FEARFULAWESOME - Ecstasy, death and rebirth of a male painter is an exhibition curated by SANE. Artists: Seline Baumgartner, Nancy Barton & Mike Glass, Bjoerk (One Little Indian-Elektra Records), Ella Joyce Buckley, Shadi Harouni, Andy Hope 1930, Alexa Hoyer, Jürgen Klauke, Austin Lee, Michael Mahalchick, Nadja Verena Marcin, Adam Parker Smith, Thomas Zummer.

The exhibition FEARFULAWESOME - Ecstasy, death and rebirth of a male painter speaks to the beauty and brutality of ambiguity. At the center of the exhibition stands the surreal act of Amazing (2007-2013) by Andy Hope 1930, depicting a man in the arms of a blonde Überwoman. Simultaneously a muse, dominatrix and archetypal mother, she carries the fallen, impotent hero in a gesture echoing the Pietà. Two blue cloud-like ghosts appear in a tumultuous sky. A golden eagle looms above the scene signifying an authoritarian imprint, a reminder of history, politics, and surveillance.

The story unfolds somewhere between earth, heaven and hell. The title is written directly onto the painting, making the author an active character in this playful yet sublime narrative about love and surrender, generosity and control, forgiveness and restrain, devotion and personal limitation, heritage and future.

Amazing reveals human erring and error in its deepest sense: the silence around the irrational; the speechlessness; the adrenalin; the fear; the passion; the literal death of the author. Amazing never clarifies whether the fallen hero is dead. It’s a story devoid of resolution and a confession about the conflict of being human, forever caught in the fray between emotion and reason.

In recent series of public attacks, some of the individual’s hidden and secret obsessions have made their way into the public sphere. Secluded and unshared emotions, born from disappointment and the unhappiness of isolation, come out by both sensationalism and spectacle of media, continually fascinating and captivating the public. In the omnipresent triumph of The Society of the Spectacle (1967), Debord, death and violence are attached by a seductive quality, often ecstasy, evoking a sad voyeuristic curiousness as entertainment.

With FEARFULAWESOME - Ecstasy, death and rebirth of a male painter we would like to open the discussion about the power of emotions concerning the ambiguity and contradiction in human behavior. The disposition of body and mind becomes evident in contemporary society on many different levels. From both sublime to literal, we choose to show works that challenge the viewer to rethink his own standing as a private persona and as a public person in society.

In Venus as a Boy (1993) Bjoerk gives clue to the demonic underpins of lust and passion. Playing seductively with an egg - symbol for innocence and fragility - she draws reference to Georges Bataille’s transgressive pornographic novel Story of an Eye. In We make promises according to our hopes, keep them according to our fears (1990-2013) Nancy Barton glances lovingly at her collaborator Mike Glass, cradled stiffly in her arms inside the infinite darkness of a bath or life water. The work, which was originally created for a show at American Fine Arts in the 90s, includes texts addressing the passage of time in relation to ritualized roles of victimization and charity, and the relationship of destiny to this performance. Fertility symbols guard an empty water reservoir, a wedding band is half asleep, Rosie, a Hijra (transgender) dancer’s fate ties them all together. The 2–channel dance video Rosie (2013) by Seline Baumgartner tells of exclusion from family, begging, sex work and the transformation of gender, through an original song based on Rosie’s life story.

The pair of white sneakers placed into the existing architecture is part of a larger body entitled Things (2013), by Shadi Harouni, where everyday objects (watermelons, a drum, a porcelain duck, etc) push into the lost spaces inside of walls. The objects seek spatial negotiation in circumstances where power has forbidden their existence. Bust (2013) evokes the sight of a superhero’s body, vest or knight’s armor. It is part of an ongoing photo series by Alexa Hoyer exploring homemade gun targets at illegal shooting ranges in the Nevada desert. Decimated by firepower and bullet holes, the objects begin to lose their shape, volume, and surface - a residue of identity gradually dissolving into the desert landscape. What is left are disintegrated artifacts in ghostly appearance: a "totem" of emotional abjection, letdown and the forth-on pursuit of inner faith and happiness.

