Contemporary Cabinets of Curiosity
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 16, 6-8pm
Panel Discussion: Saturday, December 7, 11am
Heiner Contemporary is pleased to present CURIO, a group exhibition featuring work by Christine Gray, Sue Johnson, Caitlin Teal Price, Olivia Rodriguez, Esther Ruiz, and Julie Wolfe. CURIO will offer a contemporary twist on 16th and 17th century cabinets of curiosity, encyclopedic collections of natural rarities reflecting both fact and fiction. The show will consider why certain things are collected, the way information is catalogued, and how that imposed order can be subverted or updated to reveal something new.
Sue Johnson's invented cabinets and shelves riff on furniture built during the Age of Exploration to house collections amassed from around the world. Her whimsical Design for Entertainment Cabinet No. 1 (The Price is Right) asks the viewer to think about items valued by contemporary society and how they might be collected and memorialized in years to come. Christine Gray paints mysterious vignettes depicting shelves and vitrines as well; hers are populated with glowing rocks, didactic literature and talismanic objects often accentuated by pulsating, patterned backgrounds.
While Caitlin Teal Price photographs real bird specimens collected for and studied by The Peabody Museum at Yale University, Olivia Rodriguez creates specimens using an array of materials including foam, flock, wax, paper pulp, and glitter. Her faux plants and taxidermy reference natural history dioramas and allude to the violence and delicacy of the natural world. Esther Ruiz also makes artifacts, bright neon archeological finds from a distant, imagined world. Her invented mineral composites provide an interesting comparison to Julie Wolfe's pseudo-scientific jar installations and video. Wolfe's colorful compositions are the result of experiments she conducts using laboratory materials and organic matter. Like much of the work in CURIO, her contributions point to the intersection of biology and aesthetics. Together, the works in CURIO explore eccentricities present in wunderkammern of old and look at ways contemporary artists think about or invent similar systems today.
Christine Gray is an Alexandria, VA-based painter who received an MFA from the University of California Santa Barbara and a BFA from The University of Texas at Austin. Her work has been presented in exhibitions across the United States at places including Project 4 (Washington DC), RARE Gallery (New York), Mirus Gallery (San Francisco), and the Torrance Art Museum (Los Angeles). She has been recognized in numerous juried exhibitions and publications, most recently as an award-winner at the Bethesda Painting Awards and in New American Paintings. In addition to working as an artist, Gray is a professor in the Painting and Printmaking Department at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.
Sue Johnson earned a BFA in painting from Syracuse University and an MFA in painting from Columbia University. Her work has been exhibited internationally at museums including the Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford, England), Tweed Museum of Art (Duluth, MN), Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Midwest Museum of American Art (Elkhart, IN), Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA), Anderson Gallery/VCU (Richmond, VA), and University of Richmond Museums. A solo exhibition "American Dreamscape" is currently on view at the Eleanor D Wilson Museum at Hollins University (Roanoke, VA). Grants include awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the NEA/Mid Atlantic Foundation Fellowship.
Caitlin Teal Price was born in 1980 in Chicago, IL and grew up in Washington, DC. She received a BFA in photography from the Parsons School of Design in 2002 and an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2009. She has exhibited both internationally and nationally, and her work is part of numerous private and permanent collections throughout the United States. Her photographs have been featured in publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, Details, Vogue, Vice, Nylon, Capricious Magazine, Sony Music and Universal Pictures.
Olivia Rodriguez has a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has exhibited her work at Curator's Office (Washington, DC); Context Miami Art Fair with Curator's Office (Miami, FL); Silber Art Gallery, Goucher College (Baltimore, MD); Pepco Edison Gallery, (Washington, DC); Civilian Art Projects (Washington, DC); Sampson Projects (Boston, MA); 5th Dimension (Baltimore, MD); Galerie Tristan, (Issy-les-Moulineaux, France); Coolidge Corner Animation Festival (Brookline, MA); Artists at Large Gallery (Hyde Park, MA); Love Me 2 Times Gallery (Boone, NC); and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA).
Esther Ruiz received a BA in Studio Art from Rhodes College in 2011 and has shown nationally at spaces including Odessa Art Space (Memphis, TN), Brooklyn Wayfarers (Brooklyn, NY), Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA), Field Projects (New York, NY), Trestle Gallery (Brooklyn, NY) and most recently at David Lusk Gallery (Memphis, NT). She was born in Houston, Texas and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Julie Wolfe received a BFA in Painting and Art History from The University of Texas at Austin. She has exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Textile Museum and had several solo shows at HEMPHILL (Washington, DC), where she is represented. Wolfe currently resides in Washington DC.