The Human Imprint
February 3 – 27, 2022
Opening Reception: Friday, February 4th from 6-8 PM
Amos Eno Gallery is proud to announce the opening of The Human Imprint, artist Grant Johnson’s first solo show with the gallery. The photography on view reveals the Earth’s shifting ecosystem in response to human interaction and consumption. As a result of natural resource extraction, unsustainable forestry and farming practices, indigenous ecosystems are being wiped out, resulting in metastasizing swaths of deforested and desertified landscapes as well as the creation of oceanic dead zones – all of which contribute directly to climate instability.
“A fascination with form dominates my work, specifically the interaction of natural and human forces with the landscape,” explains Johnson. “I currently use reconnaissance image processing technology to interpret my terrestrial and aerial photographs as large prints showing the big picture of our competitive consumption and the ever increasing signs of irreversible damage to our ecosystem. In 2008, the entire Landsat image collection became public domain, enabling the creation of ultra high resolution satellite image composites that make up many images in this show. Surveying these images from a distance, many have an abstract, non objective quality which transforms upon closer examination.
Ecosystems are being totally lost which evolved over millions of years prior to the advent of humans. This is vitally important because one of the principles of ecology is that complex systems of living and interacting species are immensely more stable than simple systems of, for instance, one or two dominant species living in an impoverished landscape (which is a fair description of what we humans are now creating). In the 19th century and well into the our own era, nature was considered to be a battle for survival of the fittest, a terribly damaging misinterpretation of how nature works, and one that gained its strength from its close ideological fit with unbridled capitalism. This model has joined other discredited ideas about nature like Eugenics. Current scientific exploration and analysis is beginning to reveal the complex symbiosis that occurs in still existing intact ecosystems. Flora and fauna, fungi, microbes, and other naturally occurring life-forms have been interacting for millennia in cooperative and inter-communicating as well as in competitive relationships.
The circular forms of “Burning Man 2013” and the “Crescent Dunes Solar Array,” create such a formal contrast with the evolved landscape that they seem to indicate an alien, unnatural presence. Unfortunately, these are only the tracks and signs of the Human Imprint upon our planet. The Extractive Industry has completely re-contoured Utah topography to create the mile-deep “Bingham Canyon Copper Mine.” Perhaps as we move away from the wholesale destruction that has characterized the Anthropocene, we can embrace a relationship with nature that foregrounds respect and partnership with fellow life forms and with Earth’s natural processes. For, as Grant Johnson notes, “our imprint upon the planet is everywhere. We need to become a part of nature not apart from it.”
Grant Johnson trained as a painter and photographer before entering the field of new media, receiving the first graduate degree in experimental video awarded by the Rhode Island School of Design in 1975. He worked for twenty years as a photographer for The Nature Conservancy covering California and areas of Hawai’i, while simultaneously working in the film and television industry. Recent exhibitions include “Hyper/Reality” (2021) and “Towards a New Animism” (2022) at Amos Eno Gallery “Weather the Weather” at the NY Hall of Science (2019), and “Healing Environments” at Canessa Gallery (2017) among other exhibitions. Image: “Bingham Canyon Copper Mine Utah” Grant Johnson (2021) 40 x 60” Dye sublimation print on aluminum.
Featuring Artworks by Candace Jensen, David Nakabayashi, Kathleen Vance, Jo Watko & Joyce Yamada, with Grant Johnson in the Project Space
Mark Your Calendars!
On view January 6 – 30
Amos Eno Gallery is pleased to present Towards A New Animism, which includes the work of 6 artists whose practice observes and responds to the vital and infinitely complex relationships between humans and the living planet. The show also explores the possibilities for shifts in cultural focus, especially in the context of our universal crises; climate change, and ecosystem degradation and destabilization.
The opening reception for “Towards a New Animism” will take place on Friday, January 7th from 6 PM to 9 PM. The exhibition will be on view at Amos Eno Gallery from January 6th through the 30th, with gallery hours Thursday-Sunday, 12-6 PM.
