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September 19 through December 19, 2004
MATRIX/Some Forgotten Place
International Painters View Landscape as Intellectually and Emotionally Charged Space
Berkeley, CA, July 2004 — The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) presents MATRIX 213: Some Forgotten Place, an exhibition of works by contemporary painters from around the world who are exploring the subject of landscape as something more than a definition of place. On view from September 19 through December 19, 2004, the exhibition includes the work of eight artists: Mamma Andersson (Sweden), Amy Cutler (United States), Makiko Kudo (Japan), Saskia Leek (New Zealand), James Morrison (Australia), Aaron Morse (United States), Wilhelm Sasnal (Poland), and Amelie von Wulffen (Germany).
In keeping with the MATRIX tradition of facilitating new, open modes of analysis, Some Forgotten Place presents artists who challenge the principal historical types of landscape painting (symbolic, factual, ideal, pastoral, and artificial) by recreating the landscape as an intellectually and emotionally charged space. In the process, each painter incorporates a range of unexpected elements: myth, dreams, imagination, personal narrative, abstraction, and the psychological.
Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson, Phyllis Wattis MATRIX Curator, first began to consider this theme in painting several years ago when she saw Saskia Leek's work on an announcement for an exhibition in Sydney. As she looked further, she began to notice a phenomenon in paintings by artists from various parts of the globe, in which "landscapes provided a moody, evocative environment, but with an undercurrent of something more disturbing, or slightly off — such as men peering at domestic scenes of young girls, birds and girls morphing, women attempting to escape something unseen, seasons cross pollinating," Zuckerman Jacobson says. Over time, she narrowed her interest to this group of eight artists, whose works she found most unique and diverse, as they raise questions about the values and meanings implied by or inherent in place. "I started to think about how these images reflect our world today. Some artists included here provide a romantic type of longing for a more idyllic time, others reflect the rupture between how we want the world to be and how it actually is, still others leave the real and manifest the imagined, the mythical, the magical."
Zuckerman Jacobson selected works by the following artists for MATRIX 213: Some Forgotten Place, most of whom are exhibiting in a U.S. museum for the first time —
Karin Mamma Andersson (Sweden) makes paintings that address the complex relationship between the individual and history. Generating an atmosphere that is both alienated and magical, her works are set in a mythical northern landscape where things previously thought familiar morph to reveal themselves as frightening, and ghosts — of people, places, events — wander in and out.
Karin Mamma Andersson was born in Lulea, Sweden in 1962. She studied at the Kungigla Konsthogskolan (Royal University College of Fine Arts), Stockholm from 1986 to 1993. Selected solo exhibitions include Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm (2000, 2002) and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London (2002). Her work was shown in the Nordic Pavilion at the 2003 Venice Biennale. She has shown extensively in solo and group exhibitions throughout Sweden since 1985, including the Carnegie Art Award exhibition, which promotes contemporary Nordic painting, and which traveled to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki, and Reykjavik (2000-01). This is her first US exhibition. She will also exhibit in the Carnegie International 2004, and The Other Country at the UCLA Hammer Museum, both opening in October 2004. Andersson lives and works in Stockholm.
Amy Cutler's (U.S.) original myths feature women, most with the face of the artist, engaged in arduous, surreal activities. Attempting to escape a task, a place, or an assignment of feminine roles (bearing children, doing household chores), her characters exist amid a dizzying array of references. Magic, grotesquerie, European iconography, and Shaker dresses are rendered in minute perfection. In her dreamlike paintings, the action is surrounded by a mass of blank white paper, imposing an absence of location that ultimately feels punishing, devoid of time and space: a landscape of stagnation and futility.
Amy Cutler was born in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1974. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cooper Union School of Art, New York, in 1997 and studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME in 1999. Selected solo and two-person exhibitions include the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO (2004); Dialogues: Amy Cutler/David Rathman at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2002); the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2002); and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York (2002 and 2004). Selected group exhibitions include the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2004); Adventure and the Contemporary Miraculous at the Cleveland Institute of Art (2003); and Selections: Summer 2000 at the Drawing Center, New York (2000). This is her first exhibition on the West Coast. Cutler lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Makiko Kudo (Japan) combines daily experience and observation — a river, her home, a cat, the moon in the night sky, a dreaming girl — into paintings infused with the sweet longing of memories, in which multiple stories coexist.
Makiko Kudo was born in Aomori Prefecture, Japan in 1978. She graduated from Joshibi University of Art and Design, Department of Painting in 2002. Kudo had her first solo exhibition at Tomio Koyama Gallery in Tokyo (2003). Selected group exhibitions include Tokyo Girls Bravo 3 at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York; Time of My Life: Art with Youthful Spirit, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery (both 2004); do hope for the future, Laforet Museum, Tokyo (2003); and Tokyo Girls Bravo 2 at NADiff, Tokyo (2002). This is her first museum exhibition in the U.S. Kudo lives and works in Tokyo.
