked in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His work is currently featured in the 2013 Venice Biennale, The Encyclopedic Palace (June 1–November 24, 2013) and was recently on view at the Hayward Gallery, London (2013), the American Folk Art Museum in New York, NY (2010), and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI (2007).
 
Born outside Havana in 1891, Felipe Jesus Consalvos was a Cuban-American artist who emigrated to Miami around 1920, eventually settling in New York and finally Philadelphia, where he died sometime in the 1950s or 1960s. Consalvos worked for much of his life as a cigar roller, and extrapolated the vernacular tradition of cigar band collage to a highly sophisticated practice. His entire body of work, approximately 750 surviving collages on paper, found photographs, musical instruments, furniture, and other unexpected surfaces, was discovered in 1980. The work has been exhibited in Among Messages and Magic: 100 Years of Collage and Assemblage in American Art at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI (2008–09) and in Carribean: Crossroads of the World at El Museo del Barrio in Harlem, NY (2012–13). 
 
Paul Lee was born in London in 1974 and lives and works in New York. He attended St. Martins School of Art and the Winchester School of Art, earning his BFA in 1997. He was artist in residence at Chinati Foundation, Marfa, USA in 2007. Lee’s work has been included in the recent exhibitions Absentee Landlord, curated by John Waters, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN (2011-2012); Moon River, Stuart Shave/Modern Art (2011); Flaca / Tom Humphreys, Portikus in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany (2011); Eliminate, curated by John Waters, Alberta Merola Gallery in Provincetown, MA (2007); and The name of this show is not Gay Art Now, curated by Jack Pierson at Paul Kasmin in New York, NY (2006). Public collections include The Dallas Museum of Art, The Walker Art Center, RISD, and The Morgan Library. 
 
 
ACHARYA VYAKUL, CHRIS JOHANSON, CHRIS CORALES
 
SEPTEMBER 6 – SEPTEMBER 29, 2013
 
Rooted in the traditional ritual art of India and made as meditative tools, Acharya Vyakul’s tantric paintings were created whenever and wherever the spirit seized him. The paintings’ yantras, or visual instruments akin to verbal mantras, use color, shape and repetition to help the viewer achieve a state of enlightenment. 
 
Like Vyakul who made marks with whatever was at hand such as coffee, leaves, or coal, Chris Johanson employs various media in a practice that the artist describes as “selfish expressionism”, a term emphasizing that he is creating from his unique perspective. At Adams and Ollman, Johanson will exhibit paintings that feature carefully composed bits of text that can be understood as speech or thought and are, by turns, humorous, bittersweet, and neutral. 
 
Chris Corales’ minimal works on found paper investigate the essence of color and form. Like the patinaed paper of Vyakul’s works, Corales uses record sleeves from old 78s and other found vintage paper that bare the markings of past lives and uses. Each fade, tear, mark and shape informs the artist’s decisions as he transforms these ordinary materials into collages that are meditations on landscape and time.
 
Acharya Vyakul (1930-2000) lived and worked in Jaipur, India. His work was first exhibited in 1989 in the exhibition Magiciens de la Terre organized by Jean-Hubert Martin and presented at the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Grand Halle at the Parc de la Villette.  
 
Chris Johanson was born in 1968 and lives and works in Los Angeles, CA and Portland, OR. A solo presentation of his work is currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA and a monograph on his work was published this year by Phaidon. Johanson has also exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; SFMOMA, San Francisco; UCLA Hammer Museum, LA; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Deste Foundation, Athens; and MOMA, New Museum, and Whitney Biennial, all in New York.
 
Chris Corales was born in 1969 and lives and works in Philadelphia, PA. His work has been exhibited at Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA; New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CA; and Fleisher/Ollman, Philadelphia, PA and is currently on view in the traveling exhibition, Remix: Selections from the International Collage Center

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JENNIFER LEVONIAN AND PEARL BLAUVELT

JULY 26-AUGUST 30, 2013

Jennifer Levonian crafts compelling narratives around the mundane and often overlooked moments of contemporary life. The animation, Take Your Picture With A Puma, is crafted from hundreds of watercolor paintings and follows an American tourist on her quest for authentic experiences in Mexico. Armed with a Lonely Planet Guidebook, she instead travels along the well-trodden path of other like-minded tourists. Surrounded by cruise ships, open air markets, catfights, and teenagers making out, the protagonist eventually finds an unlikely friendship in a Mexican bakery. The Oven Sky is a watercolor animation of the song of the same name by artist and musician Rachel Mason. The work is set in a quickly gentrifying neighborhood where newcomers pressure a longtime resident to convert her yard filled with garish lawn ornaments into a dog park. Also on view are Levonian’s carved and painted sculptures of books, inspired by the diaries of Louisa May Alcott, which were published posthumously and against the author’s wishes.

