October 25, 2009 – April 1, 2010 (detail), 2010
Oil and enamel on canvas
59 x 45 inches
150 x 114.3 cm
Curated by Alex Gartenfeld
Skins is an exhibition of artists whose approach to media looks beneath and beyond the surface. The title of this group show refers to the culture of tattoos, presumed by anthropologists as “messages fraught with spiritual and moral significance… not only to imprint a drawing onto the flesh but also to stamp onto the mind all the traditions and philosophy of the group,” as methods of establishing communities, ascending or descending social ranks. Today, when tattoos are ubiquitous and body modification cannot be conflated with progress, we look nostalgically to a time when simple marks or punctures communicated participation in a community. The artists here share object-oriented practices; they are painters, photographers, and sculptors, working in and against the histories of their inscribed mediums. They wonder if it is possible to use permanent marks that create or hold memory. They also wonder the opposite: if boundaries of taste and conventions or presentation still persist in the shadow of an art fair.
Featured artists include Hwan Jahng, Andrea Longacre-White, Sam Moyer, Reto Pulfer, Mariah Robertson, David Scanavino, Ryan Sullivan, Josh Tonsfeldt, and Ned Vena.