“Animism” is an anthropological term used to define and categorize worldviews and spiritual beliefs which attribute soul or spirit to places, creatures and material. It implies that places, creatures and matter have animacy or agency, even if rather different from our own. The artwork included in Towards A New Animism offers both critiques and subtle alternatives to the flawed perspectives of anthropocentrism and human exceptionalism, and posits moving toward a new ecological baseline; if we recognize the qualities of agency in non-human beings and matter, then navigating new relationships with them, and acknowledging their rights to exist and thrive, becomes imperative.
This assembly of visual work joins conversations already happening between scientists, philosophers, activists, and thinkers of all stripes— synthesizing views which acknowledge that Life is self-generating, complex, deriving from relationships of both competition and co-operation, and insistently re-forming balance moment by moment through all interactions great and small. There was a time when some in the sciences thought that life was nothing more than a mechanical process, like a machine— and so many of our cultural views still echo this. However, we are now invited to regard that as a radically outmoded idea, and to instead see life as a creative process, and to creatively participate and collaborate. This vision of humanity within a continuum of all beings related to each other, entwined and entangled, dependent on each other in mysterious and unexpected ways, is not a new idea exactly, but in this dire time, new ways of enacting and embracing this idea could be a vital and inspired turn.
And how do we get there? We start where we are; we become engaged in an erotic ecology with place and life through simple acts of observation, through reverent contemplation, and through curious attention— such as we see here in paint, writing, collage, sculpture, photography and recording. We build relationship to place, establish an awareness of beauty. Towards a New Animism proposes that a humble appreciation of complexity and cultivation of wonder will make possible what all of the knowledge of our dire circumstances hasn’t been able to do on its own— to inspire us to protect the long list of ‘things’ we love, and enable the list to grow ever longer.
Programming & Events:
Opening Reception: Friday, 1/7/22 from 6 PM to 9 PM
Exclusive Virtual Film Screening, ‘Invisible Hand’: 1/6/22 – 1/9/22 only
Salon Discussion with Artists and Filmmaker Melissa Troutman: Saturday, 1/8/22 from 2 PM to 3:30 PM
Closing Reception: Sunday, 1/30/22 from 4 PM to 6 PM
Towards a New Animism is co-curated by Amos Eno Gallery Artist Members Candace Jensen and Joyce Yamada, who have consistently engaged with themes of ecology and ‘environmental issues’ through painting, language, book arts, and sculpture. They welcome to this exhibition; painter David Nakabayashi (NYC), sculptor Kathleen Vance (New York), and ceramicist Jo Watko (Philadelphia), who also address key ecological issues of our times with beauty, intelligence, and passion. They are joined by fellow gallery member, Grant Johnson (environmental photographer, video and installation artist) in the Project Space.
Candace Jensen (she/her) is a polymath artist and radical idealist living on the unceded lands of the Elnu Abenaki and Pennacook people (Southern Vermont). Jensen earned an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and a BFA from Tyler School of Art, both in Philadelphia (traditional lands of the Lenni-Lenape). She has exhibited her work in New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Vermont and Antwerp, Belgium, and is currently represented by Amos Eno Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. Jensen serves as the Book Arts & Letterpress Director at the Ruth Stone House, Art Editor of Iterant Magazine, and is Cofounder and Programming Director of In Situ Polyculture Commons, an arts residency and regenerative culture catalyst.
www.candacejensen.com • @artist.cjensen on IG
Joyce Yamada (American, b. 1949) Joyce Yamada as a teenager wrote intensively. She soon realized that although she was pursuing imagery through poetry, she had no real love for language as a medium. After a semester at UC, Berkeley in 1967, she enrolled at the San Francisco Art Institute as a visual artist. After various misadventures, she went to medical school, becoming a board-certified Diagnostic Radiologist. For two decades she worked as an artist one week, a radiologist the next. She retired from medicine in 2004, moving to Brooklyn in 2006 as a full-time artist. A painter and installation artist, she is profoundly interested in science and ecology, contemplating the deep history of life on earth, we humans in relation to Nature, and our collective possible futures. She has exhibited in numerous group shows in New York City, Boston, and Alexandria, VA., and is currently represented by the Amos Eno Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.