In Jürgen Klauke’s Durchlauferhitzer (2003), the artist lies beneath a table that is penetrated by two balloon-like bags that hang unevenly from above. Outgrown for this childhood hiding place, the presence of an outer force is immediate and besetting. It’s a dream-and-mind game turning contemplation on the every individual’s life designation into social hells and heavens. Austin Lee creates digital renderings, which he then translates into the physical media of painting, jarring the organic with digital rules and order. Out of Love (2013) portrays a candy colored couple laced with the obscure traits of their self-conjured nightmare. In its monumental, visceral vignette, portraying the human experience, Out of Love acts as comedian with a hysterically sick laughter. Three articles of clothing are twisted, deformed and suspended from the wall.

Accompanied by a subtle touch of torture and malaise, these innocuous objects by Michael Mahalchick - Jeans (2013), Shirt (2013) and Sweater (2013) - play with the notion of private and public persona. Even though his transformation is impermanent, the - in the artist’s words - “magical objects” represent a battleground between who we are versus who we think we are. In Nadja Verena Marcin’s photographic work, Animals (2013) hunt us like creatures from the dawn: staring fresh awake, hungrily searching or shyly amused in cardinal points away from our horizon. They modestly share their non verbal existence apart from the weight of names, numbers, words and codes, roles and models. Cave painting as the origin of painting is literally deformed via body parts reaching through the surface of imagination as quintessential emotionalist’s escape from human reality.

Adam Parker Smith's Hellenistic inspired sculptures - Untitled (with towel) (2013) and Untitled (with shirt) (2013) - appear to be quickly fashioned with wet clay and paired with found materials. Rudimentary in their initial appearance, further thorough reading uncovers a complexity of material usage that unfolds the enigmatic narrative. Two over-towering figures in their humble willingness to mock themselves, but in doing so, cast a shadow of boastfulness. Thomas Zummer’s 6 graphite plates are taken from Excerpts from an Incompletable Series of Hells (1990-2002), a series of 140 plates inscribed with the names of various hells derived from early Christian, Gnostic, Buddhist and other sources. This work, as epigraphy, is both sculptural and architectural, an exploration of the materiality of the presence of language. At the same time the succession of hells, is an address of the abstractions and aporias of naming: “What is named, after all, in naming a hell?”

For the Closing Reception on February 15th from 7-10 pm, the gallery will host two performances. At 8.15 pm Nadja Verena Marcin will premiere a new live performance. At 9 pm composer and vocalist Ella Joyce Buckley will be performing a collaged selection of her new material featuring Daniel Bombach on bass and FX. SANE is a curatorial collective led by artists and curators who strive to inspire intrepid critical inquiry and a dynamic platform for artistic exchange and dialogue. SANE was founded by Sarah Corona, Alexa Hoyer and Nadja Verena Marcin.

{TEMP} Art Space
47, Walker Street (between Broadway & Church)
New York, NY 10013
Ph: (646) 678-5431 /

Opening Reception: January 23, 2014, 7-9 pm
Exhibition: January 23-February 15, 2014
Thursday – Saturday, 12-7 pm, and by appointment
Closing Reception: February 15, 2014, 7 – 10 pm
Live performance Soft Horn by Nadja Verena Marcin at 8:15 pm 
Live performance by Ella Joyce Buckley at 9 pm

1. Adam Parker Smith, Untitled, 2013
2. Nancy Barton, We make promises according to our hopes, keep them according to our fears, 1990-2013
3. Alexa-Hoyer, Bust, 2013
4. Andy Hope 1930, Amazing (Edition). Copyright Andy Hope 1930. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
5. Michael-Mahalchick, Shirt, 2014
6. Nadja Verena Marcin, Animals, 45 x 33 12, 3 C-Prints, 2014 (c) Nadja Verena Marcin & 532 Thomas Jaeckel Gallery