The paintings of Saskia Leek (New Zealand) also question accepted tenets, challenging the notion of "good" painting. Leek works on a small scale on board and uses cheap frames to enhance the raw and humble quality of her works. Inhabited by a quirky cast of humans, birds, fish, horses, and houses, her paintings elicit strong nostalgic responses. The scenes remain anonymous and mostly vacant but suggest things from Leek's past. The bleached palette she employs recalls the faded colors of memory: pastel yellows, faint blues, washed-out greens, and hazy pinks.
Saskia Leek was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1970. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Canterbury School of Fine Arts, Christchurch in 1991. Selected solo exhibitions include Be My World at the Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, Australia; Kindle Me Protect My Barren Matter, Room 401, Achilles House, Auckland, New Zealand; and Forget the dead, you've left, Ivan Anthony Gallery, Auckland (all 2002). Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions throughout New Zealand since 1996. This is her first museum exhibition in the US. Leek lives and works in Auckland.
James Morrison (Australia) makes gorgeously painted narrative figurative works that are pervaded with an eerie "wrongness." In his works, improbable scenes call to question conventional histories and truths, and stories told by the canon of landscape painting. In Shawnee Oklahoma, autumnal trees stand in a ground bursting with spring flowers, while in Northwest Territory an Arctic fox prowls beneath a blue parakeet.
James Morrison was born in Papua New Guinea in 1959. He received a Diploma of Fine Arts in 1979 and a Post-Graduate Diploma of Fine Arts in 1996, both from the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia. Selected solo exhibitions include Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2000, 2002, 2004); Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne (2002); Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London (2002); and talk art initiative, Melbourne (1999). He has shown extensively in group exhibitions throughout Australia since 1995. This is his first U.S. exhibition. Morrison lives and works in Melbourne.
Aaron Morse's (U.S.) vision of nature combines 19th-century romantic epics about the wild Western frontier with contemporary popular sources and a futuristic vision of reality. In Hawkeye #2, five elongated vertical panels present landscapes, close-ups, and abstract passages to form an action-based narrative sequence.
Aaron Morse was born in 1974 in Tucson, AZ. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona, Tucson in 1996 and his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati, OH in 1998. Selected solo exhibitions include ACME, Los Angeles (2003). Selected group exhibitions include International Paper, UCLA Armand Hammer Museum of Art (2003); New Art from LA, Marvelli Gallery, New York (2002); and Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: Superheroes in Contemporary Art, The Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, OH (1999). Morse lives and works in Los Angeles.
Works by Willem Sasnal (Poland) often differ so much from one another that one could assume they had been painted by numerous artists. They share, however, an authorial sensibility that reflects political, moral, and aesthetic aspects of reality. The paintings exist in some respects as formal exercises, toying with conventions of representation and using perspective and focus to disrupt viewers' expectations. Sasnal's subjects come across as isolated, interrupted, in a state of suspension, waiting for something.
Wilhelm Sasnal was born in Tarnow, Poland in 1972. Selected solo exhibitions include Anton Kern Gallery, New York; Wilsa, Contemporary Art, MUHKA, Antwerp; Sadie Coles, London; Kunsthalle Zurich (all 2003); Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw, Poland (2001, 2002); Everyday Live in Poland between 1999 and 2000, Galeria Raster, Warsaw (2001); and Board Game, Galeria Potocka, Krakow (2000). Selected group exhibitions include 4ever Young, Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel-Aviv, Israel and Hauser & Wirth Gallery, Zurich (both 2003). This is his first museum exhibition in the U.S. Sasnal lives and works in Tarnow.
Amelie von Wulffen (Germany) creates large-scale watercolor and collage works on paper that convey a space that is simultaneously imagined and recorded. The artist is the main character in her projected world, surrounded by what she admires: old paintings and furniture, trees, lakes and sunrises, John Travolta and Solzhenitsyn. In one work, an image of people at a beach almost imperceptibly transitions into a body of water rendered in brushstrokes, and a rip in the paper signals an awakening from what is otherwise arranged, as might occur in a movie, the mind, or dream space.
Amelie von Wulffen was born in Breitenbrunn, Germany in 1966. She completed her studies at the Kunstakademie in Munich in 1994. Selected solo exhibitions include Greene Naftali Gallery, New York (2004). Her work has been included in numerous museum group exhibitions throughout Germany since 1994. Additional group exhibitions include Dreams and Conflicts, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2003); HIER IST DORT 2, Wiener Secession, Vienna (2002); and Hey, International Competition Style, TENT, Centrum Beeldende Kunst, Rotterdam (2000). This is her first museum exhibition in the US. von Wulffen lives and works in Berlin.
BAM/PFA is the only venue for this exhibition.