David Nakabayashi David Nakabayashi was born in Germany and grew up in Japan, Oklahoma, and Texas. He is a self-taught artist with a wide range of experience working as a cook, a cotton chopper, a musician, a naturalist, a graphic designer, and an urban designer. His rootless childhood evolved into a lifelong exploration of the American landscape with its homogeneous sprawl, forgotten architecture, untamable Nature and chance cultural encounters, all of which filter into his artwork, which includes painting, works on paper, collage, ceramics, mixed media sculpture, photography, installation, music and video.
David has exhibited his artwork throughout Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma at venues including the El Paso Museum of Art, the Museo Regional in Chihuahua, Mexico, Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Living Arts of Tulsa and Box Gallery and Zane Bennet Gallery in Santa Fe. David has lived and worked in New York City since 2013 and has exhibited at SFA Gallery and The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture in Manhattan and lorimoto gallery in Queens. He is currently represented by Judy Ferrara Gallery in Three Oaks, MI.
Kathleen Vance is an environmental artist who creates projects that connect people to local aspects of Nature that are overlooked or under-appreciated. “In my work I distinguish forms that are indicative of growth and explore the variance between experiences of an authentic natural encounter vs. an inauthentic encounter. I look for the ways in which Nature can be brought back into the course of one’s daily life. I am intrigued by areas where manicured Nature is being reclaimed by the wild. With my installations I engage viewers with the experience of a space being overtaken by natural elements. I bring discarded particles from the forestry floor together to be revivified in my constructions.” https://www.vanceartworks.com/
Jo Watko (she/her) is a ceramic artist based out of Philadelphia, PA. She graduated from Tyler School of Art with a BFA in Ceramics, and BFA in Painting in 2008. She has been a studio assistant and glaze technician for Jason Silverman Ceramics since 2008. During this time, she has focused on maintaining a studio practice in both sculptural and functional ceramics. Her work is informed by processes in Nature and our connection or distance from them. This exploration takes the form of sculpture, installation, tile, and utilitarian vessels.
Grant Johnson’s work is dominated by a fascination with form, specifically the interaction of natural and human forces with the landscape. Trained as a painter and photographer before becoming involved with new media, he received the first graduate degree in experimental video awarded by the Rhode Island School of Design in 1975. For twenty years, Johnson was an assignment photographer for The Nature Conservancy covering California and areas of Hawaii, concurrently working in film and television as a video engineer and camera operator specializing in aerial photography. He currently uses reconnaissance image processing technology to interpret his terrestrial and aerial photographs as large prints. In 2008, the entire Landsat image collection became public domain enabling the creation of ultra high altitude satellite image composites showing the effects of our competitive consumption and climate change.
Image: “Protest In The Park Across The Street From My House” (2020) David Nakabayashi, oil on masonite, 22×26″
New Works by Ligia Bouton, Grant Johnson, Kahori Kamiya, David Olivant, Nishiki Sugawara-Beda, Aaron Wilder and Joyce Yamada
October 7th – November 14th, 2021
Hyper/Reality on view from October 7th – October 24th, 2021
Sur/Reality on view October 28th – November 14th, 2021
Opening Receptions: Friday, October 8th & Friday, October 29th from 6-9 PM
Hyper/Reality and Sur/Reality are dual Fall 2021 exhibitions presented at Amos Eno Gallery that feature works in dialogue with reality and its discontents. These exhibits each last for three weeks, and together, they present works by member artists who have yet to mount solo exhibitions at the gallery. These shows are curated by gallery director Audra Lambert. Hyper/Reality, on view from Oct 7th through October 24th, features artworks by Ligia Bouton, Grant Johnson and Aaron Wilder. The following exhibit, Sur/Reality, includes works by Nishiki Sugawara-Beda, Kahori Kamiya, David Olivant, and Joyce Yamada, and lasts from October 28th-November 14th. What links these two exhibits together is an analysis of how reality/ies can be skewed and re-interpreted utilizing new media, photography, mixed media, painting, collage, sculpture, installation and performance art.