Together with these works will be several of Pearl Blauvelt’s graphite and colored pencil drawings made circa 1940 and discovered in 2000 in a remote farmhouse in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Like Levonian, the everyday world around Blauvelt inspired her subject matter; Sears and Roebuck catalogs, advertisements, clothing, and furniture are poetically rendered on notebook paper, envelopes, and paper bags.

While Levonian captures the essence of contemporary urban, middle-class tedium, Blauvelt provides a glimpse into rural life of the mid 1900s. Taken together, these two artists’ works catalog with sharp detail common objects and events, offering a glimpse into the lives of others and providing provocative insights into social mores and material culture.

Jennifer Levonian was born in 1977 and lives and works in Philadelphia. Her work has been exhibited at venues including Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibits; National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Sarah Lawrence College, New York; Exit Art, New York; the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; and Sante Fe Art Institute, New Mexico. Levonian has been a resident at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She received her BA from The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. In 2009, she was awarded the Pew Fellowship in the Arts.  

Little is known about Pearl Blauvelt except that she was of Dutch descent and from a family deeply rooted in religion. Born in 1893, she lived reclusively in a small house in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY; The John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI; and The Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC.

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PAUL SWENBECK AND JOY FEASLEY:  MOONS OF A DEWDROP

JUNE 7–JULY 20, 2013

With shared interests in geology, science fiction, and fringe belief systems, Paul Swenbeck and Joy Feasley experiment across a variety of media to create an otherworldly experience rooted in art history as well as craft and folk traditions.

Swenbeck and Feasley’s visions converge around a central plinth that serves as a place of discovery. Housed on top and within are Swenbeck’s craggy ceramics, inspired by natural wonders, from boxwork and mandrake roots, to underwater sea life and fossils. In the hands of Swenbeck, these natural curiosities are given volition and the line between animate and inanimate is blurred. Feasley intervenes with her alien math—imposing geometric and crystalline patterns atop Swenbeck’s organic forms.

Mager discs, used by dowsers along with their divining rods, are made with fused colored glass and nod to the pair’s love of Shaker design and simplicity. In the context of this exhibition, the discs symbolize a search or perhaps an attempt to better understand our world and its mysteries. Feasley’s moody, surreal landscape paintings are transformed by Swenbeck’s trusted ceramic techniques. In the work, Moons in a Dewdrop, Swenbeck uses the pattern of Jomon pottery–created by pressing rope into unfired pottery–on the painting’s underlayer to yield marks that are then transformed by Feasley into the ocean at the Oregon coast. Feasley conjures a Pacific Northwest forest from the speckled patterning that results from Swenbeck’s use of decalcomania, a technique by which prints are transferred to pottery. Also on view will be photographs made using a prism that reveal apparitions and disjunctures in the landscape and works that explore magic and illusion.  

Together, the artists’ work forms a supernatural cabinet of curiosities that offers an alternative to mainstream values and belief systems; they look for both questions and answers in uncommon real and imagined places.  This is their third collaborative exhibition.  

Paul Swenbeck (b. 1967) graduated with a degree in ceramics from Massachusetts College of Art in 1991. His work has been exhibited at The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Morris Gallery, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Fleisher/Ollman, Philadelphia; Vox Populi, Philadelphia; Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston.

Joy Feasley (b. 1966) studied at Massachusetts College of Art, Cooper Union, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Her work has been shown widely in Philadelphia, including solo exhibitions at Locks Gallery, Fleisher Art Memorial, and Vox Populi. She has also shown in group exhibitions in Raleigh, North Carolina; Tokyo, Japan; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Brooklyn, New York. Feasley will have a solo exhibition at Locks Gallery, Philadelphia in Fall 2013.