Baudrillard’s 20th century art criticism introduced the concept of the hyperreal, which marks the rising importance of the Simulacrum over reality. Hyper/Reality confronts the many ways in which the hyperreal has overtaken reality in the present day, delving into digital and wireless technologies that have pervaded our view of what is, and is not, ‘real.’ Works on view in Hyper/Reality present altered visions of the ‘real,’ as defined by the overlap of digital, natural and social phenomenon that permeate our everyday lives. Sculpture by Ligia Bouton embraces industrial materials while examining legends of the American “Old West,” providing humorous evidence for how these myths are actually appropriated narratives. Works by Grant Johnson layer imagery of our surroundings while framing questions about how we experience and analyze these environments, probing what information may be omitted from our conclusions. New media, photography and installation work by Aaron Wilder asks us to reconsider narratives as political sites, asking how realities shift when they become co-opted, censored or re-interpreted in ways that may escape our notice.
Sur/Reality posits how alternative views of reality can enhance our vision of what is and what could be. In the 1927 Surrealist manifesto, André Breton shares his view that Surrealism seeks to combine the real world and dreams into a ‘super-reality,’ or an absolute reality. Surreal visions of the world integrate impulses from the unconscious into reality, forming a composite worldview reflecting our perception of the world around us. Works by Nishiki Sugawara-Beda span installation and ink on paper, harnessing the subconscious mind and spiritual intuition to produce monochromatic marks, and framing the natural world as both subtle and sublime. Kahori Kamiya’s work embraces textural dissonance commenting on life’s idiosyncrasies presenting works that comment on the distinctive experiences of breastfeeding. David Olivant’s works exert a vision of a world fragmented against itself. His collages are composed of often dissonant elements that present a comprehensive yet contradictory view of how we perceive reality. Paintings by Joyce Yamada reflect on our tumultuous relationship with the natural environment, mining a deeper understanding, through intuition and instinct, of humanity’s relationship to the surrounding landscape.
In a world demanding that we accept often-conflicting realities and assimilate them into a universal worldview, both Hyper/Reality and Sur/Reality shift our focus away from the idea of truth, instead speculating on what it is that we take for granted, and exposing how it can be impermanent, faltering, and unreal.
Hyper/Reality and Sur/Reality are curated by Amos Eno Gallery Director Audra Lambert. Lambert holds an MA, Art History and Visual Culture from Lindenwood University, with a BA in Art History and minor in Japanese from St. Peter’s University. Her curatorial projects center Feminist and Queer art histories with an intersectional and intercultural lens. She has curated exhibits at the Center for Jewish History – Yeshiva University, Fountain House Gallery, The Living Gallery, Arsenal Gallery, Radiator Gallery, and others. She is curator-in-residence at The Yard, So. Williamsburg and Founder/Editor-in-Chief of ANTE mag, a platform for exhibition-making and art criticism in dialogue with artist-run projects.
November 22 – December 21, 2019
Chris Esposito & Matt Greco
Candace Jensen & Caitlin O’dea Ott
Grant Johnson & Kathleen Vance
Samantha Jones & Heather Lyon
Charleen Kavleski & Ross Hayes
Rosemary Meza-DesPlas & Linda Guenste
Heidi Neff & Karen Kohles
Kathy Loev-Putnam & Chelsea Nader
Philip Swan & Tom Wolf
Joyce Yamada & Joanne Ungar
Amos Eno Gallery is pleased to present Plus One, a group exhibition of new works by gallery members and invited artists. Plus One explores artistic affinity through ten pairings of works in different media ranging from painting and calligraphy to found object sculpture. An opening reception will be held on Friday, November 22 from 7-9 PM at the gallery’s location at 56 Bogart Street in Brooklyn, NY.
In preparation for this exhibition, participating artist members invited one artist with whom their work resonates. The artistic pairings and collaborative works on view in Plus One illustrate moments when works relate in terms of content and artistic inspiration yet diverge in materials and processes. The effect is complimentary and calls to mind the long history of artistic influence as it changes from one practitioner to the next.
The collaborations and juxtapositions of works explore a variety of socio-political themes such as environmentalism, feminism, as well as shared interests in figuration and material explorations of form through painting and mixed media.
Image: Joanne Ungar, Oryx, 2017, painted cardboard and wax on panel, 7 x 8 inches
New York Hall of Science exhibition: September 10, 2019 – January 10, 2020
Artists’ Reception: November 2, 2019