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VAGINAL DAVIS AND PHILADELPHIA WIREMAN

MAY 3-JUNE 1, 2013

Vaginal Davis and Philadelphia Wireman engage in a personal and idiosyncratic alchemy using cheap and discarded materials–including eyeshadow, hairspray and nail polish, tape, batteries, and wire–that are mixed, smeared or bound together. Obsessive, intuitive and prolific, both Davis’ and Wireman’s works are powerful forms of portraiture, which conjure mysterious figures, both real and invented, otherworldly and historical.

Vaginal Davis is a performance artist, painter, independent curator, writer, film maker, musician, and self-proclaimed “doyenne of intersexed art.”  After leaving her hometown of Los Angeles for Berlin in 2006, Davis began to cover the walls of her new studio/apartment with hundreds of paper clippings, almost exclusively the heads and bodies of men cut from newspapers, magazines and her own snapshots.  As this collage began to eclipse the white walls completely, Davis started to create small paintings of women, which she intersperses among the otherwise overwhelmingly and overbearingly male photomontage. These intimate paintings of women exists as equal parts self-portrait and homage.

Using her own personal beauty products as pigments for her paintings, Davis places the small scale works amidst her living collage of appropriated images of men, in a sense replicating her own real life experience as an independent, self-made woman navigating the complexities of a male dominated culture. However, when Davis presents the paintings outside of the context of her apartment, each gains individuality by being given a title that references a specific woman from history. Much of Davis’s work, as well as the formation of her own identity, continues to be concerned with assembling and referencing a lineage of unknown histories of independent, outlaw, and visionary female figures ranging from Hollywood stars, to artists, cultural icons, writers and fictional characters.  Each painting becomes a portrait and a tribute, granting its subject a space of prominence, power and visibility.

In the late 1970s a cache of over one thousand distinctive wire sculptures was found discarded on the street in Philadelphia. The collection of objects came to be attributed to a single person, who remains unknown. The Philadelphia Wireman sculptures consist of different gauges of wire wrapped around everyday objects and materials including food packaging, umbrella parts, tape, batteries, pens, foil, coins, toys, watches, eyeglasses, tools, and jewelry. While these assemblages resonate with historical and contemporary art practices alike, it is also possible that these mysterious bundles are an American iteration of traditional African power objects.

Vaginal Davis and Philadelphia Wireman share creative practices that might be more readily considered in relation to divination or magic, where the act of creation is always linked to belief, and understood and employed as a profoundly powerful force. Both Wireman’s sculptures and Davis’ paintings are entirely specific to the contexts in which they were created, but their resonance in the gallery setting lies in their displacement and their new role as ambassadors of purpose from the worlds of their makers.

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BILL WALTON

MARCH 1-APRIL 27, 2013

Bill Walton (1931-2010) was born in Camden, New Jersey. After serving in the Navy as an electronics technician during the Korean War, he briefly studied at the Institute of Design in Chicago. In 1958, Walton moved to the Philadelphia area where he worked as a commercial printmaker, a trade that was passed down to him by his father. Interested in the materials used for printmaking–wood, lead, steel–more than the finished product, Walton was poised for a life-changing experience when, in 1964, he saw an exhibition of minimal sculptural works at a local museum. Some years later, he revealed that he had gone home that afternoon and changed the occupation listed on his driver’s license from “commercial printer” to “artist.”  

Over the course of more than forty years, Walton made an exceptional and poetic body of work using common materials such as floorboards, wisteria branches, and paper napkins from his favorite diner, while employing simple gestures like stacking, folding, and turning. In this sense, he adopted the formal language of Minimalism - indeed, it is often difficult to differentiate Walton’s interventions from the raw materials used to create his works. Yet his works are also highly personal, handmade and small-scale. He chose never to date his work, believing rather that it was always in process and that materials were informed by their own histories, which they would bear even as they were subjected to subtle transformations. As such, Walton’s works also share characteristics of assemblage, Arte Povera and process art.  

Walton was an avid fly fisherman and traveled each year to new rivers and streams, taking concise notes along the way that described the landscape and his experience. “Morris Run,” he once wrote, “it joins the stream somewhere close past the flats-But I’ve never seen it.”  Relationships of all kinds, from man to nature, rock to water, path to road, figure prominently. “They cross each other. Run alongside you or veer off in odd directions. It is hard to know which one will take you where.” As metal gently twists around a piece of wood or cloth drapes over painted plywood, the work distills those special places and relationships as much as it celebrates the beauty of everyday objects.  

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